Asked June 11, 2018, 8:38 PM EDT

What is the best way to grow Sunchokes? When and what type of fertilizer should be used? Does cutting the flower heads off increase tuber production?

Washington County Maryland

1 Response

Sunchoke tubers should be planted in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant the tubers about 3 to 5 inches deep into well-draining soil. Raised beds can provide a good well-drained site for them. If you amend your planting area with compost, you may not need to apply any fertilizer at all. If plant vigor appears to be poor, you could apply a 1-2-1 fertilizer during the growing season. Decreasing daylight in the late summer initiates tuber formation, and the vegetative growth and foliage may start to decline as the tubers form. Flowers can be removed to avoid seed development, so energy will be put into tuber development. The sunchokes can be harvested in the late fall when the stems die back. Just be aware that sunchokes can become a weedy invasive plant if all the roots are not removed after harvest.