Fruit and Vegetables

Cultivation artichoke

Cultivation artichoke

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Cultivation artichoke

That of the artichoke is a lasting plant that belongs to the family of the Composite. The part of the plant is generally used the part of the inflorescences when they are still soft and not too developed.
The artichoke is a typical plant of the Mediterranean area, therefore the climate and the ideal places for its cultivation are those of the central and southern regions and of the islands.
The types of artichokes that are cultivated in Italy are basically two: the autumnal and spring species. The spring-like varieties whose greatest production occurs in the months of October and November.
The winter type is cultivated above all in the coastal part of the central-northern regions of our country and produces a production that can go from February to May.
Those that are called spring varieties are divided into two of the most important qualities of artichokes on our territory, the "Romaneschi" and the "Toscani".
This type of vegetable must be grown in types of soil that are not too moist and above all very clayey and that have an excellent limestone component.
As for the climate, special attention must be paid to winter frosts. The latter are lethal for plant development. The ideal climate for the cultivation of artichokes, in fact, must be mild.

The artichoke plant needs a not too heavy soil that allows the drainage of water. Very important before planting our plants is to prepare the soil well both through fertilizers and adequate digging. This last operation, that is the digging, can be done either mechanically or with a spade, the important thing is that the ground is dug to a depth of at least fifty centimeters. Specifically, it is important, depending on the width of our soil, to trace more grooves at the usual distance from one another, distribute the manure and cover it, trying to make the soil surface as homogeneous as possible.Plant the artichoke

Once the soil is ready, it's time to plant the artichokes. To do this we need those that are called "carducci" that grow at the base of the stem of the artichoke plant. The "carducci" must be planted in the ground at a depth of about forty centimeters. It is important that between them there is a distance of about one meter, so that the plant can grow and develop freely without being too close to each other. We recommend as a more profitable period to plant artichoke plants than late autumn or early spring. Once you have planted the artichokes, proceed to water the soil copiously and evenly.
Another method for planting artichokes is to sow them. However, be careful to place your artichokes in a part of your garden where there is no other type of vegetable. The best time to sow artichokes is the month of May. Also in this case, the seed must be placed at an abundant depth in the ground.

Irrigation and fertilization

The irrigation of artichoke plants is a very delicate passage. This type of vegetable cannot stand the water that stagnates precisely because, more than other plants, it is subject to a maceration process that quickly leads the plant to rot. It is therefore necessary to proceed with irrigation when the soil is dry, being careful to ensure that there are no standing water. Particular attention must therefore be given to this passage during the cultivation of artichokes in order not to waste the work done. As far as soil fertilization is concerned, no particular precision is required. If, for example, the soil in which our artichokes were planted was fertilized properly the previous year, no fertilizer will be required. Another suggestion we can give to make your artichokes grow at their best once planted is to put hay or straw on the ground. This way no weeds will grow on the ground that risk stealing the nourishment of our artichoke plant.

Collection of artichokes

Once our artichokes have grown, the harvesting period starts from October until around May and June. Depending on the type of plant, from three to twenty plant artichokes can be harvested. The artichokes are harvested using scissors, or suitable knives, we do not recommend doing it with your hands. The operation of the collection if done by hand is not very easy. After harvesting, the plant begins a process in which it dries and loses all the stems where the artichokes were born. This momentary transformation is due to the need for the plant to take a "rest period", until it comes to life and the cycle begins again and therefore the new production of artichokes. The artichoke plants are very long-lived as they can last from five to seven years.