August: an important month for the sowing of artichokes
Artichoke is a perennial herbaceous plant used mainly as food and in some cases also for medical use.
Benefits of artichoke
Artichokes are a rich source of various active ingredients and many fibers; in addition to that they have phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium and an excellent amount of calcium. They also have diuretic effects and have appetite-regulating properties, as well as helping to solve problems with diabetes, cholesterol and cellulite. For the younger ones they are also recommended to solve acne problems. In addition to all this, artichokes also have a very low calorie intake.
Cultivation in the month of August
Artichoke, being a multi-year plant, if kept in excellent conditions, it can last several years. The ideal timing is around 5 years. So if we have decided to create an artichoke plantation, the first thing to check is the soil.
This is essential, firstly it must be exposed to the sun , then we must check the ph of the earth which must circumvent around 6.5 .
It is advisable, before going to plant our artichokes, to carry out a good fertilization of the soil with manure, which is also easily available. Preparing the soil, after checking the aforementioned things, is the first step in making an artichoke plantation. The soil must be worked in depth and, as mentioned before, fertilized a lot.
To make a good fertilization, we will need about 4 kg of manure per square meter. To avoid future stagnation of water we need to make sure that the soil has good drainage.
After doing this, there are several ways to plant our artichokes. The best known is certainly the classic sowing. It can be placed in a seedbed, or directly in the vegetable garden. In the first case, when you decide that it is the right time to transplant your artichokes, remember to irrigate the soil with plenty of water .
In addition to the classic sowing , we can also use the technique of reproduction by suckers , in this case we must sow by planting the “carducci”, or rather the shoots of the base of the plant. They must be cut along with their roots, and must already be developed with at least 4 leaves. Once we have used one of these methods, we must be careful with other steps, because the artichoke is a very delicate plant.
In August it is very difficult for periods of cold to occur, however, since it has already happened in the past, we must be careful with these climatic conditions. In this case, in fact, it is essential to immediately do a mulch , that is, through those classic black tarpaulins we must go to cover the plant, avoiding to create rot that can damage the plant.
This is a phenomenon that occurs especially in August, in fact artichoke plantations suffer from the heat and go into dormancy, or rather, stop their production. So to avoid this, we must water our artichokes in a rich and abundant way every day, in order to wake them up from this period of dormancy.
This is essential to proceed with a good cultivation of the vegetable.
This is a practice, like the others, that is really fundamental because if we fail to collect our product we can find it hard and inedible.
The artichoke must be harvested when the flower has the right size and the tips are well closed.
So the grower must be good at deciding when to harvest the product. It is advisable not to proceed with the whole harvest immediately, but to go step by step.
Aphids, such as lice, for example, can cause "fumaggine", which is that unwanted black dust present on the leaves. The noctuas are insects, which feed on the leaves of the vegetable by creating holes. Mice are the worst enemies of the artichoke, because they eat the roots and then the plant dries up. It is possible to solve this problem trough pesticides , in the first two cases, however, against mice we must act on the whole area.
In addition, there are fungal diseases such as Fusarium and Downy mildew, so it is necessary to apply treatments in the second case. Instead in the first case we can only limit the phenomenon.