Last January I decided to try out some Jerusalem Artichokes in the garden, I planted them in the spring and just harvested them this past week. All I can say is wow!
Jerusalem Artichokes are the ginger looking tubers, lower left bucket
I planted them about 3 feet apart in some rows of mine and just left them there. A few weeks later I had these potato looking plants, which then shot up to 10 foot tall semi-wood stalks. Then they stayed there, all season long. The flowers bloomed and then the plant died a few weeks later. I literally didn't have to do anything all season except drop a drip tape and mulched over it. I came back, lopped off the stalks with a machete (which will be great for nitrogen in composting) and dug out the plants.
Most of the Jerusalem Artichokes stuck to the root ball. I shook off as much dirt as I could and then laid them out and power washed the root balls so that there was just the Jerusalem Artichokes and roots left. It was easy picking from there. I had a group of Foodies that really wanted them and was able to sell them at a pretty penny and keep some for me. I love these things, I can't wait to grow more!
Questions for folks who have grown these before. I have one plant still in the ground (dead) and I wanted to use most of the tubers to replant for next year.
[li]Do I need to do anything for next year to make sure they are viable? [/li] [li]Do they need to be a certain size to sprout? [/li] [li]Should I dig them up now for next year or leave them in the ground and just pull them out when I am ready to plant the row?[/li]
Sunchokes rot faster than potatoes because they need to be kept moist I think. They dry out and rot, if you want to plant them do it as soon as you dig them.
I planted mine all thru my raspberries last year, about half an acre. I estimate that I now have 500LB after buying 1LB 2 years ago. I've had no luck with them in the tropics thou. I'll let you know if I find a cultivar that works in the tropics or yall can let me know if it can be done.
Diversified Food forest maker . Fill every niche and you'll have less weeds (the weeds are the crop too). Fruit, greens, wild harvest, and nuts as staple. Food processing and preservation are key to self self-sufficiency. Never eat a plant without posetive identification and/or consulting an expert.