How To Grow Vegetables

How To Grow Artichokes

Artichokes are often considered an exotic vegetable, as they are seemingly hard to grow and this maybe true if you live in a cooler climate. However to grow nice artichokes you do not actually need endless days of sunshine and a Californian climate.

Artichokes are well worth trying to grow as they do have a delicious taste and can be eaten hot or cold with a nice dressing poured over them. When they are prepared right they can simply melt in your mouth much like asparagus in butter can! Indeed like asparagus do not expect a big crop in year one, indeed you will find far better results if you remove all of the flowers in year one. This will allow the artichokes to grow much stronger.

However whilst you can grow them from seed this can be a hard process. You would be far better off to buy some sucker plants from a specialist grower on the Internet, rather than trying to start your artichokes from seed.

Artichokes are best suited to well drained soil. Ideally they prefer a warm location in full Sun, however they are very sturdy plants and as such you will not have to worry too much about planting them in a windy location.

They should be planted in rows around 2ft apart between each plant, and around 2ft between each row. You must do this to ensure they have enough space as they may develop several flower heads from each plant, and grow bigger, in fact much bigger than you think! Artichokes will also benefit from the addition of some well-rotted manure into the soil in the bed they are going into prior to planting.

When it comes to harvesting they are actually like a flower (and indeed they will flower if left for long enough), however they must be picked before they actually flower to get the best taste from them. And as I mentioned above do not aim to get a crop in year one, but encourage the plants to grow strongly instead, and aim for a crop in year two.

To crop the artichokes simply use a sharp knife, cutting just below the stem. Always pick them before the "Flower" leaves expand and open. The artichoke will taste far better if picked when the head is closed. Artichokes can be cooked by boiling them, or roasting them, but they can also be eaten cold, and the leaves are delicious when dipped in a vinaigrette.

For artichoke problems also see Artichoke Pests And Diseases. NEW! Visit our Online Artichoke Shop

By Richard Allen -

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