Artichokes. Yes, now this is where the plot starts to get a bit more interesting.
There are 2 kinds of artichokes you can grow, and right now I’m just talking about the globe variety. Those big green flowers which most people in the UK buy as de-leafed hearts marinated in a jar, or as a pizza topping at upmarket pizza restaurants. Well before they look like this…
..they look like this:
A friend came back from a trip to Italy around 5 years ago and her souvenir gift to me was a packet of artichoke seeds. I tried to grow plants the following year but with little success. The 2 plants which survived planting out were pitifully small, as were the globes. The hearts were so tiny I’d lost all enthusiasm for them by the time they made it onto the plate.
Now this year, I have renewed hopes that the prickly plant will get to see my allotment once more, and this time leave a better impression. On me and my tummy.
15th March – 16 seeds sown, 2 per pot in the tray. Kept indoors of course.
18th May – Of the 16 sown, an impressive 12 have germinated and after 2 months of looking happy they now look a bit cramped. Not unhappy but i’m sure they should be getting bigger by now. Right….let’s work this out. Cramped and stunted? Ah ha! Let’s re-pot them. So each of the 12 little artichokes now has its own medium-sized pot. The shelves can’t cope (especially with the toms starting to grow) so they are now getting used to the outdoor life.
15th June – let’s get these babies into the plot, hurrah! These plants can grow into huge lofty things, but I’ve planted them fairly close to one another on the basis that I don’t actually need 12 plants, and a few of them will probably not survive the move.