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Russians first acquainted with Jerusalem artichoke as a garden crop relatively recently. But thanks to the record endurance of the plant, the benefits of its tubers and high yields, the cultivation of Jerusalem artichoke has aroused interest in many regions belonging even to the area of risky farming.
For the tubers formed on the roots of the Jerusalem artichoke in the people, the culture has been called the "earthen pear".But as a result of biochemical studies, it was found that the harvest from Jerusalem artichoke is much more beneficial than the known fruit and potatoes. Tubers are not only rich in starchy substances, sugars, fiber, vitamins. They contain substances that help maintain good health during hypertension and diabetes. And the endurance of the Jerusalem artichoke plants depicted in the photo is such that it allows the tubers to winter in open ground without any additional shelters.
When and how to plant topinambur? What are the features of care for an unusual culture?
A perennial herbaceous crop that looks like tall sunflower plants with caps of medium-sized orange inflorescences on top, propagates with tubers and seeds.
But if in the first case, the harvest can be obtained by the fall, then the seeds of Jerusalem artichoke multiplies longer. In the first year, at best, the bush will be able to form several small nodules that will only develop into a healthy, powerful plant only next spring. From him and should expect this harvest.
Therefore, most often, in order to obtain not seed material, but an edible crop, they are planted with tubers or their fragments.
How to plant topinambur in the country?
Topinambur is unpretentious and easily develops in any soil, provided sufficient permeability to oxygen and moisture. The lack of humus in the soil can be compensated by competent dressing. But if the tubers are planted in dense, poorly aerated black soil, even an abundance of nutrition will not help to get a good harvest.
Seeding of tubers into the soil is carried out in spring, when the soil warms to 16–18 ° C.However, before planting Jerusalem artichoke, it is important to prepare the beds. They have been doing this since autumn:
- digging a plot into the depth of the bayonet;
- selecting rhizomes of perennial weeds;
- applying fertilizer to the soil, for example, manure, which pereperet during the winter and will be a good fertilizer for Jerusalem artichoke.
Breaking lumps and leveling ridges is not necessary, since the main work is in the spring. The term planting topinambur in most regions falls on the second half of April or the first of May.
Before spring planting topinambur, you need to select healthy large tubers without signs of disease or pest damage. The better the planting material is, the sooner it will produce strong sprouts, and in the autumn the summer resident will be able to harvest a friendly harvest. If there are not many large, even tubers, the available ones can be cut so that each part has a well-marked healthy eye. In this case, the slices are dried and sprinkled with crushed coal.
Before planting, beds are re-dug, loosened and leveled, marking out rows no less than 70 cm wide. Planting material is buried to a depth of 15 cm. At the same time, tubers should get into the wells or trenches at a distance of 30 to 50 cm.
Stick to such serious gapsbetween individual bushes and rows is extremely important. During the summer months, Jerusalem artichoke plants can reach heights of up to 2.5 meters, creating a solid wall on the beds of strong, densely leafy stems and seriously hampering the cultivation and care of the Jerusalem artichoke.
In warm weather, while maintaining the soil moisture, young green stems will soon rise above the beds, revealing heart-shaped, pointed leaves.
How to grow Jerusalem artichoke?
Aware of endurance and the ability of Jerusalem artichoke to grow even on roadsides and wastelands, many summer residents make a serious mistake by letting this culture take its course. After planting the tubers in the ground, the second time they approach the plants only in the fall, when it is time to dig the crop. What is the surprise when under the powerful bushes are found only a few highly branched medium-sized tubers.
No matter how modest the Jerusalem artichoke is in their requests, but when growing, one cannot do without the simplest care. How to provide care for Jerusalem artichoke when growing crops in the country?
Before the emergence of shoots it is important:
- to prevent the appearance of a dense moisture-proof and air-tight crust on the soil surface, therefore, the soil is carefully loosened, focusing on the ridges left after embedding;
- weed and remove all weed vegetation.
When cultivating topinambur, these activities are carried out regularly and after the appearance of young plants.
From the moment of planting and practically before harvesting, large bushes of Jerusalem artichoke need abundant watering of fertilizers at least once a month.
How to grow Jerusalem artichoke in the country, giving a bountiful healthy crop?
In the first half of summer, when plants are actively increasing their green mass, compounds with a predominance of nitrogen are applied under them, and closer to July they switch to potash-phosphorus fertilizers. Watering is regulated depending on the weather, air temperature and condition of the bushes:
- With an excess of moisture and frequent planting, the Jerusalem artichoke can be affected by various types of rot and slugs.
- The lack of water leads to the depression of metabolic processes, slow growth, the formation of small, strongly branched tubers. During a drought, the root system of a plant is more likely to be affected by soil pests.
When the stems rise to 30–40 cm, they must be mined, thereby stimulating the formation of additional roots and an increase in the future harvest.
Topinambur plants grown to a meter high, in the photo, should be tied to strong supports. To do this, planting is divided into bushes, fenced with wire and fastened to vertical pillars. You can also use ready-made supports for fruit bushes.
Re-hilling in the middle of summer will help to further increase the yield. Another important measure that allows all the power of the plant to concentrate on the formation of tubers, is cutting the buds. The flowering and subsequent maturation of the seeds of Jerusalem artichoke inhibit the growth of tubers, so the buds can be removed without serious injury or completely cut off the bushes to a height of 1.5 meters.
Harvesting and storage of Jerusalem artichoke
It is not enough to know how to grow Jerusalem artichoke. In the autumn, preparing for the digging of tubers, you need to figure out how to save them better.
It takes about 120 days from germination to readiness of tubers for harvesting. A month before digging, you can stop feeding, and after another two weeks the plant stems are cut, leaving cuttings about 30 cm long above the soil level. In the remaining days, the tubers will be able to replenish their nutrient reserves and form a dense skin for long-term storage. If you dig up young tubers, they will not be able to spend the winter even in ideal conditions, rot or dry.
When growing topinambur in Russia, it became clear that the culture is extremely frost-resistant. Green sprouts in frosts withstand small sub-zero temperatures, and mature tubers can successfully winter in beds at temperatures as low as –40 ° C.True, for this ridge you need to securely cover with snow. But even with such unique properties, autumn digging is necessary.
Tubers, which are eaten in spring and are planted in the spring, are stored in basements, along with potatoes. Up to several months, a small amount of Jerusalem artichoke can be preserved in the refrigerator, in the vegetable compartment.
However, part of the harvest can be left in the ground in order to dig up all the tubers that have retained all the beneficial properties in the spring. There is no need to hesitate. At the first signs of warmth, the buds on the tubers wake up and grow. When harvesting from the soil, it is important to extract even the smallest nodules, otherwise the plant of the Jerusalem artichoke will turn into a pesky weed.