Scientific name: Cynara scolymus
Artichoke is an herbaceous perennial thistle grown for its edible fleshy flowerhead, which is considered a delicacy. The globe artichoke has arched, irregulary lobed leaves which are silvery green in colour, reaching 50-82 cm length and possessing a few spines.
The flower head is 4-8 cm in diameter with numerous triangular scales and individual florets which are purple in color.
Plant height 1.4 -2 m .
Tips for success:
Plant in full sun but provide light shade where day time temperature exceeds 26.6 degree celsius.
Provide a long growing season with warm days and cool nights.
Replace plant after every 4 or 5 years; in cold climates, grow them as annual.
Soil and climatic requirement:Artichoke are cool season crops and grow best in deep, fertile and well drained sandy or loam soils with a pH between 6-8.
Climate condition are extremely important to successful growth of high quality flowerheads.
The optimum day temp is 20-22 degree celsius and night temp. 12-14 degree celsius.
The plants will tolerate both cold and high temperature but this will reduce the tenderness of the head.
Frost can cause flower head blister and may kill the buds.
In addition, globe artichokes require frequent irrigation to ensure growth of good quality heads.
Plant can’t tolerate water logged condition.
Crop MATURITY: 150-180 days after planting.
Planting season: Aug-Sept.
Planting type: Direct sowing and also planting can be done using Suckers, stumps or dried shoots from the previous growing season.
Spacing: 0.9 x0.9 m after first year remove any plants that are producing well to achieve final spacing of 1.2 - 1.8m i.e 4-6 ft between the plant.
Depth of sowing: 2.5 cm
Germination period: 2-3 weeks
Hours of sunlight required: Required full sun and partial shade.
Watering as to be done like plant do not dry out soil should be moist. Covering thick mulch will help to conserve soil moisture.
Cucumber is a companion plant for Artichoke.
Artichoke flower buds are ready for cutting when they still green. The bracts should be tight against the bud. To harvest, cut them with 2-3’’ stem still attached. After harvesting central stalk, which flowers first, cut it back to encourage side shoots and more flower buds to form.
Remove the mulch once plant begin to bud, replace with generous covering of compost.
After harvest cut the stem of the plant back to ground level or slightly below the soil line. Protect the plant over winter by mulching over the roots with plenty organic mulch. This protective layer can be supplemented by further covering the plants with a cardboard or box filled with straw and leaves.