Growing Cardoon

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P                

(Best months for growing Cardoon in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 13°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 50 - 150 cm apart
  • Harvest in 34-35 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in separate bed.
  • Cardoon foliage

Cardoon is a tender perennial from the same family as globe artichokes, grown as an annual for its young leaf-stalks.

Blanch the stems. Tie the leaves together in a bunch and wrap paper or sacking around the stems. Or, form a hill of soil around the stem. Harvest four to six weeks after blanching. Cut them off at ground level and trim off the outer leaves.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cardoon

Cut off the base and leaves, then cut the stalks into pieces.
Boil the stalks for around 20 minutes until tender: drain, and peel off the surface of the stalks. Add precooked cardoons to a variety of dishes, they go well with mushrooms.

Your comments and tips

12 Mar 16, (USA - Zone 5a climate)
The seeds are in the seed catalogue called Seeds of Italy.
28 Jun 18, Margie (USA - Zone 5a climate)
There used to be a clump of cardoons that would come up every year in front of a restaurant in this area. I just found 2 plants at a nursery and am wondering how I can protect them over the winter.
14 Oct 21, Leslie Trail (USA - Zone 6b climate)
You can cut them down to the ground and put some mulch on over them... if it warms up in the winter be sure to give it some water. You can also dig them up in the fall and pot them, then plant in the spring. I found a video on you tube that talked about saving seeds for Cardoons and Artichokes but it had lots of other great info like digging them up and potting.
26 Dec 19, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Can cardoons be grown in a spot that receives afternoon shade? If so, do I still need to blanch the stems?
14 Oct 21, Leslie Trail (USA - Zone 6b climate)
yes you can grow them in the shade. I have had several varieties and some like the shade more than others. You should still blanch the cardoon though. If you do not blanch it you can still use it... I soak my trimmed, cleaned and chopped cardoons in water with vinegar. Then drain and put in a pot with water and a little salt. Then put it on the stove on high until just before it boils. Remove from heat and rinse. After that cook it or can it. This will remove most of the bitter. It tastes great but I imagine I am loosing some of the flavor when I do this. This is especially handy when I am going to harvest them in the middle of the summer since wrapping then in the heat seems to cause a lot of damage to the stocks. Its best to wrap and harvest in the spring or the fall.
14 Oct 21, Leslie Trail (USA - Zone 6b climate)
You can also buy seeds at www.rareseed.com (Baker Creek seeds) They have a variety called "GOBBO DI NIZZIA" It is great for cooking or just for the flowers.

Can cardoons be grown in a spot that receives afternoon shade? If so, do I still need to blanch the stems?

- colleen

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