Monday, 18 April 2011

Globe Artichokes

I have just received my Globe Artichokes from Stephen at  Victoriana Nursery . I am very excited about growing this vegetable as I only discovered that I liked globe artichokes last year when I had some that my daughter-in-law gave me, granted they were bought from the supermarket already prepared and in a jar, but they were delicious and then I had them in London as a starter in a Tapas bar. That's when I decided that I would like to grow some of my own. I would however recommend that anyone wanting to grow them buys a fresh one from the supermarket and tries them first as they can be difficult to cook and there are different ways to eat them. The French like to boil or steam the whole head and them pull of the leaves and dip them in garlic butter and then you scrape the flesh from the leaves with your teeth. Very tasty but I found it messy, so I will be finding recipes to use the hearts I think as they are yummy. In fact here some links  I found that might be useful if you are considering growing these delicious and architectural plants.

Here is a YouTube link to Stephen talking about his vegetable plants: In fact if you also click the link above there is another  video and lot's of good monthly advice to be had.

I already had a packet of  the variety 'Green globe' seeds, but wasn't sure if I would be successful in growing them myself from seed so I ordered some plants from Victoriana nursery just in case ! Stephen sent me six plants ready to go out on the plot, but as the bed isn't ready yet I decided to pot them up and try and get them in next week. There are three each of 'Romanesco' and 'Imperial Star' both of which are highly recommended by Stephen. I am pleased to say that my 'Green Globe' seeds germinated very well and I have some very sturdy plants which I am giving to a friend and keeping a few for myself to go with the other two varieties. I found that all the bother of sowing and caring for them wasn't really worth the effort though as the plants from Stephen arrived safely packaged and ready to go in the ground and the price of his plants are so reasonable, and the size of the plants I grew took up so much space in the greenhouse.

My Green Globe

'Romanesco' and 'Imperial Star' which will be putting on a big growth spurt anytime soon, as the root system is so healthy .


Now for a natter about  SWEETPEAS
I don't know if you like me have always grown your sweet peas in seperate modules ? well I always believed that this was the best way to grow them. BUT I find it time consuming, space taking and ALL those Toilet roll innards drive me mad !!! so having bought pots of them growing all together in one pot from the garden centre last year and I have to say that I didn't think that disturbing the little plants would work.  Well it did, and I carefully tapped them out of the pot separated them and popped them in the ground and I found them as sturdy as any that I had grown and mollycoddled separately in loo rolls . So this year I have done as the garden centres and grown mine in pots all together and they have transplanted very well in the ground and are growing nicely. I have now got lot's more growing in this way ready to go up to the lottie.

Finally to end this post here are a few photo's that I took this morning of a lovely creamy white pansy and a cheeky robin on the fence watching me and a pot of lovely spring primroses called 'Firecracker' in the foreground and 'Castillion' (at the back).  I love the colours of these and I think I will divided them and get more plants for next year.

Where is the month going ??  just two more weeks and we will be into MAY !
Have a lovely week everyone and let's hope the sun shines and has it's 'Hat On'  hip hip hip hurray !!


Pam said...

I meant to sow some artichokes, but totally forgot, so am going to buy some plants too. I like them to eat, but they are wonderful plants to have around the place!
P xx

Vegetable Heaven said...

I grow my sweet peas in bigish pots like yours Maureen, largely because one year I never got around to sowing them and I bought some from a plant nursery - and they had them all in one pot. It was good enough for them so it's since been good enough for me!

EB said...

Fancy that about sweet peas. Yes I'd never thought of sowing them all together like that. Right, I shall remember it for next time! Good luck with the artichokes - one of my favourite things to eat but I haven't tried to grow them yet (I do grow jerusalem ones - or rather they grow, I don't have to do anything!)

Maureen said...

Hi Pam, don't forget that Victoriana nursery has 10% off and his artichokes are ready to plant out, and very sturdy with good roots. the link is on my sidebar on the blog if you need it, and it take the 10% automatically.

Vegetable Heaven it's definitely a better way to grow the sweet-peas. I am posting the book today I know you will love it.

Hi EMILY, it's good to hear from you. I bought some Jerusalem artichokes from the shop to cook and eat before deciding whether or not to grow them, and I have to say I found them tasteless so I won't bother growing those, although I have read they make a good soup. I think I will just stick with Globe though.

Caro (UrbanVegPatch) said...

As the others have already said, great tip about the sweet peas, thank you! Like you, I've gone down the loo roll route. It works well but this year I've gone a bit overboard with my sweet peas and have a few seeds left over so I'll bung them in one pot and see what happens! Caro xx

Maureen said...

Hi Caro, Yes the sweet-peas are much easier this way and take up less room in the greenhouse. Having planted them from one pot since last year I will always do this now. As long as you seperate them with care they will be fine.

Damo said...

The artichokes look good. I sowed quite a few sweetpeas last year like that until I found out I was allergic to them so none this year. I almost lost the Atika tuber as well, it's clinging on with just one section and one shoot so I may have to buy another one. It's a shame that my favourite varieties have been hit whilst the others are in perfect condition. Oh well an excuse to buy some more!