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Found some sunchokes at the grocery store

 
                              
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I found some Sunchokes aka Jerusalem Artichokes at the grocery store the other day.  They're organic so I assume no sprout retarding chemicals, etc.  I should be able to plant these tubers in the ground and grow my own Sunchokes from them, right?  I'm in central texas... it's HOT during the summer but not as arid as some people think.  Any special cultivation practices you folks use when growing Sunchokes?  Thanks!
 
                                    
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Yup, organic ones will grow just fine.  Just plant them, really any time you can work the soil.  They don't hold well in storage, tend to mold and rot, so plant them pretty fast.  If it's going to get cold again, just throw some mulch over them after planting.  Even if the tops get nipped by frost (which they don't seem to anyway), they grow right back.

Nothing special to growing them, they're actually really easy overall.  Now, personally, I've had trouble the last couple of years with voles/mice eating the tubers right in the ground.  I don't have a solution to that problem, but voles are the bane of my gardening existence anyway.  Been overrun with them for close to 20 years now, ever since they developed the vacant land around me, I fight them but they usually win more battles than I do.

 
                    
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I started my patch with chokes from the store, don't even think they were labeled organic. No special techniques, really. They like full sun, in my sandy soil they benefit from occasional watering. Dig them only when you want to eat them or transplant them. The can be persistent buggers, so only put them down where you want to keep them.
 
Brenda Groth
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my only suggestion would be to mulch them really well to keep in moisture, they grow qutie easily on their own..also keep them away from anything you don't want to have to dig up..as they will spread..i have also read they grow well with groundnut vines which i have yet to try..I'm moving my sunchokes this year..the books say best time to move them is in July when they are pretty well attached to the root systems..so wish me luck, i want them in a different area and will probably be doing a lot of digging strays..

i loved the way mine grew last year, just not where they were..they made beautiful mazes of my garden..over my head..very private and great windbreaks !!

put  them in the ground right away, they DO NOT keep long
 
                              
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alrighty, thanks all.  just put them in the ground.  i was reading some cultural info about them and it said they do best in the top 2/3rds of the country.  Well I'm in Austin, Tx.  We'll see how they do here.
 
Tyler Ludens
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They haven't done super well for me - I'm a little south of you.  But they will grow and produce tubers.  They just don't like it super hot, so you might try putting them where they are a little protected from the worst of the sun, and where they will get plenty of water.  They have done better than Irish potatoes for me.

 
                                    
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Just keep in mind that where you put them... you will always have them! I have the dang things in a front garden bed and they get 8' tall every year and block the south windows to the house... and I can't grow anything else in that bed because they crowd it out. But then, they are eatable. I've dug and double-dug, and sieved and still miss just enough tubers that they come back.
 
Brice Moss
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how do they tolerate heavier soils? I've got to much clay to easily grow potatoes so I'm looking for a substitute, and crowds out the weeds sounds perfect for me for a starch producing patch
 
                              
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brice Moss wrote:
how do they tolerate heavier soils? I've got to much clay to easily grow potatoes so I'm looking for a substitute, and crowds out the weeds sounds perfect for me for a starch producing patch


the ones i bought from the store had some serious clay still stuck to it.. so maybe so.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Be aware not everyone can easily digest the tubers, they make some people have painful gas, etc. 
 
                                    
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The reason not everyone can digest them is that the starch in them, inulin, is indigestible. It is being researched for Diabetics because it would be a starch that does not convert to a sugar in the human system. The studies are inconclusive (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7667959), but as my fiance is diabetic, I am very interested in it.
 
                                    
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Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
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Denninmi wrote:
Yup, organic ones will grow just fine.  Just plant them, really any time you can work the soil.  They don't hold well in storage, tend to mold and rot, so plant them pretty fast.


maybe if they are from the store.  i've had a bunch in the crisper since i dug them out in the fall and they are fine.  i don't like them much except as a substitute for water chestnuts.
 
                                    
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Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
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Brenda Groth wrote:
i have also read they grow well with groundnut vines which i have yet to try..


i am doing that this year!  oikos has groudnuts.
 
Brenda Groth
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i have sent sunchoke roots to some people....and this got me thinking maybe we should establish and exchange thread somewhere on the forum..i would LOVE to get a couple of ground nut starts, as well as maybe some nuts from some nut trees to start baby nut trees, like black walnut, carpathian walnut, butternut, etc..and nuts and roots are easily sent in the $4.95 flat rate boxes..
 
Franklin Stone
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I just dug up well over 50 lbs. of sunchokes from the garden this past weekend when we had our thaw, (there's at least that many more still in the ground). I'm in Ohio with thick clay soil and they do really well here, though the clay soil makes them a pain to get clean. My mother planted a couple of tubers over 30 years ago and never needed to plant them again. Truly a permaculture plant.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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