Has anyone grown sunchokes? I found some at the oriental market today. I plan on growing them in grow bags as I have heard that they can become invasive. Does anyone have any advice on growing them?
Yes, years ago. I thought they would look great against a six foot high, by maybe eight foot long, cedar fence in my small space city yarden. I prepped a bed, about four feet beyond the fence. After two years the chokes were growing over, under and around the fence. Horribly invasive. Lots of tubers but they are soft skinned, difficult to clean and don't store well. We had to sheet the bed with black plastic and mulch, and at least another four feet of lawn to kill out the stand. The flowers are course and sparse, so not good for cutting.
The old name is Jerusalem Artichoke. Just stick them in the ground and run! Plant looks and grows like multiflora sunflowers, But they are perennials with underground food storage. These storage nodules can be dug and eaten in similar manner to Irish potatoes. In the olden days most country folks including my family had a patch in some out of the way place as they do compete and spread rapidly. Winter starvation food as none of us was fond of them. They will grow anywhere a weed will grow and almost impossible to kill.
I think the only reason we successfully killed them was because there was a concrete driveway about a foot in on the backside if that fence, then all the black plastic and mulch on the front and the lawn that followed was mown every week. I'd not ever plant them for food or flowers.
This why I am planting them in bags. I will put some type of barrier under the bags.
I grow them. Once the plant blooms and goes to seed, finches love the seeds. I have a finch feeding on a plant right now. Mine die back in the winter and I can easily pull them to keep them where I want them.
I am a type 2 diabetic and read that Japanese scientist have demonstrated that sunchokes may help prevent and help type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, Sunchokes are packed with an important type of fiber called inulin, which is a prebiotic. Inulin can cause gas so you must be careful with the amount of sunchokes you eat.
there are different types. some have runners and some have a compact root crop, some have smooth tubers, some have rough lumpy tubers, some have white tubers some have red tubers, -- I grow a compact white type for easy harvest with my potato digger, as a field crop-- I also have a red runner type I use along ditch banks, and roadways,.The red runner type have tubers that are smooth and easy to wash. We like them in salad, and cooked like potatoes, We also bottle them [low acid pressure canner processing] When bottled they loose their "gassy" effect. [that some folks have trouble with] We also feed tubers to chickens, pigs, and rabbits.