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artichokes


maison poppy
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Yes.

I sowed seeds three years ago and we have enjoyed loads of small but tasty artichokes for the last two harvests. Toward the end of the seaon I leave a few heads just for the flowers - they are really lovely. The fruits needs loads of soaking/washing first but are really good with lemon butter for a quick lunch. They freeze really well too.

They taste really similar to asparagus but don't turn your pee green and smelly!

Jane

edit - just read your last post...

if it is the first year from seed then I think you should wait until the year after to harvest. Leave them and enjoy the flowers!

If you have planted 1 year old crowns then theoretically you can harvest this year. If the plant looks healthy and sturdy then go for it. If it is struggling then give it another year. I find that the more I harvest, the more fruits come, and they produce for some time. We only just finished last year's frozen lot as this year's were arriving. We have around 6 plants.

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I live in the main artichoke producing area of France so we get given loads free by farming neighbours. They take a long time to grow and take up a fair bit of room if you only have a small area. Its not normal to have the purple flower on the veg as this means it has gone too far to eat and when harvested, eat within a couple of days of picking as they tend to upset the stomach because they get too strong.

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Thanks for the link - they look a bit like large scottish thistles.  Very pretty. 

I did cut them off and the base is very bulbous.

Usually when a vegetable plant flowers, it has gone to seed, so it's usually too late to harvest and sometimes it affects the whole plant if it's left.  Is this the case with an artichoke plant or will it recover next year.

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I don't understand what you cut off - it can't be the flowers as you didn't know what they were like, so I'm guessing it was the fruits? But it is the top of the stalks that is bulbous, not the base.

The idea behind not cutting them off in the first year is to let the plant become established. The fruit are good enough to eat but it's best to let them stay and go to flower.Cutting them off and not eating them is a waste! If your plant is big enough to harvest then cut off fruits just as they begin to open a little, just below the fruit, leaving the rest of the long stalk behind. If they open too much and/or start to flower then leave them on as they are no good to eat. The more fruit you cut off, the more fruit it will produce. This is what I do, leaving a few towards the end of the season to go to flower.

The plants themselves may well die down completely over winter. I leave mine to die down, protect the base with mulch when it is frosty, and cut off all the dead stuff in spring. New growth will then appear, unless the winter has been very harsh (ours have survived being exposed to minus 10, though).

The going to seed thing is true for other veggies, but if you let artichokes go to seed then it won't affect the taste of next year's crop - just like asparagus, strawberries, and other plants that are planted permanently rather than annually.

Hope that makes sense,

 

Jane 

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Jane

I cut it off at the base of the fruit not the base of the stalk.  I know that if you remove "seed pods" from any plants it encourages more growth instead of putting all of its energy into the seed.  That's why I cut them off.  They were quite small anyway.  But thank you for your advice.

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In parts if Spain some of the young leaves are thinned out and eaten, before they get hard and spiny.  That is, the real leaves, growing from the base of the plant, not the so-called "leaves" of the "fruit", which is actually a flower bud.

I was told they can be boiled like cabbage, but have never tried them.

They are supposed to be very good for the digestive system, has anyone here tried them?

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I bought some once when they were in season - the kind that looks like a little green cabbage and has the "choke" in the centre. I boiled them as per E. David and they were horrible. Waste of time and never again. Pat.
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