jerusalmum artichokes : LUSENET : : One Thread

looking for some chokes,, something that will do well in Mich, Zone 4, anythign like that at Victory Seeds??

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002


Hi Stan,

Jerusalem Artichokes, Helianthus tuberosa, have nothing to do with either parts of their common name. They are also called sunroot in some parts of the country. Although they will flower, the seed is generally sterile. The plant is grown using pieces of tubers.

At present, we are only set up to handle plant seeds. Perhaps we will offer tubers, bulbs and plants in the future. Regarding sources . . . you may be able to find them in the grocery store. Check with your local produce manager.

One word of caution . . . they quickly become naturalized. This is a nice way of saying they can get out of hand. An area that can be easily controlled, like one would bamboo, is suggested.

Hope that this helps.

Mike D. ======= Victory Seed Co.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

thanks mike,, Ill check the grocery stores, but would those be, "treated" so tehy wont sprout, like some sweet potatoes are? getting things out of hand around here isnt much of a problem, since deer eat EVERYTHING, I planted a very invasive bamboo once,, just to get somethign to grow, but the deer ate those also. I plan on putting the chokes in a container though.

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2002

This spring I spotted some fine looking Jerusalem artichokes in my local grocery store. They were much larger and smoother than the ones I've been growing for the past few years. And these ones were beginning to sprout. I planted them and they have responded well, though I still have to wait a few weeks to harvest them. So you might want to check for sprouting in the ones you see in the grocery store. And yes, they do establish themselves and become a nuisance if not held in check.

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2002

Try the variety Stampeed (sp?) available at Johnny's Seeds (Johnny's is very good for all sorts of things BTW in my experience).

Stampeed is an extra hardy and early blooming variety. It begins blooming mid-july here in the Boston area. The plants have gone dormant by late September. The tubers are ready to start harvesting then, being at full size, but new tubers (rather like new potatoes) can be gotten as soon as the plants come into flower. Fertilize the plants and watch the tubers grow huge. They are invasive if not handled with a firm hand. The best way to control them is to wait unitl the plants are about two feet tall and then yank them out: this way the tubers have already been consumed by the plant and offer nothing left to sprout again.

These plants also do produce some viable seed: you'll have to hand- harvest the dried seed heads, and rub them to find the grey-brown seeds flecked with black. There are not a lot of them, so you will need to process a LOT of seed heads to get any significant number of seeds. These seeds will sprout: some immediately and some after a cold period of stratification. These seedlings will flower themselves either the year of planting or the next depending on fertility of their growing environment. I have found that some of the seeldings are much more prolific bearers of seed than their parent Stampeed. The seedlings seem to segregate into bushy medium- sized plants and tall growing plants. All produce the tubers; most white like there parent.

Good Luck! Ryck

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

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