Perhaps a New Favorite Garden Toy

Perhaps a New Favorite Garden Toy

ByGroovy Green Oct 8, 2008

OK, most of you are probably thinking I’m going to talk about a tool, but actually I wanted to mention Jerusalem Artichokes aka Sunchokes.

I planted some of these this year for the first time ever, and I’m impressed with them.  They grew fantastic, made nice flowers on the top, provided a huge amount of food to the chickens and in the end, gave me the tubers you see below.  This bowl is full from half of the section I planted.  I created a bed on the south side of my compost pile that is between 3 and 4 ft long.  I planted the Sunchokes in double rows within that bed.  I didn’t amend the soil or anything.  I just dug a trench, put in the tubers and filled it back.

Now, being on the south side of my compost pile probably provided a fair amount of runoff fertilizer, but I’m still amazed at how bountiful they produced.  The bowl below is 7 lbs worth.  (my scale measures in whole pounds)  They don’t seem to produce on the scale of potatoes, but this is still something considering that they are basically plant it and forget it.  I just hope we don’t have trouble digesting them like some people say can happen.

Later this fall I’ll harvest the remainder and we’ll see where we end up.  I dug these up because I cut back the plants as they were all over the place and I was anxious to see how they did.  I hear that if you wait until after there is some frost they sweeten up.  We’ll see if that’s true.