Monday, April 13, 2015

Planting Sunchokes aka Jerusalem Artichokes

Planting Sunchokes

I recently purchased some Sunchokes also known as Jerusalem Artichokes. I first had them a few years ago when I was a CSA member. They came in early spring along with some parsnips. The recipe suggested making a hash out of them. I really enjoyed eating them. I’m not sure why I didn’t think to plant some myself. Well, that is all changing this year.

I was inspired after watching a gardening video over the winter of a guy in Chicago showing how he grew them. His got almost 13 feet high! He harvested dozens and dozens of sunchokes. They grow as a perennial with an edible tuber similar to a potato. I love growing perennials, so I bought some.

Planting Sunchokes

I have a sunny spot picked out and a fresh new bed full of finish compost for them to grow in. I ordered three pounds and ended up with four plants shown below. I was expecting tubers, so I’m a tad confused. A couple of them rotted while waiting in a paper bag in the garage. I hope these are viable.

Planting Sunchokes

To give them the best spot possible, I planted them in the sunniest spot of the bed along with a handful of finished worm castings (below). I left a couple worms and their cocoons in the castings, so they could help populate the new bed.

Planting Sunchokes

There wasn’t planting instructions with these like I have seen for the tubers. I just put what appeared to be the root side down and covered them with some dirt after putting them in the hole with the worm castings. I hope they will start to grow soon.

Planting Sunchokes

The finished compost should make it easy for the plants to grow tubers and make harvesting easy since the soil is so loose. Once they start growing, I plan to mulch them with some wood chips. Wish me luck for a good harvest!

Do you have any experience with Jerusalem Artichokes?

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