How to grow an artichoke
Grow these rare vegetables in your garden
The artichoke is one of the traditional vegetables in Italian cuisine. Today, it has gained well-deserved popularity in various countries, which, given its amazing taste, is not surprising at all.
You can find this vegetable on the shelves of Russian supermarkets, and throughout the year. True, most often they look completely dull there - small and sluggish or too dry inflorescences do not cause enthusiasm. At the same time, high-quality artichokes always have unfading scales covered with light fluff, tightly fitting to the core.
Such a sad picture on the shelves is understandable, because all the artichokes that get there are imported, and therefore they are far from the first freshness. Alas, you can store artichokes for 2-3 days, maximum - a week, then the taste of this unique flower vegetable quickly deteriorates (artichokes become fibrous and lose juice), and they begin to lose their unique aroma immediately after cutting.
So they are tastiest when they are just filmed. Therefore, in restaurants specializing in Italian cuisine, artichokes do not end up in such a roundabout way as in supermarkets, which, of course, automatically affects the prices of the dishes served. For example, in the capital's Baccarat restaurant for a signature dish - scallops "Saint-Jacques" with a crispy parmesan crust and artichoke, you will be required to pay at least 1,500 rubles.
The price of the same artichokes from wholesale suppliers, of course, is incomparably lower, but also impressive. For example, fresh artichokes from Tunisia in March-April (during the season of their mass collection in the Mediterranean, that is, when they are the cheapest) a couple of years ago, for example, were offered on average at 285 rubles per kilogram. In turn, this winter, wholesale prices for this delicacy exceeded 520 rubles.
Thus, this exotic vegetable, of course, cannot be affordable for mere mortals - well, perhaps a couple of times a year on some very important date. And if you really want to, and your soul directly asks for exotic artichokes, then with a strong desire you can
... In ancient times, he grew up with me. Now, alas, it is no longer growing - and the strength is not the same, and the enthusiasm has diminished.
Artichoke -perennial herb
aster family. The appearance of this plant is more than impregnable - it is very similar to a thistle, only much larger, more beautiful and incomparably more useful than it. The artichoke has a long taproot hibernating root, large pinnately dissected dark green or silvery leaves, pubescent on the underside, and the stems can reach a height of 1 or even 2 m, although dwarf varieties with a height of only 70 cm have also been bred.
These stems are crowned with spherical inflorescences-baskets, consisting of leafy scales tightly adjacent to each other. It is them, more precisely, the fleshy receptacle of unopened inflorescences and the thickened bases of the scales of the lower rows of the wrapper, that are eaten. That is, a vegetable named "artichoke" is actually an unopened basket of a future flower. Opened, tough artichokes with brown leaves are no longer usable.
The virtues of an artichoke
At first, the artichoke was grown only as an ornamental and medicinal plant, because it contains many useful substances. These are proteins, fats, vitamins (carotene, vitamins B1 and B2), trace elements, as well as inulin - such a valuable starch substitute required for diabetes.
Scientists have proven that eating this vegetable prevents the development of atherosclerosis, lowers blood cholesterol and helps to normalize metabolism in the body. Especially it should be noted the positive effect of artichoke on lipid metabolism, due to which artichoke extract is simply necessary to improve digestion, especially when taking a significant amount of carbohydrates and fatty foods; to normalize biochemical processes in liver cells and improve cholesterol metabolism, which prevents sclerotic vascular lesions.
also useful for people with high acidity of gastric juice, since it contains a significant amount of potassium and sodium salts, which have a strong alkaline effect. However, with gastritis with low acidity of gastric juice and with low blood pressure, the artichoke should not be consumed.
Well, now about the amazing taste of this unique vegetable. Fresh young artichokes have a delicate, amazing taste, reminiscent of the taste of a young walnut. Small artichoke cones are ideal for appetizers, medium-sized artichokes are ideal for stir-frying and sautéing. Fresh artichoke cores of any size can be cut into very thin pieces and added to the salad. But the vegetable is especially good in rice dishes, for example, in the famous Italian risotto.
Artichoke is a light-loving and heat-loving culture, and its seeds germinate at a temperature of +20 ... + 25 ° C for 5-6 days. And the optimal temperatures for growing it should be considered temperatures in the range of +23 ... + 27 ° С during the day and +18 ... + 20 ° С at night. At the same time, adult plants are able to tolerate small frosts - up to -2 ° C, and artichoke inflorescences are damaged already at -1 ° C, therefore, in early spring, during frosts and nighttime temperature drops, it may be necessary to use a covering material.
