The Home and Garden Journal of Kayla Pins

My Advice on Planting Jerusalem Artichokes | Garden Update

My Advice on Planting Jerusalem Artichokes | Garden Update

Don’t.

Unless you know that you like the flavor, don’t mind the labor peeling them, and don’t react to them with terrible gas.

Unfortunately, Spencer doesn’t enjoy the flavor and I can’t handle them er… digestively speaking. Which is too bad because they are an easy and prolific plant to grow. We discovered this too late and now I am trying and failing to get rid of them from my garden.

Closely related to the sunflower, Jerusalem artichokes, sometimes called “sunchokes” grow as tall flowers from tubers that can be prepared and eaten much like potatoes. They are, however, much easier to grown than potatoes.

My patch started with a handful of peelings. Seriously. I purchased a couple of pounds of organic tubers from our grocery co-op. I peeled them generously before cooking and planted the peelings. (I didn’t get sick that time I ate them either!) That was about four years ago (?) and now I have about a 6 x 6 patch of them in my garden.

I spent way too much time this weekend digging up the tubers. I half-filled a trash can with them. It was infuriating. Some of the seedlings I pulled were attached to a tuber the size of a marble. There was no way I was going to ever get ahead of them.

Jasper is great at being outside as long as he’s entertained. I would dig for five minutes, walk him a lap around the house in the stroller, dig for five more minutes, walk him a lap, and so on. It just wasn’t how I wanted to be spending my time.

After some more research, I got some good news. The tubers cannot grow without the seedlings above ground. So if I stay on top of pulling the seedlings, the tubers will eventually go away. Whew! That sounds so much easier. Now I get a break until the seedlings are about 6″ high so they are easier to pick.

Here’s a quick garden update while you’re here.

I love how my garage is looking. This is a few years in the making. My espaliered peach tree has reached the top of the garage and looks nice and healthy. My fruit bushes look lush.

I was getting nervous that my asparagus was dead one day and the next I had enough for a meal!

Spencer power washed the house, scrubbed the windows, and installed some new bird feeders. He did a little too well on the windows. Three cardinals dive-bombed into the big picture window while I was knitting the next day.

I only have ever seen finches on my sunflowers in the fall. Now there is almost always one at the feeder with robins pecking what they drop on the ground.

Good garden news all around. The weather is supposed to get cold this week. I hope my fruit trees and bushes make it through.

 



2 thoughts on “My Advice on Planting Jerusalem Artichokes | Garden Update”

  • Your yard looks great. Lovely bird feeder. We have had similar experiences with sun chokes. We have finally eradicated them from the gardens. Nice fall flowers if only they didn’t spread. I’m predicting(hoping for) a dry garden season this year after having ground water issues for over two years. Happy gardening.

  • We have a similar weed in our yard. It has officially been deemed by the government to be a noxious weed, and it’s almost impossible to get rid of! The neighbour 2 doors down thinks that it’s pretty, and the next door neighbour depends on everyone else to keep her yard mowed and weed-free…. So, it’s up to me to dig up the tubers – and some of them are up to 10″ deep. Leaving even a little bit behind starts the growing cycle again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *