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Hello I am wondering if anyone has tried growing jerusalum artichokes in large pots as Ive heard they can be very invasive and I dont want them eascaping and returning  each season . How many would I plant in say a 40 cm pot and what type of soil do you think grateful for any help .I hear they are very heavy croppers.

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Comment by Scarlett on September 10, 2012 at 20:51

PS- this is probably much better off in the forum rather than the blogs - please refer to guidelines on the main page :)

cheers SJP

Comment by Scarlett on August 30, 2012 at 20:17

Jerusalem artichoke is a heavy cropper and virtually impossible to get rid of if you plant it in the garden in colder climates - e.g. Melbourne. 

I planted it in Brisbane, in the yard, and didn't get heaps (compared to the ridiculous, uneatable amounts you get from one tuber in Melbourne), plus they rotted in the ground and didn't come up again the next year - unlike in Melbourne, where you try to dig them all out, and the smallest part of any tuber will result in 4 millions more the next year - in which case container planting is very sensible. 

To keep them for the next year, you need to keep some in a cool, dark and slightly moist spot - e.g. a bucket of sand under the house.

The starches in jerusalem artichokes are unusual - they are one of the few starches suitable for diabetics (like yacon). They also give people gas, quite routinely. They have a reputation for being hard on the digestion.

I like them, but only in small amounts - they are a bit of a starvation vegetable I reckon - nice to have around, but not a staple.

As far as soil goes, a good quality potting mix ('premium' or normal with compost added, but no need to go for the vegetable suitable 'enriched' types of soil). If garden soil, well drained, compost added - good loam is good. Not too hard or rocky, it will reduce tuber formation. Not too clay - it will rot the tubers and possibly kill the plant. If very sandy add compost. Add potash too - sunflowers like potash.

Comment by Lissa on August 29, 2012 at 5:58

I've grown them in the garden in the past Darren. I don't get a huge crop and never found them invasive. They need to be replanted each year - I haven't found that they just come up again by themselves.

Besides, it's just a tall sunflower plant. If it gives you trouble you pull it out.

Would be an interesting experiment to grow them in pots though. I'm wondering if it might give a better return than me planting them in the poorer parts of my garden.

Mind you, last time I ate some I got a really dreadful bellyache - never happened before, maybe older tubers or a different variety (they were given to me) and this has put me off them. Nothing like the memory of pain to put you off :(

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