Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberous) are a root crop and are actually edible roots of a plant closely related to sunflowers. They are easy to grow in the home garden.
The longer the growing season the bigger the roots will be, so for a great crop, plant them as early in the season as possible.
Plant in September for digging in May in southern Australia and in autumn in warmer areas. They are tall growing and will produce yellow flowers in spring to summer.
How to Plant Jerusalem Artichokes
Grown from the tubers, similar to potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes are best planted in a humus rich deep soil. They will take around 4 – 5 months from planting to harvesting. Depending on how big your family is and how much you like Jerusalem Artichokes you will need 2 – 5 plants.
- plant tubers around 15cm deep and 50cm apart
- water well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser
- plants will grow to around 1.2m tall and will flower in summer
- keep moist through summer for larger tubers
- after the foliage has commenced to die back in autumn they are ready to harvest
- simply dig with a fork and remove the soil
After harvesting consider putting a few tubers aside for replanting early the next spring. If you happen to moss a few while digging them they will come up again as they are a perennial.
- In poorly drained soils, or areas of summer rainfall tubers can rot.
- How to Eat Them – A great way to eat them is tossing them in your favourite seasoning, garlic, rosemary, thyme, moroccan spices and olive oil. Place them on a baking tray and bake at 200C for 30 – 40 minutes.
You can also make them into a soup with onion, butter and garlic along with some vegetable stock.
- What do they Taste like. – They have a nutty taste.
- How do you Peel and Clean them – Scrub them with a brush, cut the eyes out and don’t worry about peeling them
- Remember, they are very high in fibre and can cause ‘wind’, they make you fart. So only eat a few at first to see how your system copes with them.
Jerusalem Artichoke tubers are available for sale from the following nurseries
Medicinal, Teas and Kitchen Herbs. Edible plants, scented and ornamentals.
Wide range of perennial edibles and medicinals, berries, fruit and unusual food plants, by mail order.