December issue

If you would like advice from the Kitchen Garden editorial team, ask here. Steve, Emma or Tony will pop in with their best advice.

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Stephen
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December issue

Postby Stephen » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:07 pm

Jerusalem Artichokes:- you say sunny spot. My mother grew them in the shade of our huge walnut tree, so on my plot they also grow in shadier locations. They thrive.

There is so much demand for sunny spots that those crops which tolerate shade really need to have this noted.

But it isn't just KG which fails to highlight shade tolerant crops. Even the RHS site says rhubarb needs a sunny site, when with its huge leaves it suffers badly in harsh full south facing sites.

Also:- Jerusalems will be very difficult as part of a rotation as it is very easy to miss tubers, leaving escapees behind. I throw back smaller tubers for a second years growth and treat them as a permanent crop.

PPS:- When cooking, asafoetida is your friend.
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Westi
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Re: December issue

Postby Westi » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:20 pm

Mine are at the back in the shade of the hedge row & grow far too well! They are so tall they will find any sun they want/need anyway. It is almost impossible to get every tuber out for sure but worth the effort to try at least, so they are thinned for the next year so you have a chance of larger tubers as not so congested.
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Westi
sally wright
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Re: December issue

Postby sally wright » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:08 pm

I have found that JA will do well almost anywhere so putting them in a choice spot is really not worth it.

A couple of tips to enhance the crop. When they start to flower Cook would love a bunch of sunflowers! This has three advantages. The shortening of the stems before the Autumn gales prevents the heave out of the ground that sometimes happens and it means that they will keep growing for a few weeks longer which results in a bigger crop. Cook is delighted with the flowers and will give you something nice for tea. No flowers left on the plants means more energy going down to the roots which will increase the yield as well.

The second thing is if you replant in different spots each year; choose the largest neatest shaped tubers (rhizomes?) to replant. It does make a difference to the quality after a few years.

Regards Sally Wright.
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Monika
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Re: December issue

Postby Monika » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:44 pm

We planted Jerusalem artichokes on the allotment next to the large wooden compost bin because the baler twine slung around the corner posts acted as their support. Every autumn, I dug up all the tubers, kept the best to eat, threw away the tiny ones and re-planted some of the middle sized ones, year after year on the same spot. And they thrived and thrived, probably fed by the 'juices' from the compost bin. I bet our allotment successor is still using the same spot.
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