ARTICHOKE, Globe Compositae Cynara Scalymus
HABITAT: So. Europe, N. Africa. Zone 8-10 (especially Pacific South West coast).
HABIT: Spreading, thistle-like perennial plants to 4' producing large succulent edible buds from spring on. Best grown on pacific South West coast and in zone 8-10 (Gulf States, California, and Florida). Buds mature 50-100 days.
SEED GERMINATION AND CULTURE: For best results, sow indoors in peat pots or pellets 4-6 weeks before time to set out (after danger of frost is past). Cover seeds lightly, maintain constant moisture (not wet) at all times and maintain a temperature of 60-65° during germination which requires 12-15 days. Shift to 3" pots when roots emerge from pot walls and grow on in a protected spot (cold frame, etc.) until weather permits and ground has warmed. Set into good garden soil with humus (leaf mold, peat moss, compost, etc.) added and with excellent drainage. Set 4' apart each way in full sun. Keep cultivated, well watered, and feed with 4 lbs. of a balanced garden fertilizer such as 8-8-8 per 100 sq. ft. incorporated into the soil before planting. Repeat fertilization at the same rate when the plants are 18-24" high. Plants may also be fed liquid fertilizer every other week during the growing season. Mulch plants to preserve moisture. Buds may be harvested at any time but generally are picked when 4" across. After the harvest, cut out bearing stalks just below ground level for a second crop. Six inch lengths of root stock may be planted in early spring or fall, cover with 4" of soil and 4' apart each way. Mulch in colder zones with straw, hay, etc. for protection. Divide plants every 3-4 years.
INSECTS: Aphids, Artichoke Plume Moth: For best results, use an approved insecticide such as Malathion or Diazinon for control.
Slugs, Snails: Check for availability of Slug Bait.
DISEASES: Mildew: For best results, use an approved fungicide such as Benlate for control.
PROPAGATION: Division, offshoots, seeds.