One Perennial to Rule Them All!
Do you have a favourite plant? Something that you just couldn’t do without?
For me, that is the Jerusalem Artichoke.
Those first shoots appear just after the thaw of Spring. If you are in a hurry to see them, relax, any tubers left from last season will arrive in good time.
Lush green plants soon develop from those tender shoots.
And before too long you have a robust plant that acts as an effective wind break (has been used in this way for centuries).
You can start to pull out the tubers once the flowers emerge, but they wont be at full size until the flowers wilt and the plant starts to die off.
The petals are divine. Deep yellow, slightly perfumed, delicate, short lived.
Dancing in the wind.
Get to the tubers by pulling the main stem right out of the ground – they will appear in and around the root ball.
Watch out for any water logged pieces – remove as you see them.
Throw back any pieces where you want them growing next season.
And this is how it does so well… Just look at where that cluster of tubers has reached relative to the plant. You only need to miss a small piece of the root to have it pop up again next season.
Let’s summarise – why Jerusalem Artichokes are the ultimate perennial:
- Will grow year after year with little to no effort (hence why it is classified as a herbaceous perennial plant) – just leave some in the ground and throw some quality compost over it
- The plant is an effective wind break – just keep the supporting soil moist
- The plant’s growing structure easily supports vine like runner plants such as tomato, cucumber, pumpkin, beans, and all that
- The biomass of the plant is substantial and is an excellent mulch when chopped up around fruit trees
- The tubers are plentiful and can be made into any number of dishes – from soup to mash to fried/baked chips
- A relative of the Sunflower, it is simply beautiful to look at
- Eat Well: Jerusalem Artichokes (girlsgonechild.net)
- The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post No. 14 and Jerusalem Artichokes Another Way To Prep In The Garden (lilsuburbanhomestead.wordpress.com)
- pan-fried Jerusalem artichokes (nutrisue.ca)