Artichoke - Sow, plant, care for, harvest

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Artichoke, an original, cleaving, multiple, delicious vegetable!

The artichoke is a very interesting vegetable from a taste point of view. Its flavors are special, which is why it does not leave you indifferent. We also know the jokes that run around him - Why is artichoke a poor man's vegetable? (…) It's because there is more on the plate after the meal… Is it funny? (…) Way.

We therefore know the artichoke well as a vegetable, a perpetual vegetable, originating in the Mediterranean basin. It was in Italy that it would have been cooked and enjoyed the first time. In Italian cuisine and in particular Roman cuisine, Artichoke is always present: Artichoke (grilled) à la Juive (Carciofo alla Giudia), Artichoke à la Romaine (in salad).

In France, too, it is widely adopted, especially in the south where it is cooked in many ways, raw or cooked, eaten cold or hot. The pepper artichoke is both a designation in the vegetable garden, when it is harvested early in the season. It is also a designation in the kitchen when it is cooked young, whole, before "the hay" appears.

In Provence it is cooked "à la barigoule". Have a good vegetable garden, enjoy your meal!

Botanical name:

• Cynara scolymus L.

Type of plant

• Plant: Perennial
• Family: Asteraceae


• The artichoke is an invasive vegetable that takes up a lot of space on the ground and in height. If you are an amateur gardener, passionate about square gardens, or terraced gardens, with a reduced cultivation area ... Beware.

• Reserve a few plants for the ornamental garden, or for growing in the vegetable garden.

• Artichokes do not tolerate low temperatures. (-5 to -7 ° maximum). It is important in colder regions to protect it.

Benefits to the vegetable garden

Artichoke is therefore a perennial plant, which makes it possible without replanting to conserve the culture for the following years. Market gardeners renew a third of the Artichoke plants each year, because it tends to degenerate and give less and less "beautiful" "fruits". Thanks to this rotation, they ensure the sustainability of their culture.

Flowering of the artichoke

The flowers appear in April and May.

Description of the artichoke

The artichoke is a large plant, it can reach 1.50 m in height, and 1 m in diameter on the ground. In short, you need space!

When it blooms, it is on the top of the fruit that a purple flower about 10 to 15 cm in diameter appears - the shape of the future vegetable is already largely identifiable. The plant develops foliage made of long, very indented leaves.

Gardener's Info

It exists 2 methods to cultivate artichokes:
• Fsowing area or
• Plant “carnations”. The eyecups are taken from the previous feet, by separation.
You can get them by simply buying them from your favorite organic supplier.


Some gardeners evoke difficulties ... but here is the procedure to follow, (in all modesty) so that the culture takes place under the best hospices.

• Start sowing in a greenhouse in the winter months, from January to March, in a greenhouse or under cover.
• In colder regions, the temperature must be kept at a minimum of 10 ° C for optimum development of the subjects.
• The seedlings are prepared directly in pots.

Artichoke carnations

Carnations are sort of "suckers" that form at the foot of the artichoke

• In March or April, depending on the region, you can practice eyecup, that is to say the selection of the eyecup. For this operation, choose a shoot with a root start, spread the stem well to see the root and using a sharp knife remove it.

• Replant it in a medium-sized bucket to let it regain roots in the best conditions.

• Clean the foot by removing all damaged parts and cut off the ends of the leaves, to restore strength "to the foot".

When to plant artichokes

• Transplant the pots in the ground during the months of March to the beginning of May.

• Maturation of the foot takes about 3 months.

When to harvest

• Harvesting is done during the summer months, depending on the month of planting and the region.
• The cultivation method also comes into play.

The varieties

• Smaller varieties of artichoke are best suited for southern regions because they are not resistant to low temperatures.

• In regions with a "rougher" climate, preference will therefore be given to large artichoke varieties.

White artichokes:

Organic varieties:

Laon Green or Italian Green: an artichoke quite similar to the Camus variety, with better resistance to cold.

Camus: 300 to 500 g / piece (West of France production)

Violet of Provence: a magnificent little purple artichoke, with a more closed head. It is the artichoke that is eaten whole, it is popular with chefs. In fact, it is harvested early, before the hay is formed. In the markets, or in the kitchen, it is called "pepper artichoke". It is cooked raw or cooked, presented in vinaigrette. In Provence, it is cooked with thyme and mushrooms, over there we say “Artichoke à la barigoule”.
• In Provence again, you will also find, the Blanc Hyérois: rather cooked or eaten raw.

Artichoke Castel : derived from Camu by crossing by INRA - very similar with better presentation.

