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Artichoke, jerusalem (Helianthus tuberosus)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

This tall (up to 3m) perennial is a relative of the sunflower. It is so vigorous and easy to grow that, while it can be useful to add height, divide areas or provide shade, it can quickly become a weed if not controlled. The best strategy is to make sure that you harvest all the tubers each year. Alternatively, surround roots with some sort of barrier.

While buying from seed catalogues is the best approach for variety and guaranteed productivity, it is perfectly acceptable to buy tubers from your local greengrocer and plant those.

The delicious tubers can be treated in much the same way as a potato - my favourite is sauteed with garlic, a bay leaf and a splash of white wine vinegar. If you haven't tried them before, start cautiously as some people suffer from uncomfortable flatulence!

Likes and dislikes
pH6.5 - 7.0
Previous cropok
Previous autumnok
Before plantingprefer
Full sunprefer
Partial shadeok

Spring tubers

plant plant

Between plants: 30cm
Between rows: 30cm

Plant 15cm deep and provide support or earth up around stems when plants are around 30cm tall to prevent breakages. Water well and remove flower buds as they appear to make sure all the plant's energy goes into growing tubers. Cut the tops off stems in August to limit further growth and cut down to about 10cm above soil level once the foliage has yellowed.

harvest harvest

Tubers can be lifted from the end of October but don't store well so will taste better if left in the ground and harvested as needed through the Winter. Save some of the healthy smaller tubers for planting the following year's crop.

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