Organic Vegetables- How To Grow Organic Artichokes Organic Vegetables- How To Grow Organic Artichokes
Growing artichokes as one of your organic vegetables adds a bit of visual attraction to a garden, as well as providing a tasty dish for your dinner table. Green Globe artichokes are a popular choice for many organic gardeners. It requires an open area that is protected from any strong winds. The soil must be fairly moist, but well drained.
Step 1 – Soil Preparation
Turn over the dirt in your planting area vigorously. Make sure to add as much organic material as possible using a lot of compost and rotted manure. Green Globe artichokes are usually raised from a rooted sucker (a stem part that is underground) that is taken in the Spring. They can also be grown from seed, planting them between February and April.
Step 2 – Cultivate
For growing Green Globe organic artichokes from a sucker, scrape the soil off of a healthy three-year-old plant and slice it off, allowing the parent plant to retain at least three shoots. Use suckers with as much roots as possible and firmly plant them 2 inches deep. Space each at least 3 inches apart in each direction. Keep the plants well watered.
Step 3 - Fertilize
Protect them from full sunlight until the plant is established. After six weeks, apply an organic feed like seaweed fertilizer. Add mulch around each plant to help retain moisture and help control weeds. You can also try raising organic artichokes from sowing seeds indoors. The plant can be damaged by extreme cold weather. In colder climates, add more earth to the plant base and cover the crown with straw to protect each plant. In warmer climates, just allow any dead foliage to act as a cover protection. In April, you can remove all plant coverings.
Step 4 – Harvest
A good artichoke plant can fruit for three seasons. A head should appear in the first season. During the second season, each plant will throw up several flower shoots, each bearing one large artichoke on top at the tip and several smaller ones further below. If you desire large heads, reduce the shoots to three per plant by snapping them at their base. Remove the smaller heads when they grow to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The heads need to be plump, soft and green. When harvested, secondary shoots may appear, allowing for a second season. Plants will deteriorate after a third season. Cut larger heads when their about 2 to 3 inches. Replace one third of your garden’s artichoke plants every year in order to keep a constant rotating supply. Mature plants will crop in the early summer, usually May or June. Young plants will crop in the late summer and then on from September, following a succession of plants in various stages of growth.
Grey mold may attack artichoke plants if good aeration is not provided. Do not overcrowd and avoid plants becoming damp and shaded. If Lettuce Downy Mildew (yellow spots on leaves) occurs, destroy the diseased leaves. You may have to remove any diseased plant to eradicate the problem.