• Tudela from Spain

• Turkish sakis

A little point about purple artichokes:

Violet de Provence (bouquet): This is the most common, small and conical (100 g / piece) from the Mediterranean basin. It is eaten raw as a “pepper” when it is harvested small. Bigger it is eaten cooked.

Other varieties of purple artichokes: Violet of Venice, Violet of Tuscany, Violet of Gene, Violet Romanesco, Violet Romagna di Chiogga…

Diseases and parasites of the artichoke

Ascochytosis: Black spots at the top of the stems and at the tip of the bracts (leaves of the soft flower). The flower eventually dries up. It is a disease that appears after a long wet period.
> Preventive treatment : Bordeaux mixture.

White (lettuce sucker): Brown spots on the leaves and white powder below.
> In case of infection spraying the leaves with a lithotamne product (algae) and from the start of the attack, with a mixture of powder 50% flower of sulfur, 50% Lithotamne. (the quantity depends on the surface to be treated 300g of mixture for 1 are). foliar dusting.

Inflorescence rot: Brane spots on the scales of the flower head (The flower head is a type of inflorescence. It is a flower without peduncles grouped together in a receptacle, surrounded by bracts) which eventually rot.
> In prevention: Respect the principle of crop rotation
> In treatment: no treatment: cut off the affected flower heads if the infestation is advanced, cut off the foot and put it in the trash and not in the compost to avoid spreading, that's silly to say, but at least it says!

With or without a garden ...

• Artichokes can also be used to make a bed greener.

• Arichoke in a pot, it is possible, prefer a large pot, from 40 to 50 cm in diameter.

Quick sheet:

Photo rights: Bjul / 123RF

Lamb's lettuce culture: sowing, planting, maintaining and harvesting

Lamb's lettuce is a rustic salad very popular in autumn and winter. Growing this leafy vegetable organically is easy once you understand its requirements. It is harvested from fall until late winter, or even in spring if sown in the spring. The varieties fall into two categories: fall or large-leaved varieties on the one hand. On the other hand, winter or small-leaved varieties. The latter offer superior taste quality. In this complete article, we will see all the stages of lamb's lettuce culture: the choice of varieties according to the sowing period, the different ways of sowing, planting if you sow in clods, maintaining, identifying and fighting against pests and harvesting .

Varieties of artichoke

There are many varieties of artichokes. Here is our selection.

'Gros vert de Laon' (sometimes nicknamed 'Cat's head')

  • Flavor: Fine flavor.
  • Features: Pointed leaves. Very plump globular head.
  • Qualities: Old variety and resistant to cold. Ideal in the North. To eat preferably cooked.

'Camus de Bretagne'

  • Flavor: Very tender.
  • Features: Large fleshy artichoke.
  • Qualities: Traditional variety.

'Violet of Provence'

  • Flavor: Soft and crunchy.
  • Features: Pointed head in violet color.
  • Qualities: Consume itself completely raw. Sensitive to cold.

'Green of Provence'

  • Flavor: Tasty.
  • Features: Head elongated, purplish.
  • Qualities: Eat raw or cooked. Heat resistant.

Prickly artichoke

  • Flavor: Soft and crunchy.
  • Features: Thorns at the top of bracts. Tapered shape.
  • Qualities: Italian specialty, is found on the Cote dвґ ™ Azur.

With its very rapid growth, arugula is easily associated with the vegetable garden. We sow it often with carrot and beet on the same line. Thus, the arugula will have time to grow and be harvested before hindering the growth of the carrot and beet. This peppery salad is also used in intercropping of curly chicory and escaroles.

Most of the time, the arugula is directly sown in place and does not require transplanting. However, you can choose to sow a little earlier under cover and transplant in the spring. It is also possible to buy arugula plants to transplant in the ground. Anyway, keep a distance of 8 cm between each plant. To put them in the ground, all you have to do is dig a hole the size of the small clod, put the latter in, reseal, tamp and water. If your soil is poor, take the opportunity to add compost.

Caring for your beans

Straw the ground to hold humidity and make sure it is well drained. Beans have shallow roots, so mulching keeps them cool.

Watering is done regularly, from the beginning of the pod until the setting. If you don't keep the beans well watered, they will stop blooming. Water on sunny days so the foliage does not get wet.

Avoid a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content or you will get lush foliage and few beans. Just add a little compost halfway through their growing season. The bean flowers will fall off the plant if the weather is too hot, and too much nitrogen in the soil will prevent pods from forming.

Remove the weeds carefully and superficially to avoid disturbing the root system. It's a vegetable fragile all the same.

