GROWING JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE
The flavour is described as smoky nuts and honey and they have become quite a gourmet dish. Jerusalem Artichokes are not the same as Globe Artichokes. The name comes from a confusion with the Italian name “Girasole” or sunflower and the name artichoke comes from the taste being said to be similar to artichokes. However, Globe and Jerusalem artichokes are completely different plants.
Jerusalem Artichokes are grown in the same spot each year, for if you miss a tuber it will grow like a volunteer potato, so prepare the ground well with plenty of manure which you can top up as a mulch in winter.
Be careful where you site them, the foliage easily reaches 2-2.5 meters wide. The stems are quite fragile and you will need to provide support with stakes and string in windy locations.
Plant individual tubers about 40 to 60cm (15” to 24”) apart and around 10 to 20cm (4” to 6”) deep in early spring and in a few weeks the shoots will appear. If you have more than one row, allow 75cm (30”) between rows. When they reach about 30cm (12”) high, mound the earth up next to the plant just like you would do with potatoes. In the autumn the foliage starts to change colour and should be cut down to about 30cm (12”) above the ground. You can leave them in the ground to dig as required. They are quite a productive crop, 3kg from one plant is typical so you don’t need many seed tubers.
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