Artichoke, a member of the thistle family. It is a nutritious vegetable and a beautiful landscape plant. Plants can reach 3 feet in height and width, and the flower, if allowed to bloom, can be 7 inches in diameter.
Globe artichoke produces best in deep, fertile, well drained soil, but will grow in a wide range of soils. Avoid very sandy soils.
Artichokes grow well when fertilized regularly.
If manure is available, mix 100 to 140 pounds of composted manure per 100 square feet into the soil before planting.
Phosphorus and potash are best applied before planting and should also be worked in. Apply about 0.25 pound of P205 and 0.25 pound of K2O per 100 square feet. Artichokes require about 0.1 pound of nitrogen (N) per 100 square feet. Apply an additional 0.3 pound per 100 square feet 6 to 8 weeks later.
Foliar feeding of a liquid fertilizer containing calcium and zinc are recommended every 2 weeks during active growth begins in early spring.
Artichokes are deep-rooted and require adequate moisture when growing and producing fruit. Moisture stress may result in black tip, which is only cosmetic damage because the edible portion of the bud is not affected. Black tip is most common when conditions are sunny, warm and windy. Note: Artichokes are susceptible to root rot, so do not let the soil become too wet.
A healthy plant should produce six to nine buds per plant. All buds of suitable size should be harvested by cutting the stem 2 to 3 inches below the base of the bud. Old stems should be removed as soon as all buds have been harvested to allow new stems to grow.
Artichoke is a perennial plant so once the harvest is finished cut the plant back to soil level. This will put the plant crown into a dormant stage during the summer. The plant will send out shoots in the fall. The new shoots can be dug out to be replanted into a new location in the garden or left in place to produce another year.
Make sure you leave only the most vigorous shoot on the old plant for production next spring.
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