Gardening in April: what to do to plant and harvest during this time

That's it, we have switched to summer time and with the month of April, the mildness of spring is finally making itself felt. The soil is gradually warming up, the days are getting longer, which allows the gardener to take care of his garden at the end of the day. However, in some regions, you have to be on your guard! Indeed, we are never safe from a big cold snap with the risk of losing our crops. But with spring fast approaching, it's time to revive your garden by planting new trees, shrubs, perennials, strawberries, rhubarb, and more. Sow or transplant tomatoes or eggplants. April is also the time to plant the vegetable garden of your dreams. Find out what you can do, plant, sow and harvest in the garden during this time!

In the vegetable garden:

Plant: Rhubarb, melon, artichoke, cabbage (summer varieties), strawberries, raspberries, eggplant, lettuce (summer varieties), sycamore maple, officinal lavender, wild garlic, tetra-gold dill, large green artichoke from Laon , purple artichoke from Provence, basil, beet, curly chervil, carrot, Jerusalem artichoke, shallot, various cabbage, chives, Kimber grafted zucchini, wild spinach, ginger, comfrey, mint, hyssop, lemon balm, Espelette pepper, pepper, rosemary, silver santoline, sage, thyme. ..
Sow: tomato, eggplant, pepper, melon, cucumber, cauliflower, ribbed celery, beetroot, celery root and other cucumbers in frames or other heated shelters for colder regions.
In warmer climates, sow directly in the ground: zucchini, eggplant, tomato, celeriac, autumn cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spring lettuce, arroche, chard or pear, fennel, mesclun, kohlrabi , artichoke, carrot, parsnip, scorsonera, radish, turnip, salsify, bulbous parsley, beetroot, onion… ..
Harvest: leeks, asparagus, pink radish, first white onions (sown in autumn), chard, arugula, broccoli, winter lettuce.
Maintain: frames and bells by ventilating them.
Pinch: The beans above the sixth flower and flutter the plants.
Divide: rhubarb, sorrel, chives, tarragon and artichokes.
Spade: free and incorporated manure sites.
Protect: young shoots from slugs.

Gardening :

o Fertilize: the soil with rotten manure enriched with algae.
o Prepare the planks for voracious plants like tomatoes, eggplants and squash by incorporating already rotted manure.
o Grafting: fruit trees.
o Cleaning: in the pond, but also lawn care.
o Ventilation and dust removal: Greenhouses.
o Weeding and weeding: weeds.


Do you want to taste the very fine flavor of milk thistle, also known as "wild artichoke"? Try to pick the leaves (if possible before the flower stems come out). Conserve ribs. After having sliced ​​them, cook them for 5 minutes in salted boiling water. Then brown them in salted butter or olive oil. The very fine artichoke flavor of this funny improvised vegetable is appreciated as a garnish for white meats and fish.

A common plant throughout the Mediterranean basin, milk thistle seems to have always been picked. Since ancient times, the Greeks used it to fight against ailments of the liver. Pliny the Elder recommended to mix juice of a plant with honey to "remove excess bile". In the Middle Ages, the milk thistle was reputed to drive out melancholy and "black bile", so many diseases that were then assumed to be due to liver problems. In the 19th century, the American eclectic school continued to use this plant not only to fight against liver disease, but also to treat varicose veins and menstrual disorders.

Many superstitions were attached to this medicinal plant: thus it was considered that consumption of milk thistle gives strength and vitality and that it strengthens the virility of men. In Savoy, formerly, the gentlemen who consumed a lot of this spiny plant were in great demand as lovers. Just carrying a bag of milk thistle seeds with you was supposed to stimulate dynamism. And, like many other plants, it was common to think that having this thorny plant near tables ensures good health for the cows and makes them produce very milk. good quality.

Voted for its medicinal properties, milk thistle was once gathered for consumption. The fine flavor of its flower heads and young leaves was praised by all gourmets who were not afraid to remove the thorns from the plant. Milk thistle was thus sold in the Algerian markets, and, in England, it was for a long time considered only as a vegetable plant it was affirmed there besides that the young spring shoots of this thistle, after cooking, surpassed in flavor the best cabbages!

The seeds of milk thistle were also formerly given to poultry, which were fond of it, certainly thanks to the oil which these seeds contain.

Good to know: the milk thistle also bears the nicknames of В “Notre-Dame thistle В” and В “Mary's silyb В”. These references to the Virgin come from a legend: it is said that hearing the soldiers of Herod approaching in their fatal mission to kill all the newborns, Mary would have camouflaged the child Jesus under the vast leaves of this thistle and that a few drops of mother's milk would then have beaded on the foliage. The plant still bears these beautiful white markings and thus displays its protective virtues.

Video: Η Καλλιέργεια του Πράσου 2

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