This plant can not overwinter everywhere. In the middle lane and to the south, with good cover, the artichoke hibernates in the soil. More precisely, plants that are well covered with soil (by 10-15 cm) and covered with spruce branches and covering material overwinter if the temperature in the root system zone does not fall below -8 ... -10 ° C, for example, in the Moscow region, plants covered in this way can winter ... Although here, of course, everything depends on the specific year, the amount of snow cover, how early the snow fell, etc.
In the southern regions (in particular, in the Krasnodar Territory), where the average January temperature is -3 ... -5 ° C, no shelter is required at all, and it is enough to limit ourselves to hilling with soil.
For amateur gardeners from other regions, for example, who live like me in the Urals, it will be much more difficult, since the artichoke has no chances to overwinter in the open field in these regions. However, there is still a way out - if we are talking about just a few plants, then they can be stored in a dark basement at above-zero temperatures. In this case, the plants should be carefully dug up, trying to keep the soil on the roots, wrap them in sphagnum, tie and place in a box and place it somewhere on a shelf in the basement.
As for the soil, the artichoke prefers fertile and well-filled with organic matter. Theoretically, it will grow calmly even on not very fertile land, but then you will not have to wait for a large harvest of large baskets. Therefore, before planting, it is worth bringing in at least a bucket of rotted
for 1 m² of landing area. The artichoke does not tolerate waterlogged, as well as insufficiently moistened soils - with a lack of moisture, plant growth is weakened, the inflorescences are crushed, the receptacle becomes rough, and with an excess of moisture, the roots can rot.
Features of agricultural technology
The artichoke is quite unpretentious. It grows well on personal plots and, in general, does not cause much trouble.
Artichokes are propagated by seeds and root suckers. When grown from seed, the crop is usually obtained only in the second year. Seeds are sown in the spring directly into the ground with a distance of 60x60 cm between them, with the expectation that in the second year of life the plants will be transplanted long distances from each other. In the middle lane, it is wiser to grow seedlings by sowing seeds in a greenhouse in early spring, and then, at the stage of 2-3 leaves, plant the plants in open ground. Artichoke crops can be compacted at first
, onions and other green crops.
During vegetative propagation, more productive plants are selected, the layers are separated from them in early spring and planted in the ground at a distance of about 70-80 cm from each other in a row, and 80-100 cm are left between the rows.
During the summer, the plants are regularly loosened or just oncemulch the soil
under them with semi-rotten humus, and above - with straw, and then the tiresome loosening will be useless. And they also carry out regular (about once every two weeks) feeding with slurry and complexmineral fertilizers
to which plants react very positively.
To obtain baskets of good quality, no more than three flowering stems and three to four inflorescences on each are left on the plant. If it is desirable to get larger baskets, then they are limited to three peduncles with one or two inflorescences in each peduncle.
The baskets begin to collect at the moment when the tops open in their upper part. The timing of harvesting depends on the region, for example, in the Middle Lane it will be in the middle of summer. In no case should the baskets be allowed to bloom - the flowering baskets look quite elegant, but they become rough and unsuitable for food.
In autumn, the plants are cut, the rhizomes are spud, and in the Middle Lane they are additionally covered with spruce branches and covering material. In regions where there are no problems with spring support, you can cover with leaves or straw. In winter, you should try to keep snow on the artichoke plantings.
Read the next part. Artichoke Recipes in Italian Cuisine →
Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg
Photo by Olga Rubtsova and E. Valentinov
Artichoke: growing from seeds, seedlings, planting and care in the open field, at home, photos, reviews
For a long time, artichokes remained part of an exclusively European culinary culture. There are still many people in Russia who have a very vague idea of what it is all about. However, everything is changing. Now it is not difficult to grow an artichoke in the country on your own; this does not require high costs and any special care.
- How artichoke grows
- Where does artichoke grow in Russia
- Is it possible to grow an artichoke in the country or in the garden
- Planting and caring for an artichoke outdoors
- How to grow artichoke seedlings from seeds
- Recommended timing
- Selection of containers and soil preparation
- Planting artichoke seeds for seedlings
- Growing artichoke seedlings
- Growing and caring for an artichoke outdoors
- Transplanting to open ground or to a greenhouse
- Watering and feeding schedule
- Weeding and loosening the soil
- Preparing for winter
- Features of growing artichoke in the regions
- How to grow an artichoke in the suburbs
- How to grow an artichoke in Siberia
- How to grow an artichoke in the middle lane
- Growing an artichoke in the Urals
- Artichoke pests and diseases
- When to harvest artichokes
Before growing an artichoke in your garden, let's get acquainted with its main characteristics.
