Cardoon is a magnificent perennial native to southern Europe, with spiny, gray-green foliage and purple, thistle-like flowers. The French first grew it as a vegetable and Quakers brought it to America in the 1790's. Although related to Globe Artichokes - which Thomas Jefferson grew throughout his life - the edible part of a Cardoon is its thick leaf stalk, which can be blanched with mounded soil.
Sow seeds indoors during mid-late winter at 70 degrees F, transplant to 3" pots once they have several true leaves, then harden off and transplant outdoors to rich, well-drained soil 3-4 weeks before the last frost. Approximately 10-12 seeds per packet.
|Exposure||Planting Method||Planting Depth||Plant Spacing||Size at Maturity||Zone|
|Full Sun||Transplant||1/2"||2'; rows 3' apart||4-6'H||7-9|
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