How to Grow Jerusalem Artichokes Without Them Taking Over Your Garden

Don’t be fooled by this hardy perennial vegetable. It’s neither from Jerusalem, nor an artichoke. And even though it looks like a sunflower (which it is), you grow it for the edible tubers underground.

Jerusalem artichokes have so many good things going for them, it’s surprising they’re not grown more often.

Jerusalem artichokes (which you may also know as sunchokes, sunroots, earth apples, wild sunflowers, or topinambour) are a unique food crop you should definitely grow this year.

Jerusalem artichokes can grow almost anywhere, but they’ll do best in full sun and well-drained soil with a lot of organic matter.

New plants can be started anytime in late winter to early spring (as long as the soil is workable) for a fall harvest. Optimal soil temperature for planting is between 50°F and 60°F and they need an 18- to 20-week frost-free growing period to produce a good-size crop.

You can also plant tubers in fall and let them overwinter (they’ll start growing in spring). If you live in a warmer region, it’s even possible to plant tubers in fall for a spring harvest.

You can grow Jerusalem artichokes from whole or partial tubers, as long as each tuber or section has at least two to three eyes (growing nodes) per piece. They lose moisture quickly when they’re not in the ground, so don’t let the pieces dry out before planting.

The tubers can be planted in any direction, but if yours has already started sprouting, plant them with the sprouts pointing up. Be gentle and try not to break them off as you plant them in the ground.

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