Monday, May 27, 2013

Pruning Perennial Vegies

Globe Artichoke "Green Globe"
There is no hard and fast rules for maintenance on perennial vegetables
Especially in Autumns such as this one we are having in Tasmania
Low rainfalls, warm temperature spikes and severe frosts
All weather patterns confusing to a garden heading into Winter

At this time of the year you may be surprised at what is actively growing

I work on the theory "If it has turned yellow or lost its leaves" its right to renovate

If your plants are green and putting on shoots,
leave it alone , its not ready for renovations.
Globe Artichokes (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) are especially active at 
this time of year, putting on foliage bulk in the cooler months, 
disappearing from the garden in Summer
the opposite behaviour expected of perennials 

"Purple de Jesi" Globe Artichokes

Diligent gardening should have you pruning spent Globe Artichoke flowers out
in Late Spring  preventing seed spread

Mid - Late Summer when seeds are plump and set, collect and store

Pruning of Globe Artichokes is generally done in Mid - Late Summer also
Disposing of old foliage as the plant goes dormant
This is also a good time to split plants if you are able to keep the replanted crowns watered in hotter Late Summer months 

Now as we head into Winter, Globe Artichokes are getting bulky
and preparing to be the first to provide you with a Spring Veg harvest
If you renovate or prune now, be prepared to sacrifice you next seasons crop

Heritage varieties (which not surprisingly most Globe Artichokes are)
will be blossoming come September, especially smaller bud forms such
as "Violetta de Chioggia" and "Purple de Jesi"
Larger blooms e.g. "Green Globe" will be harvesting in October and November 

Globe Artichokes loan stature and grandess to the garden
The luxury of having different varieties is only limited by your garden size
and willingness to take on steady bloom picking for the pot or vase

Just remember Globe Artichokes wait for no person if the weather warms suddenly,
and the flowers ripen early in the Season making them leathery and spiky
for culinary purposes

Mature Globe Artichoke Foliage (Summer)
New Season Foliage on Globe Artichoke (Winter)

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