The perennial has a well-developed root system. The powerful plant has large dissected leaves covered with thorns. A tall, weakly branched stem can reach 2 meters. Outwardly, the plant looks like a silvery-green fountain, strewn with globular blue inflorescences.
Many do not realize that this precious vegetable is not as difficult to grow as it might seem. And this can be done in different climatic zones. Having excellent decorative data, a vegetable called artichoke can be a decoration of any garden.
Planting and care: step by step instructions
- The seeds must be placed in water for 10-11 hours to swell. Room temperature with a difference of a couple of degrees.
- After that, we wrap them in a damp bandage, gauze and leave warm for 5 days.
- If you want to get fruits for the first year, then the seeds must be removed in the refrigerator. This is done to harden them.
The cheesecloth can be wrapped in foil so that the water does not evaporate.
For seedlings, you need to prepare the soil, this should not cause any particular difficulties. To do this, we mix turf soil, humus and sand. Read about the description and characteristics of the Candy apple variety at this link.
There are no special requirements here. Peat, clay, plastic pots will do, but by no means metal. Read about picking tomato seedlings here.
- In the ground, grooves are made with a depth of no more than 4 centimeters.
- With an interval of 4 centimeters, carefully plant the seeds so as not to damage the hatched ones.
- Sprinkle the seeds with earth and moisten them with a sprayer.
- At this stage, monitor the condition of the ground very carefully. It should not be overdried and waterlogged.
When most of the sprouts hatch and the first leaves are formed, they need to be removed to a cool place (15 - 17 degrees), and the backlight must be installed. Leaves are formed 2-3 weeks after planting.
When the seedlings have 4 leaves (about 2 months after sowing), they can be planted in open ground.
After the most time-consuming part is completed, it's time to take care of and further development of the bushes.
If the seedlings were sown in a common container, it is necessary to make a pick. Containers with a volume of about 0.5 liters are suitable for this. This is how it is done.
- Prepare soil from humus with sand. In the center of each container we make a depression, water it.
- We water the plants in a common container, remove them one by one.
- The main root of each plant is pinched, the seedlings are moved into pots. After that, they are watered and removed to a warm place.
- After 2 weeks, the plants are fertilized with mullein diluted in water in a ratio of 1 to 10. After another 14 days, complexes of mineral fertilizers are added to the soil.
To strengthen the plants, hardening is carried out. To do this, in calm warm weather, the plants are taken out into the air.
Watering is done in the afternoon every other day, using a small amount of water. You can also water the bush every 2 weeks using up to 5 liters of water. POn any schedule, water the plants evenly, avoid overdrying and excessive moisture. Otherwise, the roots may rot or dry out.
Loosening the soil and removing weeds
The most convenient loosening option is a day after watering. This will prevent the water from evaporating too quickly and the roots will not rot. Weeding can be carried out at the same time as loosening. It helps to ventilate the soil and oxygenate the roots. There are no special recommendations here, the main thing is not to run the bushes for a long time. Learn about the processing of tomato seeds before planting seedlings here.
Fertilizers and feeding
Artichokes are fertilized with conventional mineral complexes, and when the bushes grow up, they can be fertilized by the foliar method by spraying. To do this, mix 1 teaspoon of wood ash with 1 teaspoon of superphosphate and 3 teaspoons of potassium chloride.
This fertilizer not only strengthens the bushes, but also helps repel harmful insects.
Shelter for the winter
To make a shelter outdoors, you need to do the following.
- Cut the stems of the plant so that there is no more than 30 centimeters from the tips to the ground.
- We cover the bush with burlap, covering or other dense material.
- We cover the ground around with sawdust, straw, fallen leaves. The layer is about 30 centimeters.
- The base of the bush and roots can be covered tightly with snow.
Protection against diseases and pests
Like many other plants, slugs and aphids attack the artichoke, eating greens with pleasure. You need to deal with them with special products sold in garden stores. The disease is exclusively artichoke - rot of the petals. For treatment, treatment is also carried out with special preparations. Before starting treatment, try to establish the cause of the rot: alkalis, acids, dryness, parasites, and so on.
In nature, there are more than 140 varieties of this plant, but even less than 40 subspecies are eaten.
- early maturing (May 41, early purple and others)
- mid-season (Gourmet, Sultan, Handsome)
- late maturing (Laon, Maikop tall, green large, etc.).
