Learn how to grow artichoke during this winter season

The artichoke has long and strong leaves, as well as exotic flowers that are very showy. Find out how to sow this plant during the winter.

Last update: December 20, 2021

The artichoke is a food with many properties and there are those who wonder how to plant this vegetable during the winter season. After its arrival during the Middle Ages, Spain has become one of the main producers of this vegetable.

With long and strong leaves, the artichoke is easy to grow, even in a home garden. But like everything, it must have adequate watering and pruning. Here we tell you everything you need to know.

The artichoke: a very nutritious food

Almost the entire plant can be eaten. However, it is the immature cocoon in the center that is often used for preparations. Among its nutritional properties, it contains calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

Do you know what is best? Today the artichoke has become very versatile. The market offers several presentations that facilitate its consumption. You can find it canned, frozen or pickled. However, nothing matches the flavor when planting artichokes in winter.

What is the ideal season to plant artichokes?

Being aware of the ideal season to grow artichokes is necessary to achieve optimal results. The first thing you should know is that the planting varies according to the areas, the height, the heat, the rains and the type of land:

  • Spain and Italy: you have to sow the artichoke in winter. The months of October and April are those of the harvest.
  • Chile and Argentina: It is the opposite of Spain, so from April to November are the best months to consume them.
  • U.S: the high season for consumption of artichokes is from March to May.

This is what you should consider, then: there are two ideal seasons to grow artichokes; one is during the fall, which includes the months of October, November, and early December. While the other is during the spring, scheduled for the end of March, April, May and the beginning of June.

Each hemisphere has its best season to grow artichokes and to obtain a quality product.

Without detriment to the above, the best months to collect artichokes are April and May.

What is the worst season to harvest artichokes?

The most unfavorable season to harvest and buy artichokes are the months of January and February in the northern hemisphere. On the other hand, in July, August and September you can get acceptable artichokes, but at a very high price.

Do not forget that all vegetables have an ideal season to be planted and harvested. Otherwise, you run the risk of collecting very young fruits, whose taste is usually bitter. Or very mature.

Step by step to sow artichoke in winter season

In Spain, they try to sow artichokes with the drip irrigation method, whether it is winter season or not. This makes the vegetables have more quality.

1. Find the right place

The first steps of an artichoke plant are taken in a land provided with good drainage and lots of natural light. Keep in mind that if the soil is flooded, both the crown and the root system of the artichoke will be ruined.

If you are planting artichokes in your garden you should make sure to place them next to other plants that do not compete for the same nutrients. Peas, cabbage, sunflowers, and tarragon are a case in point.

2. Prepare the soil

Artichokes can be planted in almost all soils, but some are better than others. Thus, make sure that your soil is rich in nutrients and is worked. Organic matter will increase your harvest of quality artichokes.

Squeeze the earth and then open your hand; this is great for checking its texture. A well-worked soil does not clump together with the force of a squeeze, but when you open your hand it does not unravel either. In contrast, the optimal soil slowly crumbles into the palm.

If you have found flaws in your floor, nothing happens! Prepare as follows: Dig a row at least 21 centimeters deep and fill 13 with compost. If your field is large, mix 45 kilograms of manure for every 30 square meters.

3. Plant the artichokes

Artichoke seeds do not always comply with what is described on their packaging. Although it is not an impossible mission to grow them from seed, it takes longer than root divisions.

Consider that you must sow the artichoke seed in a jar and wait 60 days or more, until the seedling germinates and grows, to transfer it to the garden.

However, root divisions do not take as many days and you can get them in nurseries. When planting, consider that as the artichokes grow they require more space.

To prevent this from happening, plant the plants with a considerable distance on all sides. This will also give you room to water, fertilize and harvest without hindrance.

4. Fool your artichoke plants

If you see unfavorable results with annual artichokes, you should try to fool them. To do this, expose the seedlings to temperatures fresh during the months of March and April. In case the temperatures drop to freezing point, you should keep them in a greenhouse.

The water in artichokes is necessary to produce tender buds. Try to stimulate them. Try using a rotating nozzle for deep watering and water them between 1 and 3 times a week, depending on the weather.

If you are facing a very hot summer, the artichoke buds may open quickly and turn into flowers. You can get around this with overhead irrigation to keep temperatures under control.

5. Provides special fertilizer

Fertilizing the artichoke bed with a special fertilizer gives your plant a good start, packed with essential nutrients. The balanced plant food should be supplied every 2 weeks, during the growing season.

6. Harvest the artichokes

Get a knife and cut, from the base of the bud, 2 centimeters. After picking the central bud, the plant will germinate smaller side buds, but very tender and with a good flavor.

7. Pruning the plant is important

Once the artichoke harvest is complete, you must prune the plant. This helps her get ready for the arrival of another season.

To do this, you just have to cut the stem of the plant a few inches from the ground. Then put a thick mulch of leaves or straw over the stem to protect it from frost.

Consider the following steps to prune your artichoke plant:

  1. Cut the top third from the base of the bud.
  2. Remove 2 outer layers of leaves surrounding the stem.
  3. Using kitchen scissors, trim the sharp tips off each of the remaining outer blades.
In the home garden it is possible to have artichokes if their exposure to temperatures is regulated.

8. Divide the plants

If your artichoke plant is 5 years old, it is already considered mature. Each of these plants generate shoots that begin to gather in the one of origin.

So it is suggested that you separate some of these shoots every few years. Choose a sprout that is rooted, cut it off with a garden knife, or dig it up with a shovel.

Artichokes: plant them in winter!

In Spain, artichokes are usually harvested during the fall and winter seasons. If you want to know how to plant it, consider finding a good spot first, preparing the soil, and providing a good fertilizer.

Sowing artichoke in winter is not an impossible task. Like everything related to orchards, it requires dedication.

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