Many people think of thistle as a prickly weed, and no gardener wants a weed in their vegetable garden. But the artichoke, known as Cynara scolymus, shows that not all thistles are a problem. Eaten by the ancient Greeks and Romans, members of the thistle family have been grown as gourmet food for centuries.
Although the artichoke has not traditionally been a hugely popular plant in the United States, it can be grown in nearly all U.S. growing zones. Artichokes range from growing in zones 3-11, while artichokes grow as perennials in zones 7-11. Cold zone gardeners can still grow artichokes, but only as annual vegetables. Mostly the plant is edible, but the most commonly eaten part is the immature flower bud in the centre, which forms before the artichoke blooms.
When you begin the plant to sow something, you need to know various most important sections that would be helpful in profitable business farming. As we can provide information related to tractors which are more reliable in artichoke farming. We can recommend the Farmtrac tractor that is helpful in the processing of tillage to harvest in these artichoke farms. As we know, starting a farming business is not an easy task. You should be aware and careful regarding every necessary requirement in the business. A tractor plays a vital role in every farming business and farmers prefer the budget-friendly equipment always. For a relevant and cost-effective tractor, you can check the Mahindra Tractor, which is reasonable and easily affordable by the farmers.
Steps to Growing Artichokes
Members of the thistle family are remembered for their ability to grow in virtually any location. Because artichokes need lots of room and long growing spring, growing artichokes and achieving large harvests are primary concerns for many growers.
- Choose the Right Location
Artichoke plant care starts from large drainage and plenty of sunlight. Gardners assume their artichoke plants have not returned in the spring due to a cold winter. But virtually soggy soil is generally to blame. Continuously sitting in moisture will damage the root system and artichoke crown. Artichokes need all the nitrogen from the soil. If you are growing artichokes in your garden, there are companion gardens such as cabbage, sunflowers, peas, and tarragon. These plants will not compete for nutrients.
- Prepare the Soil
Artichokes grow in moist soils, but deeply worked, nutrient-rich soil rich in organic matter will enhance your artichoke crop. To check the texture of your clay, hold a fist, squeeze it, and then open your hand. Properly mixed clay won’t stick together, but it won’t fall apart either. It should crumble gently in your palm. To prepare your artichoke bed, dig your row at least 8 inches deep and work in 5 inches of compost. For a large artichoke garden, mix 100 pounds of compost for every 100 square feet of garden space.
- Plant Your Artichokes
We can say that growing the artichokes from seed can be a gamble.
They don’t usually stay true to seed package labels. Planting artichokes from seed isn’t impossible, but it takes a bit of time. Artichoke seedlings always require approximately 60 days before transferring to your garden.
Root divisions are an easy option and are hugely available from local and online nurseries and garden centres. Artichokes take up a lot of space with a mature diameter up to 6 feet and a height of approximately 3-4 feet. This plant needs full sun. Therefore if you plant artichokes too closely together, the large plants can shade smaller ones. An interval of 4 to 6 feet, plant your artichoke transplants in a row. Placing the rows at a distance of 6 -8 will allow room to easily fertilize, water and harvest. Building the row up in a mound or with irrigation channels will help improve soil drainage.
- Trick Your Annual Artichokes
During their first season, annual varieties produce buds because they’re not guaranteed to last the winter. You may need to trick them if you see poor outcomes with your annual artichokes. Farmers can plant seedlings to cool temperatures that are below up to 50 degrees in March and April. Bring artichoke indoors if temperatures drop below freezing. Then wait to plant until after the last frost.
- Water Artichokes Consistently
Artichoke plants love the water. They require it to allow tender buds. As a thistle, the perennial power of the vegetable artichoke lies in its wide roots. To promote strong roots, use Gilmour’s Thumb Control Swivel Nozzle to water deeply between 1 – 3 times a week, depending on the climate. Extremely hot seasons can cause artichoke buds to begin hastily into flowers. To stopping this from happening, overhead irrigation can retain the temperatures down so buds won’t open. Mulching around in each plant can also help reduce soil temperatures and water evaporation.
- Apply Artichoke Fertilizer
Gives the importance of nutrition for a well-established plant. You should take the time to fertilize your artichoke plant beds properly. For healthy plants and high yields, apply a remaining vegetable food plant every two weeks throughout the growing season.
- Harvest Artichokes with Ease
The middle artichoke bud matures the fastest and is the largest. When harvesting artichokes, you need a utility knife to cut a stem about 1 – 3 inches from the base of the bud. The stem becomes a useful handle when trimming artichokes. After harvesting the centre bud, the artichoke plant will produce side shoots with small buds between 1 and 3 inches in diameter. These side buds are extremely tender and tasty.
- Pruning – Continue Care After Harvest
When the plant stops developing buds in the fall, pruning artichokes helps to prepare for overwintering. Simply cut the artichoke plant stem back to a few inches over the ground. Next, apply a thick mulch of leaves or straw over your artichoke bed to protect the plants for cool winters. Some plants may be damaged if the winter weather dips below 15 degrees. You should eliminate the mulch in the spring after the last frost date for your developing zone.
- Divide Mature Artichoke Plants
Artichokes are usually considered 5-year plants. This is because each plant generates off-shoots that begin to crowd the parent plant. Carefully divide your artichoke plants every few years to maintain a healthy artichoke garden. You don’t have to dig up the complete plant, though. You can simply separate a rooted shoot with your gardening knife and then carefully dig it up with a spade.
Types of Artichoke Plants
Various varieties of artichoke vegetables mean you can choose the impeccable variety for your garden. Some of the popular kinds of artichoke include:
Green Globe Artichoke:- It is believed that the Green Globe artichoke originally got better. It can bud in the first year, produces as an annual in climates as cool as zone 3 and can still handle hot summers as a perennial. It ripens quickly – in just 75 days.
Big Heart Artichoke:- It is a painless variety with no thorns. This nearly new variety can handle warm weather. And farmers can grow annuals from seed. This artichoke’s name pays homage to its capacity to reach up to 5 ½ inches.
Violetta Artichoke:- This Violetta artichoke is a heavy producer of side buds. This heirloom variety from Italy has a sleek purple bud known for its tenderness. As a smaller plant, the Violetta artichoke needs only a 3-foot distancing between plants.
Jerusalem Artichoke:- Jerusalem Artichoke is also known as “Sunchoke”. The Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke, despite its name. Instead, it is a species of sunflower native to North America. Unlike a true artichoke, these plants grow to about 5 feet to 9 feet tall, with sunny yellow sunflower-Esque blooms. The edible tuberous part resembles a ginger root and is usually 3-4 inches long.
Completing the guidelines of this cultivation, also we require to know about some important points about the cultivation of artichoke. That’s why we recommend the Solis tractor because the Solis tractor price is affordable for farmers. Apart from this, various equipment like a rotary tiller, cultivator and many more are required for farming.
For the above knowledge about growing artichokes, stay tuned with us.