How to Grow Jerusalem Artichokes
Instruction for Growing Jersualem Artichokes
in Your Vegetable Garden
Jerusalem artichokes are a colorful gardening addition, perfect to grow along your garden's border. They are a hardy perennial that’s a part of the sunflower family and a native plant of North America. Jerusalem Artichoke is grown for its edible tubers that look a little like potatoes.
They are slightly sweet, and can be substituted for potatoes in most recipes. The are tasty stir fried, steamed, sautee'd or roasted. They overcook and turn mushy very easily though, so you'll want to keep an eye on them and remove them from heat immediately when they're done. As with most vegetables and fruits, most of the nutrients are in the skin, so try to leave intact when preparing.
Gardening Tip for Growing Jerusalem Artichokes - Plan carefully when picking the location for growing jerusalem artichokes. They can be a bit intrusive. Also, they grow quite tall (to 8') and can block sunlight from your garden. Place them where they won't block the sunlight to your other plants.
Jerusalem artichoke provides: Thiamin, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium.
Growing jerusalem artichokes is fairly easy. They will grow in most garden climates. They prefer dry sunny locations, but will take partial shade too.
As they're a tall plant, you may want to consider staking them to protect them from the wind.
You will have better results in growing jerusalem artichokes if you do a good job of preparing the garden bed before planting. Dig in compost and well rotted manure, very deeply. Add a little lime just before planting.
If you'd like to grow jerusalem artichokes with bigger tubers, the soil needs to be very loose and very deep. (Hard soil, beneath and around root crops restricts their growth.)
Be sure to keep the soil weed-free.
Also, you may consider testing your garden soil's pH level. A pH level between 5.8-7.0 is best for growing Jerusalem Artichokes.
Plant tubers 5” deep with 24” between each. The rows should be 3 feet apart.
Note: Large tubers can be cut into smaller segments and planted.
You should find Jerusalem Artichokes growing in your garden bed within 4 weeks.
Gardening Tip for Growing Jerusalem Artichokes - To help this vegetable survive the winter (it will be dormant), cut the flower stalks off at the ground level. Then cover them with a healthy dose of mulch to help protect from freezing winter temperatures. In the spring, remove the mulch.
Try to keep the soil slightly moist. Soil that's too dry or too wet is not helpful for this plant.
Jerusalem Artichokes can take over your vegetable (or flower) garden, if you don’t keep them contained.
Gardening Tip for Growing Jerusalem Artichokes - You may find that snails and slugs enjoy dining on the young shoots. Put out a saucer or shallow bowl filled with beer. The slugs won't be able to resist it & will drown themselves. (See How to control slugs)
To improve the quality of the harvest, cut off the flower heads when they’re buds. Harvest the tubers in 4 or 5 months, after the leaves turn yellow. It’s best to leave them in the soil and dig up as needed.
If you don't want a crop of Jerusalem Artichokes growing in the same location next gardening season, be sure to clear every piece of root.
Harvest the remainder of the crop before the ground freezes.
If storing in the fridge, keep in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper.
How to freeze Jerusalem Artichokes
Dig all harvest up before the ground freezes. Store indoors in sand in your cellar. When the tubers start to grow, they turn black and are useless for cooking. However, you can save them for next season’s planting.