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Jerusalem artichokes are one of Joy Larkcom's favourite easy-to-grow vegetables. Simply plant the tubers about 12.5cm (5in) deep and 30cm (12in) apart in spring and then harvest 16-20 weeks later. They are not fussy about soil type and are useful for breaking up heavy ground for fussier crops. The plants can reach up to 3m (10ft) tall, making them useful for creating a windbreak screen. In late summer, they produce pretty yellow sunflower-like flowers. The variety 'Fuseau' is grown for its smooth tubers which are easier to peel than traditional varieties. The tubers can be used in the same way as potatoes and have a similar taste.
Plant type: Vegetable
Flower colour: Yellow
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Hardiness: Half hardy
Skill level: Beginner
How can I control my Jerusalem artichoke?
I purchased what I thought were 5 Helenium 'Morheim Beauty' from a local nursery a few years ago! They were planted in April and I knew by July that it wasn't the right plant as they were 3m in height. I have an enormous border so they actually look rather well, however several people have told me that I will never control them as they spread quite quickly.
Will they become a problem?
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