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Growing Jerusalem Artichokes, also Sunchoke

(Helianthus tuberosus)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
              P P P    

(Best months for planting Jerusalem Artichokes in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.

  • Easy to grow. Plant tubers about 5cm (1.5") deep.. Best planted at soil temperatures between 8°C and 15°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 30 - 45 cm apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Tomatoes, cucumbers
  • Artichoke harvest

These are the edible root of a sunflower. Plant the tubers deep enough to cover with soil. They are quite drought-tolerant, but keep well-watered to grow larger tubers. They grow through the summer to 1.5m-tall sunflowers with a smallish flower. Dig up the tubers when the flowers die down in autumn.

Get a couple of tubers from the supermarket or fruit shop. Two years after planting you will probably have enough to give away. Perennial, if you don't manage to harvest all the tubers - they will regrow year after year.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Jerusalem Artichokes

Scrape clean or peel (add a tsp of lemon or vinegar to the water to stop the tubers browning). Steam, boil, or use in artichoke soup (make with artichokes and some stock). Caution - Jerusalem Artichokes are a great promoter of flatulence in some individuals.

Your comments and tips

08 Apr 14, bananabender (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I've grown sunchokes successfully in Brisbane. They came up again the following year from pieces left in the garden. The secret is to make sure the soil is fairly dry (very well drained) over winter so they don't rot. If you live in the wet tropics I would suggest growing in a large tub or mounded to keep the tubers from getting waterlogged.
04 Mar 14, Tony (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi people I'm from Bundaberg as well and are very interested to find out if anybody has had luck growing JA in the district
05 Feb 14, Kevin (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I was wondering if anyone had seen JA in the Bundy area? We live 80klms west.
16 Sep 13, Gary (Australia - temperate climate)
Bunnings are selling them at the moment, pack of 8 tubers
26 Aug 13, Dave (Australia - temperate climate)
Its been 50 years since I grew Jerusalem Artichokes. But supermarkets and nurseries in Perth (Western Australia) look at me stupid when I ask about them Eastern States outlets are prohibited in sending them to WA. Is there anyone in the Perth Metro area that has these? I would like to beg, borrow, buy or steal at least one tuber to get me going again. In the past I grew them in the UK, they grew like weeds and can be hard to get rid of if not controlled. They grow just about anywere. A case of try them. If they grow, good, if not, bad.
09 Sep 13, (Australia - temperate climate)
Go to Swansea market on Swansea street Victoria Park. It's a left off Albany highway into Oats street then first right, if you're coming from the north. Anyway they sell Jerusalem Artichokes for food, don't know if they will sprout, but it may be worth a look if you're in the area.
26 Aug 13, Boohoo (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Can they be grown in large pots? I know they grow well here in this climate (Hobart), in the ground at least.
28 Aug 13, Afrikah (Australia - temperate climate)
Yep, they can be grown in pots. Tubers can be purchased from Bunnings (gardening section) all required info on pkt
10 Aug 13, Helen (Australia - temperate climate)
Was wondering where I would be able to find the artichoke tubers in the Toowoomba area of Queensland?We are about 35 kms NW of Toowoomba and I do know they grow well in our black soil. I love them and have heard they are great for diabetes which I have.
20 Aug 13, Danielle Jones (Australia - temperate climate)
Have you tried looking for them at your local Woolworths/Coles? That's where I found the tubers I grew last year. Good luck!
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.

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