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Live Herb Plants
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Beautiful purple heads of artichokes look like flowers on these plants. Fruit is more elongated than the green globe type. There is some variation in the seed and the Italian supplier recommends removing any weedy looking seedlings before setting out, in order to get the best crop. Start indoors in late winter for a mid-summer crop even in Maine. In Italy, which is Zones 8-10, the plants are started in spring and transplanted in autumn.
Germination: 10-18 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-80ºF
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/2" deep
Sowing Indoors: 8-12 weeks before last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot. Sowing into individual biodegradable peat/cow pots reduces root damage when transplanting. Before transplanting outside, a vernalization is required for growing in the north (zone 6 and below). To induce first year bud formation, set the seedlings out for 10 days at temperatures of 45-50ºF. Transplant after last frost, 24-36" apart
Sowing Outdoors: Sow seeds in the fall if you live in zone 7 and above.
Harvest - Just below the bud when they are firm and still closed
Tips - Artichokes are heavy feeders and need fertile well drained soil. Amend soil with compost or well rotted manure before planting.
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