New! Organic green standard.
An improved Imperial Star-type for low-input systems that features minimal spines for easier harvesting. The 2–3′ plants have an open habit and produce an average of 1–2 primary buds per plant averaging about 3–4" in diameter. Secondary buds average 5–7 per plant at 1 1/2–2" in diameter. Perennial in Zone 7 and warmer; otherwise treat as an annual. Organically grown. Avg. 9,700 seeds/lb. Packet: 25 seeds.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cynara spp.
CULTURE: Artichokes and cardoon require very fertile, well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5-7.0. Sow artichokes indoors 8-12 weeks before last spring frost date. Cardoon is more vigorous and can be started later, 6-8 weeks prior to last frost date. Plant 2-3 seeds per cell in plug trays or individual containers 1/4" deep. Germinate at 70-80°F (21-26°C). As soon as seedlings can be handled, transplant to 4" pots or 1½" cell-type containers and grow at 60-70°F (15-21°C) day and 50-60°F (10-15°C) night. Transplant 6- to 12-week-old plants to the field 2-3′ apart in rows 4-6′ apart.
IMPORTANT COLD TREATMENT (VERNALIZATION): Time transplanting so plants receive 10 days of 45-50°F (7.2-10°C) temperatures to induce budding. Protect from frost.
HARVEST: Clip mature buds midsummer to midfall, depending on location.
MILD AREAS: Where winter low is above 14°F (-10°C), sow seeds in fall, harvest in spring.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/LB.: Avg. 11,500.
BLANCHING: Gather stalks in late summer or early fall, tie upright with twine, and wrap with black plastic or black and white newspaper to exclude sunlight. Blanch for 3-4 weeks during the cooler weather of early fall.
HARVEST: Harvest after blanching, cutting at the base of the stalks to keep intact.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/LB.: Avg. 11,600.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From transplant.
PACKET: 25 seeds, unless otherwise noted.