All about artichoke > Growing Artichokes
Cultivation: perennial (warm climates); annual (temperate climates)
Height: 1 to 1.5 m
Soil: Chalky, deep, rich, neutral soil; heat if necessary
The artichoke is a young bud that forms a paunchy, tightly-closed flower made up of the following parts:
Bracts or leaves which surround the inflorescence - these are jagged and of a deep green color which may verge on blue or purple.
The leaves end in a thorn.
The hairy “choke” that produces the flower and is inedible
The fleshy receptacle that forms the base of the flower and in cooking is called the heart
Begin planting in April or May when the soil has warmed up. Plant the buds in pairs and allow one hand’s width between each seedling. The rows should be one metre apart. Hill the earth without covering the cores; water and surround with a mulch of grass clippings or manure to keep the plants cool.
In temperate climates, the stocks need to be protected from frost with straw or leaves. On warm sunny days the plants can be uncovered for a few hours to prevent them from rotting.
be sure the plants have good drainage, since they have deep roots;
replace one-third of the plants each year with new buds to ensure continuous production;
fertilize the soil regularly
- by seeds (should start in a greenhouse or indoors, otherwise they will take too long to germinate)
- buds (preferable) - cut off all but two of the shoots on the stem; these buds can be encouraged by cutting back the old plants in the fall.
It will take three years to obtain good production from one planting; then replace them.
pick the artichokes when they are young, tender and firm - if not picked in time, they produce only a very pretty blue inflorescence.
Cut them with 2 cm of stem attached.
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