The artichoke grows as a perennial in warm climates, growing up to 6 feet tall with silvery green leaves, and belongs to the thistle family. It has edible flower buds known as chokes that grow up to 3-4 inches in diameter, are green in color, and consist of thick, fleshy scales and hard cores. The artichoke is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean and was present in Sicilian and North African cuisine. When this plant appeared in Italy, it fell in love with Catherine de Medici, who brought it to France in 1533. The artichoke was considered an aphrodisiac, and only men ate it, but gradually it became a delicacy. The artichoke spread from France to Louisiana and California, where almost all of the artichoke shipments to the United States come today. As a result, Castroville, California, is named the artichoke capital of the world.
How to Grow Artishocke from seeds:
Sowing: Help wake up the seeds by stratifying them. Please place them in wet sand in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. After that, plant the sеeds indoors 8-12 weeks before the last frost 1/4" deep. Grow in 4-inch pots and 60-70 degrees F. When a pair of leaves appear, harden them below 50 degrees F for 12-20 days to intensify the growth process. Next, transplant the seedlings outside two weeks after the last spring frost, 48" apart in rows 64" apart. You can also place the seeds directly in open ground, but they will take more time to ripen. Artichokes grow well in cоol weather, so you can plаnt them in the fall, especially in warmer climates.
Growing of Artishocke: Maintaining a constant moisture level is especially important for young plants. Mulch them to conserve water and remove weeds in time. The fungus may develop if the plants are overwatered, so clean the diseased leaves and reduce watering. Buds form about 120 days after transplanting, depending on the climate. In warm climates, in zone 7, cover them tightly with mulch but do not allow excess moisture so that the plants do not die. Dig uprooted plants in zone 6 and colder, cut the stem to 3", and store in a cool place until spring. In the spring, transplant them back into the ground after the last frost.
Harvesting of Artishocke: When planting artichoke seeds in early spring in a warm climate, they can produce a small crop until autumn. Harvest before the throttle blades begin to open and reach about 4". Cut the heads off the stem and use fresh for maximum flavor. Store artichokes in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Artichoke's Seed Saving: To obtain seeds, wait until the chokes are fully expanded and flowers are formed. When the flowers darken, collect the seed heads and dry them. Then collect the seeds and clean and dry them before storing them. Store seeds in a cool, dry place.
- Latin Name: Cynara scolymus
- Species Origin: Heirloom from 1863
- Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Cool Season
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- USDA Zones: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
- US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast
- Seeds per Ounce: 600
- Seeds for 100' Row: 1/8 Oz
- Seeds for 1 Acre: 1/2 Lb
- Planting Season: Start In Winter
- Planting Method: Sow Indoors and Transplant
- Stratification: Stratify 2 Weeks
- Germination Ease: Stratify 2 Weeks
- Germination Temp: 65F-75F
- Germination Days: 10-20 Days
- Planting Depth: 0.25 Inches
- Planting Spacing: 48 Inches
- Thinned Spacing: 48 Inches
- Row Spacing: 64 Inches
- Days to Maturity: 150 Days
- Sunlight: Full Sun
- Soil: Heavy, Medium, Light
- Height: 60 Inches
- Color: Green
- Bloom Season: Summer
- Harvest Season: Summer, Fall
- Pests: Spider Mites, Artichoke Aphids, Artichoke Plume Moth, Flea Beetles, Armyworms, Loopers
- Diseases: Crown Rot, Fungus