Artichokes are a popular and versatile vegetable. However, due to their unusual appearance, you may wonder, how does an artichoke grow? Though they may take some experience, they are great vegetables to grow in your garden.
Artichokes are packed full of health benefits. There are many different tasty ways you can prepare them to enjoy. They are a great vegetable that you can grow in your own home garden with the right experience.
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How To Grow Artichokes
Artichoke plants are a type of herbaceous perennials that are part of the Asteraceae family. This group of plants includes thistles, dandelions, and sunflowers.
Artichokes are short-lived perennials when grown in warmer climates but in cooler regions, they are grown as annuals. They are grown for their unique edible flower buds, which people harvest before the flowers open.
Originally, artichokes are from the Mediterranian area. They are still mainly grown here today, but they are also grown commercially in other areas too such as California.
Though commercially they are mainly grown in California, home gardeners grow them all over. However, they’re very large plants so you will need to have plenty of space.
How Does An Artichoke Grow?
Artichokes are commonly described as architectural plants, due to their tall, branching build. They have big, silvery-green leaves that can be prickly and thick stems large flower buds. The buds are the part of the plant we eat and a healthy plant will produce around six to nine buds.
You can grow them without the worry of animals eating them, because very few do. They can be harvested at will, but the unique plants and textural leaves will add an interesting look throughout the season. Despite not being grown commercially in many areas, they can grow well in most regions.
At maturity, artichokes can be three to six feet tall and four to five feet wide. If you grow them at home, you need to have a large garden with plenty of space. Place them four to six feet apart in rows and place the rows six to eight feet apart to make growing and watering easier.
Proper Growing Conditions – How Does An Artichoke Grow
Depending on the climate, artichokes will be planted at different times of the year. If grown in cooler climates as annuals, they should be planted in the spring. In warmer climates, they can grow as perennials and can be planted as seeds in late spring or as young plants in mid-fall.
Artichokes can grow in zones 7-11. They need soil that is well-drained, light, and fertile. You should be certain to plant your artichokes in an area where they can receive full sun.
Ideally, the pH level of the soil should be slightly alkaline. Artichokes prefer warmer, drier weather, which is why they thrive in California and the Mediterranean. If you grow them as a perennial, you will want mild winters and cool, moist summers.
Watering And Fertilizer
Artichokes do best with a balanced vegetable plant food fertilizer that is applied every two weeks during the growing season. They should be watered one to three times a week. This will allow the plant to develop a strong root system while keeping the buds fleshy and tender.
There are a few different varieties of artichokes. Some of the most common varieties include Big Heart, Green Globe, Imperial Star, Purple of Romagna, and Violetto. Green Globe tends to be one of the most popular varieties.
How To Trim An Artichoke
Though it can be tricky at first, trimming an artichoke is a pretty straightforward process once you get the hang of it. After harvesting, it requires a few steps to get them to the point where you can eat them.
To begin, cut off the top third of the artichoke bud using a serrated knife. Next, remove the outer two layers of leaves that are around the stem. Then, you will use kitchen scissors to trim off any sharp tips remaining on the outer leaf.
Peel the stem off the artichoke. If you don’t plan on using the artichoke right away, you can place it in a bowl with lemon water to keep it fresh until you are ready to use it.
Common Ways To Prepare Artichokes
You can cook artichokes in many different ways including steaming, baking, grilling, braising, or stuffing. Steaming is often the most popular way to cook artichokes as it is the easiest.
Artichokes also taste great in dips, salads, soups, stew, and hash. They come with many health benefits including being low in fat and rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Growing Your Own Artichokes
Artichokes are a versatile and healthy vegetable that you can grow in your own garden with the proper room and knowledge. They can grow in zones 7-11 and need full sun along with well-drained, light, fertile soil.
Do you have any questions regarding how does an artichoke grow? If so, please ask any questions relating to growing artichokes in the comment section below.
How Long Does it Take to Grow an Artichoke?
Most artichokes take around 85-100 days to reach harvest once planted. The center of the bud matures the fastest, followed by the sides of the bud.
How Much Water Does it Take to Grow an Artichoke?
Artichokes should be watered thoroughly one to three times a week. This will allow the roots to grow strong and allow the buds to become tender and fleshy. During production season, they will need about 15 inches of water in order to be healthy.
Are Artichokes Easy to Grow?
Artichokes are not particularly hard to grow, but most importantly you need plenty of space to grow them. Most intermediate and advanced gardeners have no problem growing them with the right knowledge. In order to enjoy a bountiful harvest, you need proper planting, watering and pruning.
How Tall Does an Artichoke Plant Grow?
Artichoke plants can grow to be as tall as three to six tall. They can be as wide as four to five feet. Due to their large size, you need to have plenty of room in your garden to grow artichokes. You should plant them four to six feet apart in rows and the rows should be six to eight feet apart to make growing and watering easier.