Jerusalem Artichoke

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by tbishop, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

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    I just got my first starter roots for the Jerusalem artichoke, or sunchokes. I had asked the best way to spread them on the pigs board and it was suggested I go here. So here I am. What is the best way to evenly distribute sunchokes over a pasture? do you just let them spread on their own? Dig them down at random spots? Anything I dont' know about?

    Tim B.
     
  2. doodlemom

    doodlemom Well-Known Member

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    I bought some sunchokes from gurneys or henry fields and just planted the tubers like potatos. They grow like weeds and well they are weeds lol
     

  3. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

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    One person's weeds is another person's potential forage crop.

    Did you try to seed a pasture or grow them in your garden?

    Tim B.
     
  4. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Make sure that where ever you plant them, that you want them there forever.They will grow and spread until they fill up all the available space, unless there is pavement or regularly tilled or mowed area.
     
  5. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    huh...and mine disappeared. they never really spread much for me. maybe the voles got em'. :shrug:
     
  6. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

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    Or perhaps a pasture with pigs in it to root them up?

    Tim B.
     
  7. zealot

    zealot Soli Deo Gloria

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    You should spread them at regular intervals. Every few years you have to dig all you can find, till out more, and put them in rows again. Not only does this make harvest easier, but it gives the plants more room to grow.
     
  8. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I started with about a pound and planted them all within a space of 5' x 10'. Within two years the area is doubled in size, with a incredible amount of 'chokes. My goats are allowed in to eat the tops, which grow 8-10' tall, after they flower. I don't know what would happen if they were planted farther apart and not touched for a year or two.
     
  9. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, I saw some at the local grocery store, which had started to get little sprouts, so I bought a pound. Now, how deep do I plant them? Should I mulch them now, so they don't start growing and freeze? We have dry, (usually) cold winters here on the plains. I understand the spreading, that's ok, as I have some areas I can devote just to them. Sunflowers grow well here, so I'm hoping these do, too.

    Jan in CO
     
  10. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I planted mine about 4-6" deep. I would think a mulch layer would be a great idea.
     
  11. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I have a patch of sunchokes that grew to tremendous heights over 10ft. tall. These were never planted and kept coming up through the sod. Except now they are stunted more since I moved the chicken pen from near that location. I used to have one fence side of the pen where these grew on the south side providing shade for the birds also. Obviously, the benefit of the extra chicken poop fertilizer near the chokes is what made them grow so well. The tubers were large, but I haven't harvested any for several years now. I should dig up what's left and replant in a 'no till' area heavily mulched and see how they manage.

    Have you ever smelled the sunflower blossom of jerusalem artichokes. Do it someday if you haven't. They smell like chocolate. :)