Jerusalem Artichokes

We will be growing Jerusalem Artichokes for the first time, down at our allotment.  I'd like to buy mature bulbs, rather than grow from seed.  Can anyone recommend a supplier, and any particularly good varieties?
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,689
    I would go to a good greengrocer and buy some Jerusalem artichokes  ... there should still be some in the shops, I saw some this week ... buy good round ones not knobbly  mis-shapen ones.  Plant them.  They'll grow.

    I grew a good stand of Jerusalem artichokes by emptying out the peelings onto my garden when I'd been preparing some for soup!
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Thanks Dovefromabove, I had no idea you could just use the ones we buy in the shops to eat.  
  • Where are you located? You could come and collect a wheelbarrow full free of charge, from my garden. I am planning to dig them out soon to get rid of them. A couple of years ago I gave a local pub a black bin liner full for their restaurant. I was given my first artichokes by a friend, they are almost non knobbly but I have no idea of the variety. They are invasive but delicious and do dreadful things to the atmosphere. They are also silly plants, they grow to over 6ft in height and have a tiny yellow daisy flower right on the top. They also always get blown over, despite staking.
  • Richard168Richard168 Posts: 115
    Joyce if you are giving some away I would be interested. Where are you based? I am near Looe in Cornwall
  • Hi keenongreen,
    There is definitely a variety that is less knobbly, and thus much easier to prepare. I think of planting artichokes like planting a fruit tree, as once planted you are in it for the long term, so i would recommend getting the best variety you can now. Sorry, but I don't recall the name of the variety.
    Kind regards
  • @Joyce Goldenlily  We are in North London.  Thanks for the advice everyone.  We will be planting them in large pots.  Our allotment neighbour actually grows them in plastic compost sacks, to prevent them invading the plot, and they do very well.  I didn't know there were specific varieties, so I will look into which are the best.
  • Hi Richard 168,
    I am on the west side of St Austell near Foxhole if that is any good to you.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,689
    Hi keenongreen,
    There is definitely a variety that is less knobbly, and thus much easier to prepare. I think of planting artichokes like planting a fruit tree, as once planted you are in it for the long term, so i would recommend getting the best variety you can now. Sorry, but I don't recall the name of the variety.
    Kind regards
    That's why I suggested buying some from a greengrocer/supermarket ... they tend to only stock the less knobbly varieties.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Have just grown the fuseau variety of Jerusalem artichoke myself and they are said to be one of the smoother skinned varieties. Just typing in that variety into google gave me a few sites that sell this variety and here is a link to one of them. I was able to sell them to restaurants a bit but found digging them up and cleaning them a bit labour intensive so have not bothered in recent years. I'm not sure what Joyce Goldenlilly means when she says they do dreadful things to the atmosphere as they are one of the most productive ways of generating biomass and so taking CO2 out of the atmosphere. The starch that they use as a way to store energy (inulin) is more complex than the normal starch we are more familiar with digesting so much of the energy goes to our guts where it promotes beneficial bacteria and if eaten in too large a quantity when not used to them some gas as well. If eating them regularly I find the gas production is not an issue. They will propagate from the small bits of root left in the ground after harvest but do not spread like some other plants that are called invasive and so I would just say it would be more correct to say they are difficult to get rid of once you have them planted. Made a video about my experience of growing them here.
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