Jerusalem artichoke is a tuberous perennial plant also called sunchoke. Jerusalem artichokes are propagated from whole or cut tubers. They are commonly harvested from mid-summer to late autumn.
Jerusalem artichokes should be grown in a permanent location in a bed dedicated just to this crop. Once plants are established and tubers begin to reproduce, Jerusalem artichokes can be difficult to remove from the garden.
Jerusalem artichokes require an 18 to 20 week frost-free growing season. Start new plants in spring 4 to 6 weeks after the last frost for an autumn harvest.
Harvest Jerusalem artichokes in autumn after the leaves have died back and tubers are 3 to 4 inches (7.5-10 cm) in diameter. The flavor will be sweeter after plants have been hit by a light frost.
Sowing and Planting Tips:
- Grow Jerusalem artichokes from whole or partial tubers.
- Plant tubers cut sections of tubers directly in the garden. Choose tubers or sections with one or two eyes or growing nodes per piece. Do not allow cut pieces to dry out before planting.
- Set tubers in a trench about 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) deep.
- Space tubers 12 to 24 inches (30-60 cm) apart in all directions.
- Plant tubers in spring 4 to 6 weeks after the last frost for an autumn harvest.
- Optimal planting soil temperature is 50°F to 60°F (10-16°C).
- Tubers should sprout in 7 to 14 days.
- Keep the soil just moist—not wet–until tubers germinate.
- Optimal growing soil temperature is 65°F to 90°F (18-32°C).
- Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of transplanting.
- Jerusalem artichokes prefer a soil pH range of 5.8 to 6.2.
- Grow Jerusalem artichokes in full sun for best yield.
- Fertilize with fish emulsion or a soluble complete fertilizer at half strength.
- Plant in a dedicated bed; Jerusalem artichokes don’t grow well with other crops.
- Limit the spread of roots by installing wood, plastic or metal barriers at least 24 inches (60 cm) deep encircling the planting bed. Stray tubers left in the garden will sprout the following season.
Interplanting: Plant Jerusalem artichokes in a dedicated bed; Jerusalem artichokes don’t grow well with other crops.
Recommend Planting Calendar:
- 4- 6 weeks after the last frost in spring: set out tubers in the garden for a fall harvest.
Recommended Varieties: ‘Stampede’ produces large white tubers; ‘Boston Red’ produces red-skinned tubers; ‘Mammoth French White’ grows well in all regions.
Botanical Name: Helianthus tuberous
Jerusalem artichoke is a member of the Asteraceae family; other members of this family are sunflowers, artichokes, and dandelions.