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Artichoke: Varieties, Agricultural Technology, Diseases And Pests
Artichoke: Varieties, Agricultural Technology, Diseases And Pests

Video: Artichoke: Varieties, Agricultural Technology, Diseases And Pests

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Video: ARTICHOKE 101 | how to cook and eat artichokes 2023, February
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Artichoke is Peter's favorite vegetable

artichoke
artichoke

My first artichoke

The artichoke was brought to Russia at the direction of Peter I from Holland, and was originally grown in the Summer Garden as an ornamental and medicinal plant, and then as a vegetable. They say that Peter I did not sit down to dine without artichokes. This is explained by the fact that the king had a severe disease of the urinary system, and the artichoke contains cynarin, which has a diuretic and choleretic effect.

Following the royal fashion, artichokes began to be served to the table of noble people as an exquisite delicacy dish. In the 19th century, Russian gardeners began to grow artichokes for sale as a vegetable crop, and with great benefit for themselves - its inflorescences were then also very expensive. At the beginning of the 20th century, the artichoke was still a common dish on the tables of wealthy Russians. Unfortunately, now it is rarely found in our gardens.

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Features of culture

The artichoke is a relative of the thistle and burdock.

Artichoke prickly or real (Cynara scolymus L.) is a perennial herb of the Asteraceae or Asteraceae family. Its stems are up to 2 m high, weakly branched. The leaves are large in size, have a pinnately dissected shape, with blade-incised lobes, sometimes with spines. They are green or grayish-green, forming a large basal rosette.

Artichoke flowers are bluish in color, collected in large (up to 25 cm in diameter) spherical inflorescences-baskets. They eat green bottoms - overgrown fleshy receptacles and juicy bases of the scales of the heads of underdeveloped inflorescences. The delicate pulp of the artichoke tastes good and is a valuable dietary product.

Artichoke fruits are large achenes (6-7 mm long), gray with black marble pigmentation.

The artichoke's path to humans

artichoke
artichoke

Young sprouts of artichokes

The birthplace of the original form, like the name of this plant (in Arabic "al-char-schof"), was originally located in North Africa or the Middle East, from where it came through the Mediterranean to Sicily and from there to France and England. It was grown in Ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome. Moreover, in Greece and Rome, he was considered a rather strong aphrodisiac - a plant that awakens sexual desires.

Some aphrodisiacs have enzymes similar to human sex hormones, or contain substances that promote the production of these hormones by the body itself. The first scientific description of the artichoke belongs to the Greek philosopher and naturalist Theophrastus (371-287 BC).

Now this plant is common in southern Europe, especially in Italy and France. The artichoke is also grown in the USA. The history of the widespread distribution of the artichoke on the American continent is curious. Spanish settlers introduced it to California around 1600, but it was not cultivated on an industrial scale. In 1922, Andrew Molera was the first to decide all of his sugarcane lands in California to be used for artichoke cultivation.

And he did not miscalculate: his profits increased sharply due to the high price of the vegetable. Since then, Monterey County has produced 80% of America's artichokes. The leader in the production of artichokes in the world is Italy, it accounts for more than 40% of the total world production of artichokes.

In Russia, the artichoke can be successfully cultivated in the North Caucasus, in the Krasnodar Territory, and when sown with vernalized seeds, in the more northern regions of the country.

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Artichoke varieties

There are about 140 types of artichoke known in the world, but only 40 are considered edible, of which two types are most often used for food - the Spanish artichoke (cardon) and the prickly or real artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.). We mainly grow a real artichoke. All varieties of artichoke are divided into early, middle and late.

Early varieties of artichoke: Violet early, Maisky 41.

- Medium: Handsome, Gourmet, Sultan.

- Late: Maikop tall, Large green, Laonsky.

Older varieties have spiny wrapper leaves. Plants of the latest selection are distinguished by large, fleshy inflorescences without thorns, mainly imported varieties.

