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 6.5–7.0. Cardoon is vigorous and can be started 6–8 weeks before transplant date. Plant 2–3 seeds, ¼" deep, per cell in 50-cell plug trays or individual containers. Germinate at 70–80°F (21–26°C) and keep soil moist until emergence. Grow at 60–70°F (15–21°C) day 50–60°F (10–15°C) night. Thin to 1 plant per cell or container when first true leaves appear. Harden off and transplant 2–3' apart in rows 3–6' apart. Protect from frost.
BLANCHING: Gather stalks after 3 months of growing. Tie upright with twine and wrap with black plastic or newspaper to exclude sunlight. Blanch for 3–4 weeks during cool weather.
HARVEST: Harvest after blanching by cutting at the base of the stalks to keep them intact.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/LB.: Avg. 11,600.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From transplant.
PACKET: 25 seeds.