Yeoman tip:

Know your USDA hardiness zone. This is the standard that companies list about their plant products. The best help can be found through the extension office of your area.

Featured Crop

The Sunchoke:

Is a native American crop/wildflower. A perennial tuber from the plains of North America makes a great addition to the garden. It can be very persistent and invasive if you are not careful. However, this should not deter you from growing this great crop, the plant doesn't survive being mowed very well.

sunchoke spring shoots

The Sunchoke has few insect pests here in Oregon. The main pests are slugs and small mammals like mice and gophers. If the new sprouts (April here) are protected from slugs damage is minimal , the plants only need to be protected for a few weeks, they grow very fast. The Sunchoke flowers here in September. Growing against the house here these flowers are often as tall as the house! My experience is that they don't need a lot of water, but yield is better with ample water.

sunchoke showing slug damage

The sunchoke produces a tuber that is something like a more dense version of the water chestnut with a sunflower aftertaste. Tubers can be softball size (only a few) and oddly shaped with too much nutrients. I have never fertilized my Sunchokes and they yield was good. The tubers have a lower glycemic index than potatoes, often time out yield them and have a high amount of Iron (citations will be added later).

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