Globe artichokes (scientifically known as Cynara scolymus) are aesthetic enough to beautify your flower garden and will look good in a border. Besides aesthetics, the large flower buds of artichokes are edible and delicious, more than sufficient to treat your taste buds.
Globe artichokes prefer warm, fertile, and well-drained soil. You can also sow them temporarily into a seedbed if you don’t have sufficient space to sow them. After that, you can transplant them to their final position. It is crucial because larger plants need more space.
Here’re some tips that will help you to sow your Globe artichokes properly:
- Sow the plant’s seeds in March or April. You can sow them both outdoor and indoors.
- Make sure you have sown the seed at least half an inch (and a little more) deep.
- Use small pots if you’re planning to sow the seeds indoors.
- Maintain a distance of 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) while sowing the seed of Globe artichokes outdoors.
- Transplant the plants to the designed space when there are at least five leaves on it. Moreover, don’t forget to maintain a distance of 2-3 feet among them.
The plants grown with seeds can be variable. So, there is no need to keep all of them. You can retain the best one among them. Moreover, you can also propagate the best one from suckers to have your favourite plants in your garden.
The grown plants usually start flowering during the first summer. To maximize the growth of the plant, follow these tips:
- Make sure the area around the plant is weed-free (use a mulch if you have any)
- Water the plants regularly during dry weather. It is best to water them (indeed, all plants) early morning, according to the experts
- Apply mulch to the plants in colder regions in late autumn.
- Make sure you have applied mulch up to 2 inches. It will keep your plants protected from the frost, reduce water loss and suppress weeds. Most importantly, the nutrients and organic matter of the mulch help your plants to grow better in the spring when they are ready to do their thing!
- Mulch the plant also in the spring when soil is moist and warm.
- Use general fertilizer higher in potassium content. Vitax Q4 (I am not an affiliate) is an excellent example of such fertilizer. Now you might be thinking about how much fertilizer you should use. Just a handful of fertilizer per square meter is enough to improve the production of flowers.
Proper watering, feeding and mulching during the growth period help the plants to establish properly. You can use rooted suckers to propagate these well-established plants. And March or April is the best time to propagate plants.
When choosing the rooted sucker, you should select a strong looking sucker with at least two shoots on it and 20-30cm in length.
So, now it’s time to harvest the Globe artichokes. Do you know what the right way to harvest them is? If not, it’s nothing to worry about – easy peasy in fact.
Look at the following harvesting tips for Globe artichokes and harvest your plants smoothly.
- So your plant reaches the golf ball size and is not open yet. It’s the time when you can remove the buds with secateurs. It would be probably from June.
- After the harvest of flower buds, you will notice the secondary buds. You can harvest them when they grow.
The good news about the Globe artichokes is that you don’t have to sow them again and again. They get more productive each year. However, they may run down after several years, and it would be the time when you should replace them.
Have you noticed greenfly colonies on leaves and soft shoot tips? Well, these are aphids that such you plant’s sap. Moreover, they also encourage the growth of sooty moulds by secreting sticky honeydew.
You can avoid aphids in two ways:
- Use biocontrol in the greenhouse
- Squash the aphid colonies with your thumb or finger
2. Slugs and snails
These eat young seedlings, leaving a slime trail in the soil around your crop and on leaves.
You can use biocontrols, copper tape, sawdust and beer traps to control the slugs and snails.
How to Cook Artichokes
Simply Recipes is a great website that explains how to cook artichokes, complete with a ‘how to’ video. Check it out.
There are over 20 varieties available. Here are a few for your interest:
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