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Question: I would like to know if you carry Jerusalem Artichokes. If you do, do you plant by seed or plant a living specimen? Any more info on these would be appreciated. How you tell when they are ready etc.? Nancy Woolweber Charlotte, NC

Answer: The Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is easy to grow. All you have to do is plant the tubers in spring or fall in fertile, well-drained soil. Place them 1' apart in 4" deep furrows or holes spaced 3' apart. Mulch to reduce weed competition.Jerusalem artichokes are very fast growing, and invasive, so allow them plenty of room, and be prepared to rouge them out from surrounding beds in coming years! Once the foliage has died down after first frost, dig roots with a garden fork. Dig themas you need them, as they are best when fresh, and store best right in the soil. Keep them moist until you are ready to prepare them, as they tend to shrivel easily. Tubers can be purchased via mail from Ronniger's Seed Potatoes (Star Route Road 73, Moyie Springs, ID 83845) or from Pinetree Garden Seeds (Box 300, New Gloucester, ME 04260; ph# 207-926-3400).

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