Growing Jerusalem Artichoke at the Allotment

Growing Jerusalem Artichoke at the Allotment

Jerusalem Artichokes are nothing like Globe Artichokes and come as tubers as opposed to seeds; similar to potatoes and should, ideally grow in the same position each year. They like a sunny spot; however, they can grow over 2 metres tall so may shadow other crops or be vulnerable in a windy position. You may want to make a fence or wind-break type structure to protect them.

Plant the tubers approximately 5 inches deep and about one foot apart. They will need plenty of space; a few tubers can produce a large crop. Prepare the soil with some good compost or organic matter. They can also be grown in a large container.

Planted in early Spring, they will start to produce shoots and when they are approximately 12 inches high, you can earth them up a bit to give them a bit more support. Also use stakes or canes if they are required or the structure we mentioned earlier. Water during dry spells.

Late summer to autumn, the Jerusalem Artichoke plant will produce a stunning display of yellow flowers - It's worth growing it for the floral display alone!

Once the leaves turn yellow, cut down the stems to a few inches leaving stumps.

You can use a fork to lift the tubers for harvest, as you would potatoes but only lift them as and when you will use them as they do not store so well. Harvesting can be done during autumn and winter. Ensure you remove each one, as Jerusalem Artichoke is very productive, and will re-grow as do potatoes when they have been left in the soil.

They are easy to prepare and cook; just scrub them and boil them as you would a new potato and peel once they are tender. Jerusalem Artichoke is known for causing wind due to a carbohydrate they produce, that does not break down during digestion; the nickname 'fartichoke' is for a reason!


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Growing Jerusalem Artichoke in Summary

Sowing Jerusalem Artichoke

  • Plant tubers in early spring
  • Pick a location where they will not shadow other crops
  • Allow plenty of space and earth up

Growing Jerusalem Artichoke

  • Earth them up a little 
  • Add support, especially in a windy spot
  • Water during dry spells

Harvesting Jerusalem Artichoke

  • Cut down stems to stumps when leaves have turned yellow
  • Fork up as and when required during autumn and winter
  • Remove every tuber