A hardy and tall plant which is part of the sunflower family with a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber very similar to ginger root. The plant grows up to three metres and produces bright-yellow flowers, like sunflowers. It's not related to the more recognisable globe artichoke but is none-the-less a tasty, versatile veggie with a rich nutty flavour that can be eaten raw or cooked.
|Growth Height — 3m|
|Flower Colour — Yellow|
|Fruiting Period — Autumn|
|Flowering Period — Summer, Spring|
|Light Requirements — Full sun|
|Soil Requirements — Sandy soil, Well drained soil|
Because they grow so tall (they easily reach ten feet or more) the plants can suffer wind-rock, or overshadow other crops. If this happens, cut stalks down to around 4 feet (120 cms) high in mid-summer. This will make them bush out and creates more compact plants. It also discourages flowering (which begins in autumn) and instead, encourages them to put their energy into growing bigger tubers. Start harvesting after the first frost, when the plants begin to die back, or if you're somewhere warmer leave harvesting until mid-winter.
Keep soil well-watered.
Cut stalks down to around 4 feet (120 cm) in mid-summer. This will make them bush out and creates more compact plants. It also discourages flowering, which begins in autumn, and encourages them to put their energy into growing bigger tubers.