Artichokes are grown as vegetables, and as attractive floral plants in the garden. Growing artichokes may be done using vegetative procedures such as micropropagation, division, and root cuttings; the easiest and safest method however, is by producing them from seeds.
Growing Artichokes – Gardening Tips
When growing artichokes one should first check whether the plant can thrive in your region’s climate. Aside from the Green Globe variety, artichoke does not fair too well in very cold climates; it is best to give them the sunlight and heat that they need to ensure a good harvest. An important thing to remember when growing artichokes is that these plants will do well in areas that have cool summers and almost frost-free winters. For a successful growth, it is important to keep the soil at optimal temperatures; 70-75 degrees F during the day, and 48-52 degrees F at night.
Artichoke Seeds – Growing from Seeds
Beginning with artichoke seeds will require good soil preparation; it should be tilled deeply, have lots of organic material, and fast drainage. The optimal acidity level of the soil should be maintained at around 6.5-7.5. Place a combination of compost, well-rotted manure, and some fertilizer in the soil; this will act as mulch during the early growing stages, and aide in the harvesting period during summer months. When the soil is ready, plant the artichoke seeds deep in the soil and cover it with phosphorous and potassium-rich compost. Make sure the site is exposed to hours of full sun; this will promote the best conditions for seed germination.
Artichoke Plants – Care Tips
Most varieties of artichoke plants will begin to develop their buds late in the summer. Once the vegetables begin to grow, harvest them when the top of the bud reaches two to four inches in diameter, and the buds feel intact. When harvesting, cut the buds with at least one-and-a-half up to an inch of stem; this will make them easier to handle when cooking. In order to get the best out of the crops next year, make sure to remove all the buds that grow on the plant. Once every bud has been harvested, make sure to cut the stalks and cover the ground with mulch, and a well-balanced fertilizer. Water the soil consistently especially when the summer is too hot; proper mulching will help lock moisture in.