Jerusalem artichoke cultivation


Description of the plant

Jerusalem artichoke roots

Jerusalem artichoke roots

– Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is a plant of the Compositae family, related to sunflower, grown for obtaining its tubers, which are edible.

– In English it is called: Jerusalem artichoke, sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple, topinambour

– Annual plant up to 3m. tall.

Stem erect, rough and reddish, with numerous ramifications.

Leaves are alternate, large, stalked, oval-lanceolate, toothed.

Flowers radiated forming blackish florets and ray florets with yellow flowers.

– It blooms in summer. Fruit in achene, 5 – 7mm.

Roots thickened forming tubers, pale brown, red, purple or white, rich in inulin.

exposicionSuitable climate for Jerusalem artichoke

jerusalem artichoke

A general view of the plant

– Plant from tropical and subtropical climates, native to eastern North America, and introduced in Europe in the seventeenth century. Nowadays naturalized in this continent.

– Average temperatures from 18 to 26 ° C.

In full sun.

– It can grow in the same places where you can plant potato and corn.

– It tolerates frost, although it does not flourish in very cold climates.

– Altitude between 300 and 650m. above the sea level. In India, it is described in altitudes of 3,600 m.

Ecological amplitude: H. tuberosus can be preferably grown at 300-750 m altitude (in India up to 3600 m). Agricultural areas, disturbed areas, grass and moorland, lakes, riparian zones, under human direction, urban areas.

Habitat in the Netherlands: In moist, nutrient-rich, sandy or loamy soils, especially along rivers, riverbanks and roadsides.

sacoSuitable soil for Jerusalem artichoke

jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke flowers

  • Rustic plant that can grow in poor soils, but thrives best in areas rich in organic matter.
  • Loamy and loose soil, sandy or clayish.
  • It does not tolerate waterlogging, which promote disease development and hinder the growth of the tubers.
  • PH between 4.5 and 8.2.

dibujo pala Jerusalem artichoke crop-care

  • Labor soil deep at least three weeks before planting.
  • Plow the soil surface before plantation to condition it for planting.
  • Control of weeds periodically during cultivation. However, this plant eradicates surrounding weeds, because it becomes so dense that few plants can compete. Usually invasive.
  • Control of rodents and moles, which can attack the rhizomes.
  • Control slugs coming to consume the entire aerial part of the plant.
  • Use of fertilizers to produce better crop, amount of fertilizer: 484 or 4124.

macetaPropagation of Jerusalem artichoke

How to propagate tubers?

– Jerusalem artichoke reproduces itself vegetatively by transplanting their tubers. This feature makes it an invasive plant, since it is difficult to eradicate all tubers.

– Plant the tubers in spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. Late planting reduces production.

– Whole tubers are planted or pieces of approximately 50g. as if they were potatoes.

– Tuber planting density: between 20,000 and 50,000 tubers / ha

– Cover the remaining tubers to a depth of 10cm.

– The tubers sprout after about 10 to 17 days after planting, when the soil temperature is at least 6 ° C.

sacoHow to harvest Jerusalem artichoke

  • The tubers are harvested in late autumn or winter. These are small, so gathering them is quite laborious. It is almost impossible to harvest all tubers a plant produces, and possibly the following year new shoots will appear in areas close to the crop.
  • The leaves, which are used for animal feed, can be harvested before flowering. Winter frost will blacken and make leaves fall to re-sprout in spring next year.

dangerDiseases and plagues of Jerusalem artichoke

The incidence of plagues and diseases is rare in this type of product. We can point out:

  • White mold (Sclerotinia spp.): It causes early wilting of the leaves and stem and tubers rot.
  • Mildew
  • Rust
  • Stem and sheath blight

punto rojo More information on Jerusalem artichoke

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

9 May, 2022

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