sunchoke types

scott_h(z5 OH)September 17, 2005

I am planning to add some sunchokes this fall or next spring. The idea of a fast growing flowering screen that I can eat sounds great! The one called dwarf sunray sounds nice, but I am curious to hear true life expirences with any or all varieties.

Thanks for any input.

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Hi, do you mean Jeruslem Artichokes? Sorry to be ignorant, but if those are the same as sunchokes I have grown them and love them! I don't know what type I have as I just get them from the supermarket and pop them in the ground after they have sprouted a little. They certainly are not dwarf, but are pretty, and the harvest, wow! I think if you plant one you will have them forever because any choke you leave in the ground will sprout, sort of like a potato does. I grew them in Arizona when we lived there, and have also grown them here in Hawaii. Best of luck with your project, and let us all know about the dwarf variety!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 4:40AM
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scott_h(z5 OH)

Yes that is what I am thinking about exactly. From what I've read once you plant them you have them forever, so i thought I should look into the varieties before I planted them.
I will report back when I have learned more.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 5:32PM
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Yes, indeed, look into the different varieties that are available. There are different shapes and colors in the tubers offered, so flavor will probably be different, too.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 2:55PM
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nomoreyellowinthegar(z4 ny)

my sunchokes are coming up wild (about a dozen of them in the front yard alone)
very attractive and about 8+ ft. tall
staking them was necessary due to their size
i'll try to post a photo if possible
watch out! they are invasive

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 5:59PM
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I planted grocery store ones  they were about 6 tall. They are invasive, but with a little patience & digging you can get rid of them. I had to dig down about 6" & removed every small tuber I could find but they have not come back.
When you harvest, do not cut them down all at once as they are only good for about 2 weeks refrigerated. Leave a part of the stalk when you cut them down so you know where the tubers are, & dig up the tubers as you need them. You might need to store or use them in your zone, however. They are supposed to have a better flavor after the first frost.
Sunchokes will also set seed. I have not started them from seed yet, but you can save the seeds.
I would be interested in hearing of the other varieties, also.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 5:23AM
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scott_h(z5 OH)

I ended up planting some grocery store ones as well. I put one in a pot one my porch and the others all went into the ground. I'm glad I set the one aside because something ate the plants off to the ground when they got about 6 inches high. I suspect the groundhogs but we do have deer in the area as well. I will plant the potted one in the spring with protection. I am still planning to locate other varieties before spring though.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 8:21AM
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tmtmom(lehigh co. pa.)

I haven't grown Jerusalem Artichokes yet but plan to put some in this Spring, either as a windbreak, or maybe at the back of a perennial bed. I was just looking them up earlier today; The Kitchen Garden (by Sylvia Thompson) mentions several varieties:
1.Fuseau, buff/brown and early, shape and size rather like small swet potatoes
2.Red Fuseau, dull red, smooth,
not as productive or early as the preceding
3.Smooth Garnet, red
4.Magenta Purple
5.Golden Nugget, yellow and carrot-shaped
6.Stampede, knobby and hard to scrub and peel (sounds like the kind I see at the grocery)

Most of the seed catalogs I've been getting list only one variety :-( Burgess and Jung's list unnamed varieties. Johhny's has Stampede, a special strain that is high-yielding and early, though it sounds as though early may not be a good thing, as the chokes are more flavorful after a frost?....

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 6:59PM
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All I know is rats took out one of my plots. It never really rained for a month and they took residence in my sunchoke patch and devoured nearly 100 lbs of tubers. We ended up poisoning once they moved into our buildings.

Early is a good thing. They produce the tubers before the weather its too cold to produce them. All the frost does is it sweetens them.

Biggest one I dug up this spring.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 7:22PM
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tmtmom(lehigh co. pa.)

Ronniger's carries Stampede, Fuseau and Red Fuseau, and has photos of each. Have you found that the taller varieties always need to be staked, or only if they're in a windy location? The Dwarf Sunray sounds like a good solution- does anyone know where they're available?

Choke-eating rats?! Great, something new to worry about!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 11:31AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

We harvested a similar clump of attached sunchokes as lkz5ia's except larger than two male hands and weighing in at 2.4 lbs. We went crazy this year and planted 24 tubers on new ground. The market type (knobby ones) flew out of the ground and set immense number of tubers. My Red Fuseas were weeded out by one of my new workers. (Admittedly, the sprouts were struggling.)

I've grown all those listed by tmtmom, originally offered by Seeds Blum out of Idaho. We do have to harvest because in the spring, most remaining ones don't resprout very well. I was running across tubers in Sept. that had never sprouted but just "sat there".

I wasn't aware that Dwarf Sunray was a sunchoke. Maybe I'm confusing it with a hybrid sunflower of the same name: Sunray.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 9:19PM
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i live in michigan.
never had sunchoke before, so a like to give a try.
is there any body knows where can i get seed or the root from?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:38AM
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I ordered Red Fuseau, White Fuseau, and Stampede from Roninger's last year, to augment the grocery store roots I planted in 2008.

I was impressed by the smoothness of the tubers on the Fuseau types -- sort of long and tapered, kind of like little sweet potatoes in shape, much less knobby than the other types. Which makes them easier to wash, clean, and peel.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:26PM
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We always peeled them after we cooked them, MUCH easier, like white potatoes. We cooked them like/ in place of potatoes too. Never made soup, but eat them raw & peeled as water chestnuts.
I am not sure what you mean by "invasive", we have plant like that down here, but not sunchokes.
I have mine in one end of a 5' X 40' raised bed, it is my hope they take the whole bed over.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 12:01PM
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Anyone know where I can order Fuseau type sunchokes?


    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 6:14AM
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The Fedco Moose Tubers offers an interesting selection of sunchoke varieties, has anybody tried these? They call some of them "knob-free', which would certainly be appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 12:49PM
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It looks like offers a pretty wide range of sunchokes, and a nice selection of other unconventional (and many perennial) edibles.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:46PM
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I grew sunchoke many years ago. They grow about5 feet tall, don't remember which variety I ordered, easy grow plant and multiply easy too. The problem is that if you don't prepare the soil well enough, they don't grow very big and many are in odd shapes which is hard to clean them. The taste is kinda bland, not as starchy taste as potatoes.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 4:27PM
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