Looking for info on Jeruselum artichokes

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by GR8LIFE, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. GR8LIFE

    GR8LIFE Well-Known Member

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    I read an article in Countryside about the Jeruselum artichoke and am interested in learning more about it. The article said it is perennial and it is propagated by its tubers. So, I would assume that I plant the tubers sometime in the spring or summer. How do I know when the tubers might be ready to harvest? I read that the plants grow quite tall, do they die back in the fall/winter and start growing all over again in the spring or does part of the plant remain above ground like a bush? How often do you need to dig up the plants and divide them to keep a plot producing? What kind of feeding do they require? I have pretty hard clay for soil which has made planting potatoes quite difficult unless I plant them on mulch, can the artichokes do well in clay or should I dig out my plot and bring in better loam? What ph do they need? How many edible size tubers could I expect to get from one plant? How far do you plant them apart? Any other info would be greatly appreciated. I live in Virginia, will they do well in my warmer climate? (The article was written by a man in Vermont.)
    Colleen
     
  2. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying them myself this year.

    Soils
    This crop is adapted to various soil types and cultural conditions. However, for best results, it should be planted in fertile sandy loams or well-drained river bottoms in which tubers are easier to dig. Generally soils suitable for potato (Solanum tuberosum) and corn (Zea mays) production are suitable for Jerusalem artichoke production.

    Planting
    Planting should be early in the spring, when the soil can be satisfactorily worked. Later planting results in reduced yields. Whole tubers or pieces of tubers that are no less than two ounces and have two or three prominent buds should be planted. Smaller seed pieces will reduce yields but larger seed pieces (over 2 oz) will not significantly increase them. Do not allow cut seed pieces to dry before planting. Plant 3 to 5 inches deep, in rows 36 to 42 inches wide with 15 to 24 inches between plants.

    Harvesting
    The crop should not be harvested until after frost. Tubers dug later in the season are sweeter but have less inulin. Tops should be cut with a mower. Plow open the furrow, pick up the tubers, place in field containers, and remove from the field. Hand rakes can be used to great advantage in locating the tubers. Because of their small size it is necessary to use a small, modified potato harvester to mechanically harvest the tubers.

    Yields
    There is considerable variation in yields but generally N.C. growers may expect from 5 to 7 tons per acre.

    Precaution

    The Jerusalem artichoke is a very strong growing perennial and can become a weed problem. Since it is nearly impossible to harvest all the tubers in a field or garden, there will be a large number of volunteer plants the following spring. It is important to destroy all these volunteer plants before they can set tubers in August.

    Saw this type and that it's available from Virginia so should do good where you are. If they have a website, you might be able to get more information from them also.

    Fuseau
    Long, straight, knob-free tubers; white
    Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Earlysville, VA

    I bought from Fedco http://www.fedcoseeds.com/ (actually Moose Tubers under Fedco ((http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/MooseOrderList.php?MooseName=)).

    Pat
     

  3. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    the ultimate survival food huh? a tasty invasive weed.
     
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Our annual summer drought kills about anything eventually. Took out jeruselum artichokes in around 2 years. Comfrey didnt survive first summer. Rhubarb was big healthy clump that I got from Mom's garden in Iowa. It survived maybe 4 or 5 years but got smaller each year. Now there are plantings of bamboo and kudzu around this area and they SPREAD, but I'm not that desperate. If only daffodils, iris, and yucca were edible. They do well here. Course if they were edible, the deer would clean them out.
     
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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  6. jim/se kansas

    jim/se kansas Well-Known Member

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    Wal Mart has Jeruselum Artichokes under the name Sun Chokes. I paid .98 cents a pound.
    Blessings, Jim
     
  7. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    You can feed the tops to livestock--anything that would like sunflowers. I plan on putting some where we have pigs. They will rut up the roots, but usually will not get all of them for the next year.

    The bottoms should be harvested after a frost. They get quite large, about 8 to 10 or more feet tall, so plant accordingly. Mine came back after digging them, tilling them, and tilling them again.
     
  8. Stan

    Stan New Member

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    tubers can be eaten / harvested ANYTIME , I planted mine in a buried trough so they wouldnt take over , though with my soil not sure if they would have anyways