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My first adventure in growing cardoon (from seed). Info I found is for using it as a food crop by growing it in trenches to bury and blanch as it grows. I'm only growing for ornamental use. I need tips on growing. All I've found is plant/sew now barely covered.
I grew cardoon as an ornamental, but the season is short here and they only grew about 12 inches tall from a direct seeding. I might have better results if I winter sowed them or began the plants indoors. The leaves are a grey-green.
It is the stalks which are eaten. One suggestion I read was to wrap the stalks in newspaper to blanch them. Then you steam them and eat them like asparagus.
Caroline zone 3 Calgary
I have grown it a few years. It takes 5 to 7 months to bloom, so you need to start it indoors Jan or early Feb. It needs warm soil temp to germinate so indoor start may be better than ws. It also needs a cold period of less than 10ºC, which is 50ºF , but above freezing for about 10 days to bloom.
It probably won't bloom so you don't need to grow it for that. The foliage is spectacular. I grow a whole bunch of herbs around it in a huge pot. It is about 3 feet tall and makes an awesome center focal.
Thanks for the info on cardoon growing. I like the silver green foliage and never thought to try for flowers. I'll start it indoors for the coming season.
I think it would be neat to grow with a red foliage plant like Mountain Spinach (Orach) or the
Amaranthus that has red leaves(Velvet Curtains?).