I first planted Jerusalem Artichokes in Kentucky after they were given to me by an elderly man in Georgia who lived in a cabin next to a cabin we had rented for spring break one year. Of course, we met the couple outside and started talking. He brought me over to his place to show me his garden and I had never heard of Jerusalem Artichokes, which are also known as sunchokes.
In Kentucky, they grew to be maybe three feet tall, produced their tubers, which we ate, and they came back year after year. I don’t think I planted them in Nevada, MO but I did plant them in Texas and, like so much I tried to grow there, they struggled and never did much.
They can be a bit (or a lot) invasive so I needed to be careful where I planted it. When we bought this house, there was a spruce or pine type tree right in front of these dining room windows. It was fairly young . . had replaced a tree that had gotten too big and this new was going to do the same thing. We knew, since the house faces west, we needed something there to block the afternoon sun so we planted the Jerusalem Artichokes there and they are doing an amazing job of blocking the sun from two windows. We didn’t want to totally block the sun but after this summer, maybe we do! 🙂
It was actually a year ago today that I planted them and they’re about 12′ tall. Vince said there’s one blooming but I forgot to look for it. They’ll bloom more in the next few weeks.
The squirrels planted a walnut tree in a flower bed that we’ve totally redone and replaced everything except the walnut. Probably not next year but the year after, the walnut will be providing some shade for the house.
I’ll wait til after a frost or two before harvesting any of the Jerusalem Artichokes for eating but I’m pretty excited about those. I think we’ll get quite a few. What I’m going to try to do is pull up the plants fartherest out into the bed, and we’ll use those tubers and that will help with the rapid expansion of the number of plants we will have next year. Once the walnut tree is big enough to provide shade, we may try to relocate all the Jerusalem Artichokes but for now, we’re happy with them!