Friday, March 24, 2006

Artichokes Day 20

A friend and I have decided to try to grow artichokes this year. Until last year I thought it was impossible to grow them in Massachusetts. However, I saw someone else growing them last year and now we're taking on the challenge. They need to be vernalized which means that they must have a cold period of a certain length. You can read about vernalization of artichokes HERE. My friend bought the package of seeds. I took 10 seeds and she kept the rest. I will vernalize outdoors and she will split her seeds into two groups. One she will vernalize in the refrigerator and the other group she will vernalize outdoors. Vernalizing in the refrigerator is much easier because it can be done to the seeds. Vernalizing outdoors must be done to the plants and is much more of a pain in the neck and could fail if it gets too hot out. Naturally vernalized plants are supposed to produce more buds though. Of the 10 seeds, I lost 2 and planted the other eight. Five germinated. The photo above shows three of the five plants 20 days after sowing on the day they were set out. Not very impressive is it? If we are threatened with a killing frost I will have to move them into a cool place. I can't bring them back to live in the warm house or they will break vernalization! I put one of the artichoke seedlings in the cold-frame. It will get too hot in the cold-frame to keep the plant vernalized, but I like breaking the rules to see what will happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment