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Artichoke Is Native To The Mediterranean Region

Artichokes are native in the Mediterranean region. This plant has been grown for centuries in low lying areas, and is a large part of the Mediterranean landscape. Mediterranean countries use this specie in a variety of culinary dishes.

There are many countries that grow this herb member: Spain, France, Italy, China, South American countries and a few varieties are even grown in the United States.

This vegetable can be grown from seeds, and it's possible to grow your own. There are different varieties, and the plants will adapt to a wide range of soil conditions.

The ideal situation for growing artichokes is to take shoots off the mother plant. Here are a couple of important suggestions. If you are replanting the shoots, prune back to around six inches. You will also want to prune back the mother plant, so it will continue its growth pattern.

One of the keys to healthy plants is to make sure they are watered regularly. Don't put them in a soggy soil as this will kill the specimen. The soil does need to be well drained. The plant loves full sun and also can be incorporated in a landscaped area. If you are planting a vegetable garden, give the plant enough area to grow.

Whole Artichoke

Artichoke Leaves And Stem

Closeup Of Leaves

Close Up Artichoke Leaves

Plant the rows at least three to three and a half feet apart. The depth should be about four or five inches, and each plant specimen about one foot to one and a half feet apart. Another tip to having a successful crop or even a few plants, is a large amount of natural compost. This plant specimen will thrive with natural compost.

In order for the flowers to emerge, there does need to be a cooling period. This is one of the problems in a warmer or tropical climate. If the plants are left out in the heat, the heat will destroy the crop.

A popular variety grown in the United States is the Jerusalem. It will grow well in zones three through nine. The plants are tall and resemble the Sunflower family. They can mature six to nine feet tall. The Jerusalem is considered a perennial and can be planted throughout a landscape with other vegetables, herbs, or evergreen shrubs.

This is a great specimen to put in front of a staggered or straight row of evergreen trees or larger shrubs. A nice variegated shrub will also create a colorful garden area.

In colder climates, the seeds or cuttings can be put in the ground after the last frost. In the late fall you will want to protect the plants. A light weight mulch such as leaves will protect your plant or plants.

Do not cover any part of the crown of the plant.In the early spring around March, the plant can begin to be uncovered. This process allows the specimen to get ready for its new growth.

The photo above shows you a close up of the leaves. Notice some brown spots on the leaves. This is a sign that the Artichoke has been around for awhile and should be prepared soon.

Whether you are harvesting from your own plants, or buying from a store or market, you will want to be aware of brown spots. The leaves should have as much green on them as possible to be at a good stage for eating.

Seed Needs provides you with 30 great quality seeds of the Green Globe variety, so you can start growing your own. CLICK on the photo to buy your seeds today.

There are many wonderful recipes for using this herb in a variety of culinary dishes. There are two ways I love to prepare artichokes.

One is to steam it for thirty to forty minutes. Herbee loves to apply olive oil to the leaves and stick some fresh garlic cloves in the leaves. This is a very nutritional side dish or appetizer.

We also like to use the most inside of the plant, the heart, and marinate it from one to two weeks in the refrigerator. You can keep it in a closed container.

Of course if you want a little more calories as a splurge, melt some butter with garlic and dip the base of the leaves, and enjoy the meat inside.

Add some fresh garlic cloves, some basil, garlic chives, a few sprigs of fresh oregano and some cayenne or banana peppers. This is a nice side dish to go with any meal.

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Seed Needs

The artichoke is known to help lower cholesterol, and is a good source of vitamins for liver function. This is one herb or vegetable that can benefit many people. There are many spices that can enhance its flavor. This plant can grow in a variety of climates, and provides you with nutritional value. It's a great addition to your gardens, and to your meals, too!

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Asparagus Is An Herb, Like Artichoke --- Celery

Evergreen Plants --- Herb Garden Plans

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