11th – 17th January 2015 On Plot 44

The remnants of the Jerusalem Artichoke plants before being prepared for composting.
Just a small selection of the Jerusalem Artichokes that I’ve harvested this week.

This week has been very much about sorting out my Jerusalem Artichokes . I originally began growing them back in February 2013 when I purchased 2 different varieties ( Fuseau and Gerard)  from a farmer’s market and then received another variety from a fellow plot holder. I duly planted them and in May the plants began to grow and grow . By August they were all close to 8 feet high with yellow mini sunflowers at the top . I waited and looked forwards to my very first harvest . Sadly it seems that the wireworms liked to munch on the tubers and with that being the second year that the ground had been cultivated since the 1970’s there were plenty of wireworms in the ground .  So my first harvest wasn’t too pleasing with the surviving edible tubers being fairly small and knobbly making it hard work to clean them up. Roll on to the winter of 2014 and the start of 2015 and the results are quite different . This year I seem to have far too many Jerusalem Artichokes . I’ve given away over 40 kilos and still the ground seems full . I would have to say that the Fuseau variety has performed the best and quite a few of the tubers are quite large . Unfortunately my daughter doesn’t share my enthusiasm for trying to include the tubers in as many recipes as possible  and so we can only utilise them on the days our daughter isn’t home for dinner.

There are a few drawbacks with growing Jerusalem Artichokes . One is the amount of work it takes to thoroughly clean the tubers due to dirt hiding in their crevices. The second is the quantity of vegetation above ground that requires composting above ground .


The remnants of the Jerusalem Artichoke plants before being prepared for composting.

Elsewhere I have been tidying paths and beds when possible as spring is only a blink away . I am trying to use this quiet period to restore features on the allotment that have been neglected since last summer.  A good note that I can leave you with is that one of  the Covington Sweet Potatoes that I’ve had suspending in a jar of water since New Year has finally developed some roots . Fingers crossed I might see shoots before February arrives.

See also  Easter Sunday on the plot
Covington Sweet Potato finally showing signs of life.

For now , I thank you reading /returning and wish you all the best until next week, Paul

A little bit about me . I live in the NorthWest of England and have been sowing seeds and making jam since I was knee high to a grasshopper . I'm inspired by gardeners of the past and present and intertwine their methods with new ideas brought to my attention via Twitter, Google and the rest of the internet. I try combining my allotment with my tiny domestic gardens to service my kitchen. My interests besides growing, cooking and preserving include genealogy which explain the profile photograph which is that of my GreatGrandfather from 1870 who maintained his kitchen garden in Cheshire for over half a century. Thank you for reading and hopefully I can keep up with regular updates . All the best, Paul

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