Artichokes are known for their elegant and distinctive leaves, veritably endearing to the eyes and aesthetic to the terrain, artichokes are a wonder to the eyes. When to pick artichokes is what we will be discussing here.
Picking artichokes comes with relative ease as you are only required to pay attention to a few things and follow the due process. Planting and caring for the artichokes can be considered to be the hard part. Once you are done with that part, picking or harvesting is relatively easy.
For you to be able to pick your artichoke plant, you must be able to tell when the plant is ready for harvest. Once you are able to tell this, then you can go ahead to the harvesting part of the task. Growing artichokes is an overall easy process that you can master if you wish to.
This article gives insight into how and things to note when planting and growing artichokes, and how you can pick the artichokes. Before we delve into how to pick artichokes, let’s consider a few facts about the plant to give us a background understanding.
About Artichoke Plant – When To Pick Artichokes
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It is important to have background knowledge and understanding about the artichoke plant as this will give you insight into how it should be picked. The buds of the plant are what get picked when the plant is matured enough for harvesting.
Picking the plant at the right time is very important as a delay in doing this may allow the plant to flower. If this is allowed to happen, the plant becomes thistle-like and turns purple.
Artichokes are mostly edible, and they should get picked when the flower bud is still not matured and very green. The plant has the ability to grow as high as three to five feet when placed in the right conditions.
When To Pick Artichokes
Artichokes usually stay green and alive for a period of about five years. Production by the plant however begins about a year after planting. During the season, you will notice that about 10 or more stalks are produced by the mature plant.
The best time to pick or harvest artichokes is when the flower buds begin to form on the stalks. This usually happens in the spring. It is advisable that you daily inspect the plant so that you can cut the buds before they open. When you allow the buds to open, it becomes fibrous and unpalatable.
When artichokes begin to produce, you will notice that the top bud in the stalk will ripen first and then the buds in the lower part of the stalk will follow. The bud atop is usually the biggest of the artichokes on the stalk. Now you understand when it’s the right time to pick artichokes, let’s consider how to.
How To Pick Artichokes – When To Pick Artichokes
It is important for you to note that picking artichokes is relatively the same thing as harvesting the plant. The following steps should be followed when you wish to pick your artichokes:
- Cut the artichoke bud from the stalk using a knife, garden pruner, or lopper. Ensure to leave about 1 to 3 inches below the bud base when cutting. Leaving some stem behind makes it easy for you to handle the thorny bud. Buds must be handled very carefully to avoid bruising.
- Repeat the above for all the buds ready for picking.
- When you are done picking all the buds on a particular stalk, cut the entire plant down just slightly above soil level. You should thereafter reduce irrigation. In no distant time, you will notice that new stalks bearing new buds will begin to develop.
Planting Artichokes: Tips For Growing Artichokes
The following are a few tips you should adopt when growing artichokes for the best possible result to be attained;
- Pick the Right Location: the location you choose goes a long way to affect your artichoke plant. Ensure that you pick a location with good drainage and plenty of direct sunlight. Planting artichokes in soggy soil goes a long way to affect the plant negatively. The soil must be nutritious.
- Prepare the Soil Adequately: after you have mapped out a perfect location to grow your artichoke plant, you must prepare the soil. While artichokes can grow in moist soil, such soil must have adequate organic matter if you wish to have a bountiful harvest.
- Plant your Artichokes: planting your artichoke seeds shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The seeds usually come with guides that should help you. Artichokes are usually planted and left to grow for about 60 days before they are brought into the garden planted in rows at an interval of 4-6 feet apart. Spacing it to about 6 to 8 feet apart provides greater room for water movement and fertilizer application.
- Water Artichokes Consistently: artichokes are a huge lover of water. This is very important to the plant as they need water to produce tender buds. The perennial power of the plant lies in its deep roots which can only be cultivated when watered regularly.
- Apply Artichoke Fertilizer: when you provide adequate fertilizer for your artichoke bed, your plant gets a lot of the essential nutrients it needs to thrive. Applying a balanced vegetable plant food every two weeks or thereabout will give the plant a huge boost.
- Harvesting/Pruning: harvesting should ordinarily take place when the plant is matured enough to be picked. You should harvest artichoke buds when they have swelled but are still tightly closed. Pruning takes place after harvesting, and this helps to prepare the plant for the next harvest.
Storing Artichokes – When To Pick Artichokes
After the plant has been picked, the need may arise for it to be stored. This may be done by putting the artichokes harvested in a refrigerator immediately after harvesting occurs. The plant can be stored conveniently for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. You may also decide to cook the plant.
Conclusion On When To Pick Artichokes
Picking artichokes as we have seen above is relatively easy. All you need do is pay attention to the plant and care for it as at when due. Picking the plant is the easy aspect of dealing with the plant. This article gives you direction on how to go about planting, caring for, and picking artichokes.
How can you tell when an artichoke is ripe?
An artichoke plant will usually be good for picking within a year after planting. You can easily tell when an artichoke is ripe, and this is when it begins to flower, and the bud is still very green and immature. This is when the artichoke is ripe for picking.
When should I cut my artichoke?
You should cut your artichoke when it is ripe. You can easily determine this because the plant begins to flower, but make sure to do your cutting before the flowers turn purple. When it is still green and immature, it is the best time to cut.
When is it too late to pick artichokes?
It becomes too late to pick artichokes when you notice that it has flowered fully, and the bud has changed color. From being sharp green to being dull purple, then it is about too late to pick.