Growing Jerusalem Artichoke-The Lowest of Low Maintenance Perennial Vegetables

Jerusalem Artichoke Edible Root Tuber

Jerusalem Artichokes also known as Sun chokes will grow pretty much anywhere sun, shade, poor soil.  I did absolutely nothing with mine for the whole year, I didn’t water, weed, or fertilize that is zero maintenance all year and I still have heaps to harvest! “Regular” artichokes cultivated for their unopened flower buds, are not  related to Jerusalem Artichoke that is cultivated for its roots. Jerusalem artichokes  are officially a member of the sunflower family and native to North America!  Their edible ginger root looking root tubers are best described as a mix of radish and potato, the tubers are crisp with a light texture like that of a radish but none of the spicy radish kick, its more bland like potato. Traditionally you can start harvesting tubers about the time the flowers die back, and continue digging them up all winter until they start sprouting in the spring.  If you have limited in-ground growing space beware Jerusalem Artichoke can quickly take over and become invasive. The soft knobby roots and tubers easily break apart  even when digging with the gentlest trowel and any small  shard or fiber will happily over winter in our coastal climate to produce a full crop next season. Growing Jerusalem Artichoke in containers works fabulously well, early in the spring plant one seed tuber per 5(ish) gallon container, towards the end of the summer they do get root bound and need frequent watering because that single seed tuber will fill the entire container with new tubers! 

Jerusalem Artichoke Flower

The flowering stalks of Jerusalem Artichoke will reach about 7 feet tall when they are earth grown(they don’t get that tall in a container) and flower in late summer with many cute little yellow sun flower like blossoms, cutting them back half way through the summer doesn’t seem to inhibit tuber production but they might not flower.  Last year I dared letting the Jerusalem artichoke out of their containers and into what I hope will be an adequately contained section of the garden, their current home is a narrow (neglected) strip of earth between the drive way and the garage they get only east sun and like I mentioned earlier I have done absolutely nothing since the day I planted. In true invasive plant style they have gone crazy and like anyone who grows Jerusalem Artichoke I now have way more than I could possible consume in one season! If you are in the GVRD and want to nab a few seed tubers in the spring just let me know, I have lots!

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15 Responses to Growing Jerusalem Artichoke-The Lowest of Low Maintenance Perennial Vegetables

  1. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.
    Keep working ,great job!

  2. Wonderful blog! I truly love how it? s easy on my eyes as well as the data are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

    • Thank you so much! I am so glad you are having as much fun reading as I am writting:) the rss feed should work! there is also an e-mail subscription on my home page on the righ hand colum, or if you use facebook I have my blog page link under “contact me” thanks again for taking the time to write to me

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  6. Lovely sharp post. Never thought that it was this easy. Extolment to you!

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  8. Richard says:

    Any dea why some do not flower?

    Thanks

    • Just looking at my JA patch it appears the older taller plants in the centre of the patch all have flowers, the newer plants around the edges seem to be shorter with no flowers, when I have cut the JA’s back they didn’t flower, they are blooming right now and its nearly the end of our growing season so it also might have somthing to do with the length of your growing season?

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