A little obsession of mine lately? Artichokes. Growing them. Or rather, getting them to grow. Germination.
Here's the instructions given on my pack of Imperial Star Artichoke seeds:
Sow 1/4" deep in a lightly moistened flat. Germinate at 80-85 for 8 hours a day and 68-75 for 16 hours a day. Grow at 60-70 day and 50-60 night. Time transplanting so that the plants get at least 250 hours of temperatures below 50 to induce budding.
Really? I rigged up a hot pad under the seed tray and cranked it up religiously 8 hours a day.
I kept to this regiment for awhile using the hot pad & finally gave up after 3 weeks and only 1 seed germinating. I stuck the flat outside & just have kept the soil moist. FINALLY this week, 6 weeks after seeding these babies, 9 more are coming up.
The cool thing about artichokes and living on the edge of USDA hardiness zone 9? They're perennials here that will live 3-5 years. I expect no fruit this year, but next...
|temperatures outside have triggered natural germination this week|
|here's that first one that germinated weeks ago - this newest leaf is prickly on the edges|