Agricultural technology for growing artichoke

artichoke
artichoke

Artichoke seeds

My first experience with growing an artichoke was not entirely successful. It was five years ago. I had no special knowledge about this plant. Therefore, when a huge plant up to 1.5 meters in height grew, and inflorescences formed on it, I simply did not know what to do with them. The next year I read everything about artichokes, chose the right variety and planted it. In the first year, few inflorescences are formed on the plants, and their size is not impressive. I had the largest basket that year was no more than 5-7 cm. But if the plant of the first year of life is kept until next spring, it will certainly please with its harvest next fall.

Seed preparation begins at the end of February, about a month before sowing. They are subjected to vernalization (the action of low temperatures). When sown with non-vernalized seeds, plants in our climate begin to bloom only in the second year, with vegetative propagation and sowing with vernalized seeds, in the first.

First, the seeds are soaked for 12 hours in warm water. Then germinated at room temperature in a wet napkin (5-6 days). As soon as the seeds are nailed, they are placed in the refrigerator for 10-15 days and kept there at a temperature of 2 … 5 ° C. The seeds prepared in this way are sown in boxes with moistened nutrient soil. Sow into furrows to a depth of 1.5 cm. Sprinkle with soil and, without watering, cover with foil. They remove it as soon as shoots appear.

With the appearance of the first true leaf, the seedlings are dived into pots with a diameter of 8-10 cm. Two weeks after the dive, they are fed with a weak solution of a complex mineral or organic fertilizer. As soon as the weather permits, the plants are planted in open ground. Plants are planted with a clod of earth, deepening 5 cm lower than they sat in pots.

artichoke
artichoke

Artichoke second year

For the good development of an artichoke, an area of ​​at least 1 m² per plant is required, as well as a cultivated layer of soil at a depth of at least 60 cm. After planting and until rooting, the soil is kept moist. With a lack of moisture, growth is weakened, inflorescences are chopped, the receptacle becomes rough. At the same time, the plant does not like it when water stagnates on the site. After the appearance of inflorescences, watering is reduced.

Artichoke inflorescences ripen unevenly, first central, then lateral. The yield is up to 10 baskets per plant. To obtain baskets of a larger diameter, there is one way - piercing the stem at a distance of 2-3 cm under the head with a thin wooden awl (pointed stick). Using this technique, you can get baskets up to 15 cm in diameter in the first year.

The formed inflorescences are cut off before flowering, when they are still closed or the scales in their upper part are just beginning to open. It is impossible to be late, since fully opened inflorescences are unsuitable for eating. The heads are cut off together with a part of the stem 3-4 cm long. The stem is also edible. Harvesting continues until frost. Artichokes can be kept in the refrigerator for a month. You cannot freeze the artichoke, as it turns black and becomes tasteless.

artichoke
artichoke

This will keep the artichoke in the cellar until spring.

The artichoke is a heat-loving vegetable, tolerates only slight frosts (up to -2 … -3 ° С), its inflorescences are damaged already at -1 ° С, and at -2 … -3 ° С they die. For the winter, even in the warmest regions, the artichoke must be covered. If the winters are cold, the plant should not be left in the soil. Several times I tried to leave the artichoke in the garden for the winter - the plant either froze or fell out. No shelter helped.

Therefore, it is safer to cut off the stems before the onset of frost, dig up the plants and place them in the cellar and store them there until spring. Fruiting of such overwintered plants begins earlier than when planting seedlings.

The artichoke can also be propagated vegetatively. In March-April, get it out of the cellar and plant it in the greenhouse. The offspring or side shoots that appear on the plant must be cut off with a sharp knife along with part of the mother plant. Then plant one at a time in pots filled with nutritious soil. Keep cuttings in a warm place until rooting. Roots usually appear in 20-25 days. After that, the plants can be planted in a permanent place. With this reproduction, the first crop ripens two weeks earlier than when planting seedlings from seeds.

Diseases and pests of the artichoke

The artichoke rarely gets sick, and pests bypass this plant. Sometimes aphids are damaged, against which it is preferable to process the bushes with plant infusions of burdock, dandelion, yarrow, celandine, etc.

Read part 2. Healing properties of artichoke →

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