Jerusalem Artichokes as a Hedge
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: John and Sheila Phillips
Posted on: April 10, 2002

We have never grown Jersalem Artichokes before. Could you please give us any information on them? Particularly:

1. We have been told that they would be ideal for an instant hedge. Are they indeed that vigorous a grower and invasive to what extent?

Jerusalem artichokes are very vigorous growers. They will form as dense a hedge as any non-woody plant.

They can be invasive because they spread by underground tubers, but the degree of invasiveness is no where as near as, say, mint or comfrey. There spread can easily be controlled by moving or cultivation.

2. Roughly how many plants would you get from 250 grams or 2000 grams?

You get about 5-10 plantable tubers or plantable tuber pieces per 100 grams.

3. We understand that the only maintenance required is to remove the flower heads and cut back the stalks to 6 or 7 feet. Is this so?

They require very little maintenance. Top dressing with well-rotted manure once a year is a good idea. If you do not intend to harvest the tubers for eating then it may be a good idea to thin the patch of the largest tubers every 2-3 years to keep the patch healthy.

4. Is this a good time to order for planting? And can they go into the ground before the final frost date?

We ship artichokes in late April or early to mid May, depending on availability and destination.

5. Would we have to buy new ‘SEEDS’ next year or will more plants rise up from the tubers that are left in the ground?

Jerusalem artichokes do not propagate by true seeds; they are grown from tubers which can be planted whole or cut into sections like potato tubers.

Once planted, they come back every year. Even if you harvest the tubers for eating, they come back if you leave behind the smaller tubers.

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