Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jerusalem Artichoke

Way back in August last year I was given some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers.  I wasn't sure what to do with them so left them sitting in a paper bag on the bench for a few weeks while I did some research.  I finally decided where I would plant them only to discover that the tubers were now all dried up and shriveled.   What to do, what to do..I know, throw them into a bucket of water and see what happens.   After a few days I remembered to check on them and they looked plump and healthy again...

I had maybe a few more than a dozen tubers and wanted them planted in different areas so as to get a better chance of at least one lot surviving.    The fact that they grow and keep coming back was the main thing I liked about them.   I like things that will look after themselves and keep producing without too much effort from me.  I am a lazy gardener and want to keep growing our food but I want to add a bit more variety than what I have been growing.   If we didn't like them or we get too many I will save them for when the Zombies get here.

The JA were put in the ground during September.  After getting them out of the bucket of water they were looking good, nice and plump again and some looked like they were about to sprout with tiny little bumps, they were no longer the dried up half dead things I dropped in the bucket of water.

I planted them in 5 different areas of the yard, a few in the ground, one lot in a 1/2x44 gal drum, one lot in a tank garden, some between 2 tank gardens, some more in the ground.  Heres hoping I will forever have them. And heres hoping more that we actually like them!

Weeks passed and nothing was coming up so I waited more weeks...Eventually I dug some of the buried tubers up, to see if they were still there and if so what they were doing.   Slaters were in the ground and there were less JA than I planted but the ones that were still there had roots on so I dusted them with DE and planted them in a drum.

Fast forward to now and we have liftoff!!

I have three plants in flower and 2 really small, maybe 6inch high plants.
Two of the flowering plants are in seperate1/2 x 44 gallon drums and maybe a metre tall.  The one growing in the ground is maybe 8 feet tall and has lots of yellow Daisy like flowers.

I'm thinking I'll get something from them and hoping I will have enough to taste, to plant some more for next year and to give some back to the person that first gave them to me as his aren't growing very well at all.

Stay tuned. 

1 comment:

  1. While reading this,I recalled my friend, Charlie, loves artichokes. He has bemoaned how expensive they are. So, I called him and told him how to get tubers and plant in his garden that he tills up every spring. I could tell he was underwhelmed, but soon he will report artichokes growing.

    The flowers are beautiful. Maybe your friend needs to diversify his areas of planting.