Jerusalem Artichokes also known as Sun chokes will grow pretty much anywhere sun, shade, poor soil. I did absolutely nothing with mine for the whole year, I didn’t water, weed, or fertilize that is zero maintenance all year and I still have heaps to harvest! “Regular” artichokes cultivated for their unopened flower buds, are not related to Jerusalem Artichoke that is cultivated for its roots. Jerusalem artichokes are officially a member of the sunflower family and native to North America! Their edible ginger root looking root tubers are best described as a mix of radish and potato, the tubers are crisp with a light texture like that of a radish but none of the spicy radish kick, its more bland like potato. Traditionally you can start harvesting tubers about the time the flowers die back, and continue digging them up all winter until they start sprouting in the spring. If you have limited in-ground growing space beware Jerusalem Artichoke can quickly take over and become invasive. The soft knobby roots and tubers easily break apart even when digging with the gentlest trowel and any small shard or fiber will happily over winter in our coastal climate to produce a full crop next season. Growing Jerusalem Artichoke in containers works fabulously well, early in the spring plant one seed tuber per 5(ish) gallon container, towards the end of the summer they do get root bound and need frequent watering because that single seed tuber will fill the entire container with new tubers!
The flowering stalks of Jerusalem Artichoke will reach about 7 feet tall when they are earth grown(they don’t get that tall in a container) and flower in late summer with many cute little yellow sun flower like blossoms, cutting them back half way through the summer doesn’t seem to inhibit tuber production but they might not flower. Last year I dared letting the Jerusalem artichoke out of their containers and into what I hope will be an adequately contained section of the garden, their current home is a narrow (neglected) strip of earth between the drive way and the garage they get only east sun and like I mentioned earlier I have done absolutely nothing since the day I planted. In true invasive plant style they have gone crazy and like anyone who grows Jerusalem Artichoke I now have way more than I could possible consume in one season! If you are in the GVRD and want to nab a few seed tubers in the spring just let me know, I have lots!