Spring Growing Guides

Artichoke and Cardoon Growing Guide

Soil Temp for Germ.Days to EmergenceSeed DepthSoil Temp for Trans.Plant SpacingRow SpacingMin. Germ.Seed LifeSeeds per gramFertilizer Needs
65-75°F10-201/4"45°F3-5'4-6'70%1 year≈ 15-20Low

Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus: The flower buds of the artichoke are the harvested part of the plant. Artichokes are reported to contain the highest level of antioxidants of all vegetables!

C. cardunculus: Cardoon is a relative of the artichoke. Instead of consuming the flower as with artichokes, the fleshy leaf stems are eaten. Days to maturity are calculated from date of transplant.

• Artichokes are a tender perennial that prefer mild winters and cool summers
• Deep, fertile, well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5-7.5 provide optimum growth
• Before a hard frost, cut plants to 8-10 inches above ground and mulch with clean straw to keep the crown from freezing; crown death may occur at 25°F or lower

Direct Sowing
• Not recommended

• Start indoors in January, sow 3-5 seeds per 4 inch pot; thin out small or albino seedlings and keep the strongest plant
• Transplant after danger of frost, but when the seedlings can still receive 10-12 days of temperatures under 50°F to induce budding
• Work in 1 cup of TSC's Complete fertilizer around each plant

Insects & Diseases
Common insects: Aphids
Insect control: Neem, Pyrethrin or Azatrol
Common diseases: Crown rot, powdery mildew, molds
Disease prevention: Avoid overhead irrigation and water-logged soil

Harvest & Storage
• Cut buds before they start to open
• Smaller artichokes are the most tender
• Cardoon can be harvested green or blanched white by wrapping the young stalks with newspaper or piling straw around the plants for 30 days prior to harvest
• Store at 36°F and 95% relative humidity