Raised Bed Plan - Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) and Beans
This Raised Bed is one of few Beds in my Garden where i only grow one batch of vegetables during a season. No Succession Planting in this Bed. Why? Simply because this is the Sunchokes (or Jerusalem Artichokes) Bed, and it takes them all year to grow. I do practice companion planting, and grow my Sunchokes with Beans.
Why these crops?
Sunchokes is one of my absolute favourites to grow. It's super easy and grows very well in my garden. It takes some time, but I love them and we eat loads of them. They are harvested between October to February and it´s lovely to have something to harvest all winter. I grow my Sunchokes with Beans. They grow well together and Beans are happily climbing the stems of the tall Sunchokes and I don't have to figure out trellis for the Beans to climb. Great for me being a lazy gardener.
4a = This bed is in the "Needs Almost Nothing" Quarter in my Crop Rotation Plan.
It is one out of Several Garden Beds (29 when I'm writing this, but tends to be more and more each season...) See the total list of beds and Layout in my Garden Plan for Raised Beds 2017.
Time Plan for this Bed
This is a Bed that is started already previous autumn, so since this is the plan for 2017, I will start this bed in October 2016 (in fact, I had to write down the plan for this bed now since I started it today!).
The dates will depend a lot on where you live, and what average temperatures and sunny hours you have at different months. I'm in Northern Europe and this is the Plan I follow:
October - end of:
- Add Chicken Manure to the Garlic Bed. I add approximately 200 grams of manure to a Raised Bed that is 80x120 centimeter. Sunchokes needs less nutrients than for example the neighbor Garlic Bed that I feed with 300 grams of Chicken Manure.
- Plant Sunchoke Bulbs. I have a variety called Henriette. (I plant 15 in one Bed)
- Start Beans indoors
June - mid:
- Move your Beans Outdoors. Plant them close enough to the Artichoke Stems to make it possible for the Beans to start climbing the Stems as they grow
- Harvest your Beans continuously as soon as they are ready
- Start harvesting Sunchokes. You can harvest continuously until they start to grow again in the spring. Cover them with a Blanket during winter to avoid the Ground freezing (it's not hurting the Bulbs, but makes it hard to get to them..)
My Kitchen Garden is built with a modular approach. I have a number of Raised Beds (Deep Beds) - currently 29 beds. Most of them are 120x80 centimeters. They are Deep Beds and I always cover them with Organic Material to improve soil and nutrients, and also have a No Dig Garden. More background information can be found in these posts:
- Kitchen Garden Layout Plan - Layout overview
- Building a Raised Bed Kitchen Garden - How to Deep Dig the frames and feed them with organic material
- How to build Raised Bed Frames - Step-by-Step guide on how to do the Frames for the Raised Beds.
Methods I use to plan each Garden Bed
I plan each bed carefully and enjoy making and developing my plans. I try to consider different angles:
- Succession Planting: I want to have at least 3 batches from each bed to maximize my harvest
- Crop Rotation: I rotate my basic crops each year to eliminate diseases. I have a 4 year Crop Rotation Plan (more about my Crop Rotation Plan here).
- Companion Planting: I want each batch to consist of Plants that thrive together to get good harvest and keep the plants healthy.
- Continuous Harvest: I want to be able to harvest from early spring to late autumn without having to preserve too much food. We prefer to eat all the vegetables as fresh as possible.
Don't hesitate to discuss the planning of this bed with me. There is always loads of input that can help improving this further.