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.
This is, to the uninitiated, a most uncouth and uninviting-looking vegetable; but it is wonderful how palatable and tempting-like a good kitchen artist can make it before he passes it up-stairs. Seeing that - like the sun-flower, to which it is allied - this subject is from America, we might wonder why Jerusalem should be applied to it. The name, however, is a corruption of Girasole, meaning sun-turning. Being a tribe to be found only in large gardens, and so very easily cultivated, we do not intend to say much of it. It requires to be grown very much in the same way as a Potato. It makes the finest tubers in a dry loamy soil enriched with leaf-mould. Instead of letting it be on the same piece of soil for years, as is often done, to get fine tubers it should be planted afresh every year in rows a yard apart and 10 inches or a foot between the sets, and 6 inches deep. When the tops have withered they can be cut over, and some litter spread over the ground, and the tubers dug up as required; or they may be lifted and pitted, or otherwise stored, like Potatoes. The end of February or early part of March is a good time to plant.
Choose large tubers instead of small ones, as is sometimes practised.