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Treacodactyl

Globe artichokes

Seasonal garden produce rather than shopping but our globe artichokes seem just about ready to pick. They're useful plants as they live in the flower bed looking good and provide a bit of an interesting snack. Razz Anyone else grow them?
sean

Not yet. Could be a project for next year. What sort of yield do you get/plant?
Treacodactyl

Not many here, just 5 flower heads on a plant, but we grew it from seed a few years back and have done nothing to it since. I'd be interested to hear what people get from them on decent soil. The plants are prone to slugs and snails though, more so than many other plants.
Kinnopio

I've grown them the last couple of years - they seem to do pretty well in my garden and don't get too bothered by snails but they do seem to get a lot of blackfly on them. I planted them with a bit of manure and I probably got about ten heads per plant. Other than protecting their crowns during winter with a bit if straw I haven't really done anything else with them. They seem to need protecting from strong winds as mine blew over this year which meant I had to make a globe artichoke feast. I followed a Gordon Ramsay recipe for baby artichokes where they are trimmed cut in half, boiled in water and white wine vinegar, seasoned very well doused in olive oil and then griddled. Not sure I'm trimming them down properly yet as some parts seemed a bit tough, but they were utterly delicious.

If you want high yields from a small space then don't grow 'em but they do look lovely and taste wonderful. I think they look nice in full flower as well.

I've not tried yet but in spring when they first start growing they produce baby plants from the crown. If you use a spade and divide them up you get new plants that should fruit more quickly than those from seed.
bernie-woman

I don't grow them but my plot neighbour does and has in general one large flower head and three or four smaller ones on one plant - I keep meaning to have a go - you can't beat boling them up and serving one per person with a small pot of vinaigrette for each person to dip the leaves into Very Happy
treaclepuss

I grow them and love them. If you cut off the very top one first, it makes the heads lower down get bigger quicker. Earwigs also love them - tap the cut heads gently and leave upside down in slightly salty water for a short while and they float out. Growing a dahlia at the end of the row helps too.

Kinnopio is right on two counts - you do get lots of offshoots and they seem to take better in the spring. I always leave one head to flower as it's lovely to see the bees burying themselves ecstatically in the purple fronds! I've been told it weakens the plant but what the heck...
judith

Treacodactyl wrote:
The plants are prone to slugs and snails though, more so than many other plants.


That's odd. In my Yorkshire slug garden, globe artichoke was one of the few crop plants I could grow - once they were more than about a foot high, they seemed invincible.

Other than initial slug-proofing they thrive on deep, rich soil, but seem to handle lack of rain and too much rain with equanimity.
Summer gales, on the other hand, do this:

Mary-Jane

I'd grow 'em just for the hell of it - but I'm not terribly keen on artichokes.
Treacodactyl

The snails round here like to eat the inside of the ribs of the mature leaves, causing the leaf to break. I wouldn't mind it they stuck to one leave and ate it but they just damage the whole plant unless I pick them off, strange.

It's certainly something I'll grow more of when we get some more space, and as people say, they should be easy to propagate from offsets.
mochyn

We grow them in the top long border because there's room in the borders for that sort of thing. Very ornamental yet highly edible. Never had any problems with any pests. Each mature plant produces 6-9 heads, some of which get eaten and some left ot flower. The flowers often get used in show entries as part of a vase of mixed flowers-type class.

They have been known to win in that and in the 'any vegetable not already in show' class.
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