This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
These are seldom or never seen in amateur's gardens, but why we do not know, except it be that very few amateurs know anything about them - and yet they are vegetables of easy cultivation, especially Jerusalem Artichokes. They somewhat resemble Potatoes in shape, and in the way they are produced, clustering round the bottom of the stems. They will grow in almost any soil, but are, of course, finer in deep, rich, well-cultivated soil. Whole tubers (small ones) are planted in March, or earlier, in rows 3 feet apart and l 1/2 foot or so in the row, and about 4 inches deep. All the cultivation they need further simply consists in keeping the ground clear of weeds and well hoed. They are ready for use by autumn, and may be taken up and stored in cellars like Carrots or Parsnips, or in pits like Potatoes; but they are very often left all winter where they have been grown, as it is considered they deteriorate by storing. They will form a very pleasing substitute for, and add variety to, ordinary roots that are used as vegetables during the winter months.
Globe Artichokes require different treatment, and it is not the root which is used in this case, but the somewhat thistle-like top. Light soil gives the least trouble in the cultivation of this vegetable: on heavy wet soils it is sometimes difficult to winter. It thrives splendidly on deep, rich, peaty soils; and in any case it is necessary, in preparing the soil for Globe Artichokes, to select a well-drained spot, to trench deeply and manure liberally, in order to secure first-class results. This should be done in autumn or winter, and in March the surface should be well broken with the fork, and a dressing of thoroughly decomposed manure mixed with the surface soil unless it is naturally rich. It is a good plan to plant as the digging proceeds; and young plants should be planted in rows 3 feet apart and 3 feet in the rows, putting in the plants of the second row alternate with the first, and so on. They are often enough planted in rows 4 feet apart and 4 feet in the rows, in patches of threes, triangle fashion. Either plan will do.
The young plants are got growing round the stools of old plantations, and they should be carefully lifted with a fork, so as to secure roots to each plant, as they grow very much better when good roots are attached than when pulled out carelessly and the roots left behind. Should the spring be a dry one, a good watering will be of service; and if a dry summer ensues, a mulching of rich manure and copious supplies of weak sewage or cow-house drainings, well diluted with water, will prove of immense service. March or April is the best time to plant them. Of course they require to be kept free of weeds. Spring-planted ones throw up their heads later than established plantations, and so form a succession. For this reason it is desirable that a few, according to the wants of the household, be planted every spring, and a corresponding portion destroyed, especially as they cease to throw up so good heads after a year or two as young plantations do, more especially when they are neglected. As winter approaches - say about the beginning of November, or sooner, should severe weather set in early - the plants will require to get a little protection by placing dry litter firmly round their collars, but leaving all healthy leaves sticking out at the top, so as not to rot out the centres of the plants.
This should be removed in spring, and a dressing of manure given and forked into the surface in March or April, according to the forwardness of the season. Where mulching is not necessary, crops of early Turnips, Lettuce, and other salads which reach perfection rapidly, may be sown between the rows of new plantations for the purpose of economising the ground. A Gardener.