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| Chinese Artichoke |
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Richard Favreau
Posted on: December 16, 1998
I would need information on feasibility of Chinese artichoke in Quebec. The only reference I have is that it is grown like potatoes. Specifically, i’d use information about light, water and soil requirements, hardiness (zone ), days to maturity and productivity (ratio root seeds/harvestable tubers).
Joy Larkcom in her book on "Oriental Vegetables" says it is easy to get a crop of small tubers, but not so easy to get larger ones. Plant the tubers upright in well-prepared soil as early in the year as the ground is workable. Tubers sprout at temperatures above 5 degrees Celsius, but an early start can be obtained by planting a few tubers in moist peat in a pot or seed tray. Once they have started to sprout they can be carefully planted outside.
Plant them upright in small holes. Plant them about 3.5 centimeters deep increasing this to 15 centimeters in sandy soil. Space them about 30 centimeters apart each way or 45 by 15 centimeters. Two tubers can be planted in each hole. When plants are about 30 to 60 centimeters high, hill them up about 5 centimeters. Keep well weeded, especially at first. A mulch helps.If growth becomes rampant in summer straggling stems can be cut back hard. Remove flowers to concentrate strength in the tubers. Harvest after 5 to 7 months. They can be left in the ground in relatively mild winters, and with mulch in somewhat harder winters.
Store tubers in a cool dark place or in moist sand or peat at 0 to 2 degrees Celsius. They keep best for a few weeks, but will survive a feww months in storage.