Why do you have to wait until spring? Is your ground frozen solid?
If you check the map here at the USDA page, you'll see that the range goes right up into Canadian provinces that have permafrost in them. So putting them out in frozen ground isn't going to kill them.
I would say you have two choices: (1) start them in a pot in a warm place and then transplant them outside when the weather warms up, that way they will have a head start, or (2) leave them outside under some mulch until you can work the ground and then plant them. From my experience, they seem to re-emerge early in the spring, a few weeks before corn planting weather.
A good technique is what people use for dahlias or yacon: put them in a pot full of sawdust, chips, etc. Add water to it rarely, like once a month. It will keep it moist enough to stay alive. Leave it in a garage or basement til the soil is ready.
posted 5 years ago
I was wondering if I could just put them in the ground... Thanks guys, I will try both
In some parts of the US, like Western Oregon, where I live, you could plant them at any time. Most parts of the US and Canada freeze hard during this time of the winter and it's physically difficult to plant them, so the idea was to give options and keep them alive until they can be planted.
That always baffled me when I was growing up, how the seed directions would say, "plant seeds when the soil can be worked." I thought you could always plant seeds. I didn't get it until I grew up and found out about other, more harsh winter climates.
You probably know this already, but it is nearly impossible to eliminate a jerusalem artichoke patch once they are established in a location, and they will spread (slowly). We planted ours in one of our veggie beds and 3 years later they are escaping out of the bed.
In retrospect I would probably plant them in a separate area. They apparently make a pretty good fodder crop for pigs, who will happily dig them up for themselves, and they do a good job of growing tall and supressing weeds/grass. Pretty much low maintenance which is nice.
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.