Apart from being delicious, they have great health benefits. Did you know that Artichokes contain more antioxidants than blueberries? They can also help to keep your cholesterol levels where they should be and they have lots of good dietary fiber! You can learn more about their health benefits here!
How To Grow Artichokes
The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) comes from the Mediterranean. The Greeks and Romans have already been cultivating artichokes there.
Soil: You need a warm, light soil for artichokes. Being a Mediterranean plant they dislike heavy soils that are wet in the winter.
Artichoke plants can be grown in hardiness zone 7 or above. Enrich the soil with plenty of good compost. Adding a thick layer of mulch to protect them from frost helps with growing artichokes in colder climates.
Feeding: Cynara cardunculus is a heavy feeder during the summer. Add some good compost around the plants at the start of the growing season.
Growing Artichokes: Propagation and Planting
You can start artichokes from seed or take off side shoots from
established plants. Plant them out in the spring about 3 feet apart.
I start off the seeds in individual small pots or cell trays in the polytunnel during late spring. Once they are big enough they get transferred into larger containers and grown on until they are ready for planting out. I find that larger plants have a better chance of survival.
You might harvest only a few heads at the end of the first season. The
plants are perennial and should produce for three to four years.
Find a selection of Artichoke seeds here
The most popular variety is Green Globe which makes a lovely
big, green artichoke. Other popular varieties are 'Violetta' or 'Purple
Roscoff', a purple artichoke
with a more spiny, elongated red head.
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