Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Horseradish, Artichokes, Asparagus, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Rhubarb

Horseradish is a fast-growing perennial in USDA zones 3–9. Grows to 24 inches tall. Plant in late winter to early spring in deep, coarse, well-drained soil. Grows best in cool areas. Plant 1 ft. apart and expect a crop in about 1 year.

After the first frost in the autumn kills the leaves, the root is dug and divided. The main root is harvested and one or more large offshoots of the main root are replanted to produce next year’s crop. 

Horseradish left undisturbed in the garden spreads via underground shoots and can become invasive.  That is a good reason to plant in a contained area. I have had mine in a half wine barrel for years.

The improved Green Globe Artichoke variety yields over a long period of time, fall or spring, depending upon location. Can be pretty in landscaping with its fountain-like look of silver-green foliage. Flowers great for dried arrangements. Mature height is 3-4 ft. with 5-6 ft. diameter. Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5.

In warm areas, such as California where we are, treat as a perennial and leave for 6-7 years until they need to be divided. In colder regions, artichokes should be treated as annuals as the roots will die with prolonged freezing. Plant 4-6 ft. apart. 

Jerusalem artichokes are a perennial that produces edible tubers which are good fresh, in salads, boiled or in soups. The plants can be used in some landscape situations making a high hedge in one growing season. The flowers resemble small sunflowers or large daisies that ripen in late fall. Mature height is 8-10 ft with a 3-6 ft spread.

The Jerusalem artichoke can be produced throughout the United States. However, the plant is better adapted to the northern two-thirds of the country than the southern third. Often used for pickling purposes. Fresh tuber tastes like a water chestnut and is used in salads. Tubers can also be cooked like potatoes. The edible portion is the tuber or swollen end of an underground stem, which in some respects resembles a potato. 

Here is a video from Peaceful Valley  http://www.groworganic.com about growing and the fall care of horseradish, artichokes, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, and rhubarb.

As you can see, these vegetables are easy to grow and bring many rewards to the garden and a bountiful harvest with few amendments - just add compost and mulch well.

1 comment:

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    from the helianthus tuberosus as tonics, as laxatives, and as diuretics.