But due to the climatic features of our country, not all varieties can be grown, since the artichoke prefers a sunny, warm, dry climate. Here are the most popular and easy-care types:
- Early purple. From the name it is clear that the variety is early maturing. It can attract with its decorativeness, since in comparison with other varieties the bush is low: no more than 70 centimeters. One plant ripens up to 12 edible peduncles weighing about 100 grams.
- Sultan. The tallest of the presented varieties, sometimes the bush reaches 2 meters. Mid-season, on one bush up to 15 "cones" weighing about 90 grams.
- Gourmet. Also high (around 1.5 meters). But it does not differ in high yield, there are not many inflorescences, they weigh about 80 grams.
- Handsome. One of the most favorite varieties among summer residents. The plant has a high yield, begins to bear fruit in the first year after planting. The variety is much more unpretentious than all the others, it grows up to 1 meter in height. 1 bush gives an average of 12 fruits weighing about 110 grams.
How to grow exotic vegetables in the country
A capricious and thermophilic delicacy, it turns out, can be grown in a summer cottage. Of course, you will have to sweat with the growing process. At the end of March, about two months before planting, the seeds must be sown for seedlings. To do this, soak them in warm water, leave overnight. You need to germinate artichokes warm, and then put them in the refrigerator for 20 days. Plant seedlings in containers with a mixture of humus, turf ash and sand in equal proportions.
Until the first leaf appears, the seedlings should be warm and in the light. Then it should be transplanted to a cooler place. Seedlings can be transplanted to a permanent place as early as late May or early June.
Also, pay special attention to watering the artichokes. Until the first buds appear, supply the plant with plenty of water. Reduce watering after that. Fertilize artichokes with a nettle extract or 10% mullein solution twice a month.
Okra, brought to Europe from hot Africa, can also be planted in a summer cottage. In mid-April, you need to sow seedlings, and at the end of spring, transplant them into the ground at a fairly large distance from each other. When growing okra, be sure to use a film cover. To prepare the soil for planting, add 1 bucket of humus per square meter to the ground.
In the okra shelter, you need to maintain a certain air temperature - from 20 ° C to 30 ° C. Also, water and fertilize your plants regularly. Complex mineral fertilizers are suitable for this.
Artichoke propagation by layering
This method is typical for the southern regions and the middle zone, if the wintering of the artichoke is organized according to all the rules.
Option number 1
The first method is based on the separation from the mother plant of the cuttings formed naturally in the third year. A young specimen can live independently if it is separated after the appearance of 2-3 full-fledged leaves. Usually, no more than two root layers are left on the plant. The rest are removed as soon as they appear, so as not to weaken the adult artichoke.
When separating, it is important to avoid damage to the large root system. The layering needs to be dug: 20 cm from the young growth, a hole is dug 25 cm deep. The root connecting with the main plant is cut with a shovel. Then they introduce the canvas under a new artichoke and carefully separate it, trying not to shake off the soil.
It happens that the cuttings grow close to the mother plant. In this case, the compound is cut along a large stem, and the resulting wound is treated with a special compound that prevents pathogens from entering and stimulates root formation.
A young plant, together with an earthen clod, is immediately planted in a prepared place.ON THE PICTURE: Young shoots should be carefully separated from the mother plant (photo on the left) and immediately planted in a prepared place (photo on the right). It is better not to leave more than two layers on an adult bush, otherwise this will negatively affect its growth.
Option number 2
A cut from the root can be obtained forcibly. This option is convenient if artichokes are dug up and stored in the basement for the winter.
- In early February, 15 centimeters of a thick (with a finger) root are cut off from the mother plant and soaked in a root formation stimulator.
- At the same time, a box is prepared, at least 40 cm high and filled with small sawdust of fruit crops.
- A piece of root is placed in wet sawdust to a depth of 15 cm and do not forget to water.
- The sprout will appear above the surface in 6-7 weeks.
Since the leaves of a young plant are very delicate, they need to provide high humidity. The easiest way to create a mini greenhouse is to cover the greens with a jar. When the leaves of the artichoke grow up to 5 cm, organize frequent airing. After a few days, the plant adapts and the jar can be removed altogether.
The layering is occasionally sprayed. With a lack of moisture in the air, the tips of the leaf blades can dry out. Also carry out regular watering. There is no need to feed young shoots. The entire period preceding planting in open ground, the plant consumes nutrients from the mother root.
When the threat of spring frost has passed, the young artichoke is hardened by taking the box outside during the day. After two weeks, he is planted in a permanent place.