Cardoon - Key Growing Information

Cardoon plant in the field, showing method for blanching stalks.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cynara cardunculus
CULTURE: Cardoon requires very fertile, well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5–8.0. Cardoon is vigorous and can be started 6–8 weeks prior to last frost date. Sow 2–3 seeds per cell in plug trays or individual containers ¼" deep. Germinate at 70–80°F (21–26°C) and keep soil moist until emergence. Thin to one plant per cell when the first true leaves appear. As soon as seedlings can be handled, transplant to 4" pots or 1½" cell-type containers and grow at 60–70°F (15–21°C) day and 50–60°F (10–15°C) night. Transplant 6- to 12-week-old plants to the field 2–3' apart in rows 4–6' apart.
BLANCHING: Gather stalks in late summer or early fall, tie upright with twine, and wrap with black plastic or black-and-white newspaper to exclude sunlight. Blanch for 3–4 weeks during the cooler weather of early fall.
HARVEST: Harvest after blanching, cutting at the base of the stalks to keep intact.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/LB.: Avg. 11,600.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From transplant.
PACKET: 25 seeds, unless otherwise noted.