Sweet potato and Jerusalem artichoke - flowering station wagons
The fashion for unusual, exotic plants does not subside even despite the increasingly active use of local endemic plants in the design of the garden. This trend has not bypassed the gardens: today, along with the usual carrots and beets, more and more gardeners are allocating places for beds under peanuts, chard, chufu and other once-unseen plants. Many of them, in addition to useful properties and taste, can boast of amazing decorativeness. So, the status of flowering and tuberous crops is successfully combined with sweet potato and Jerusalem artichoke - the inimitable garden giants that can find a place on flower beds.
In any ensemble, amazing overseas guests of sweet potato and Jerusalem artichoke can become bright stars, which look more like beautiful-flowering perennials. These two plants are typical representatives of the American flora, which are found in the homeland on the table and in the garden as often as we have potatoes, which have long become "our own" in Europe and beets. But unlike the inhabitants that are typical for our gardens, they have a definite advantage - a catchy and spectacular appearance, thanks to which Jerusalem artichoke or sweet potato can outshine even star plants on flower beds. Despite the fact that the fried, boiled and baked tubers of these plants are eaten in the same way as potatoes, they no less remain ornamental plants.
Jerusalem artichoke is a three-meter tuber plant that gives an abundant harvest of vitamin and delicious tubers. This is a perennial culture, prone to wild growth, which needs regular seedling and control. Indeed, in the thickets of the plant, the tuber harvest will not be easy to harvest. Harvest of this plant is harvested in the fall: Jerusalem artichoke decorates the gardens until late autumn, when its wilted foliage is cut along with the shoots. The tubers of this plant can be stored directly in the ground, dug up to freezing as necessary, or left in the soil for the whole winter and harvest in spring. But before the time comes to feast on the sweetish tubers, the beauty of the tall, ragged clumps of Jerusalem artichoke will catch admiring glances.
On ordinary beds in any company, this plant seems like a foreign exotic. Juicy greens, lushly wrapping tall and powerful shoots and bright yellow baskets of inflorescences, crowning bushes and massively blossoming on the plant resemble a larger and lush version of decorative garden sunflowers. True, unlike the latter, Jerusalem artichoke forms lush bushes, razlog and spectacular gigantic curtains that are not inferior in volume even to the recognized favorites of the "wild" design.
Sweet potato is a plant with a completely different character. This is a very close relative of the usual purple morning glory - an elegant bindweed with funnel flowers. Blooming in the summer and as if competing in beauty with petunias, the sweet potato is able to challenge any annual garden vines. The beautiful swept greens of large leaves and charming snow-white flowers gathered in thick inflorescences with a bright eye in the center seem to be an unusual and luxurious decoration of the garden. A crop ripening in the summer will help to replenish the menu over nutritious tubers with a sweet taste. In yam, by the way, you can eat not only tubers, but also leaves, which, in taste and in possible cooking methods, resemble spinach.
The use of sweet potato and Jerusalem artichoke as a decorative culture is determined by their catchy appearance.
Large and very tall Jerusalem artichoke is an excellent candidate for solo planting, creating islands on the lawn, camouflaging a recreation area and an excellent large plant for decorating narrow beds near the walls of buildings or an alternative to classic hedges. In the garden, it can only be used where shading from lush bushes does not interfere with other plants. When planting a very effective Jerusalem artichoke, it should be borne in mind that for harvesting you need to provide a convenient approach to planting.
But the sweet potato is a touching, beautiful and very magnificent bindweed that looks great in the foreground of the compositions, in large lush borders, as a plant decorating the fences and fences in the company of berry bushes (from the sunflower side), in the role of a beautifully flowering groundcover - flower beds and decorative flower beds. But the beauty of the sweet potato is most fully revealed in ampelous culture and in the role of graceful elegant dyeing of large containers in which the plant can create a spectacular cascade.
Jerusalem artichoke and sweet potato can be grown anywhere in the garden. They are not afraid even of hot southern locations. The only difficulty in growing sweet potatoes is the fear of even the smallest frosts typical of all bindweed: sweet potatoes, unlike perennial and hardy Jerusalem artichoke, will die at the very first night cooling (the crop can be harvested before frost, regardless of withered shoots).
Sweet potato also grows well in container culture, but in order to get a crop, it is necessary to plant plants in a container with a volume of at least 30 liters, otherwise a powerful rhizome will not be able to develop normally and the formed tubers will be small and tasteless.