How Do You Grow Cardoon?

Cardoon is a cool-season vegetable that prefers full or partial sun and well-drained soil. It can be grown as an annual, but it is usually perennial in areas with cooler summers. Establishing cardoon as a perennial means you will have more of the plant over the long term. Cardoon thrives in hot, humid climates, so if you live somewhere like that, it could be a great choice for your garden. The plant likes neutral to alkaline soil with plenty of organic matter added. You also need to provide support for the cardoon stems as they grow above ground level. This will help them grow strong and tall so they can reach sunlight and nutrients from above. Read on for details about how to grow cardoon in your own garden!

How to Grow Cardoon from Seed

Cardoon is a crop that can be grown from seed as well as from cutting. You can sow the seeds indoors 6 weeks before your last frost date. After that, transplant the seedlings outdoors when the soil is warm. It should take about 60 days for the cardoon seedlings to mature. You can harvest the seeds when the pods begin to dry and brown. When to harvest the seeds is another important consideration. The best time is when the pods are dry but not brittle. Harvest the seeds when they are still pliable, but not soft.

How to Grow Cardoon Vegetatively

To produce cardoon plants better than seeds, you can start them from cuttings. This is a great way to take advantage of your existing seed stock. You can cut the seedlings and place them in pots. Then, when they are strong enough to be transplanted outside, you can transfer them to the garden. You can also buy rootstock. This is a plant that you purchase from a reputable retailer. Then, you can cut it into sections and plant each one about 5 or 6 inches deep in pots. When the roots on the cuttings reach about 6 inches long, you can transplant the cuttings outdoors. You want to transplant the cuttings in the early spring, or in the fall if you live in a warmer area. For best results, you want to transplant the cuttings when there is still some winter growth on the plant. This will help the cuttings establish strong roots.

Planting Instructions for Cardoon

The ideal planting depth for cardoon is 1 foot apart. You also want to water the plants well, especially in the early stages of growth. This is especially important in hot, dry climates. In the fall, when the temperatures are cooler, you can mulch the crops with dry leaves to keep the soil cooler and provide some nutrients. This also helps to keep down weed growth. In the spring, you can ditch the mulch and water the crops well. Then, feed with a balanced fertilizer that is designed for crop growth. This helps the plants grow stronger and taller.

When Should You Harvest Cardoon?

This will depend on a number of factors, such as where you live, the weather, and the variety. If you are growing cardoon for seed, harvest the pods when they are dry and brown. This is usually about two months after the initial seed ripens. If you are growing for edible use, harvest when the stems are about 2 feet tall. This will vary depending on the variety that you are growing. You can also harvest the leaves at this point. They will have a bit more texture and flavor than the leaf at the base of the plant. If you are growing cardoon for animal feed, the best time to harvest the stems is 3 to 4 weeks after they start to flower.

Tips for Growing Cardoons in Your Garden

- Make sure your garden soil is well-drained. - Provide support for the cardoon stems to prevent them from breaking. - Mulch the garden with leaves to keep the soil cool, moist, and weed-free. - Select a variety that is well-suited to your climate. - Give the plants ample space as they grow. The plant can grow up to 4 feet tall. - Harvest the leaves when they are about 2 inches tall, but before the stem is woody and tough. - You can also harvest the seeds. This is a good option if you want to save the seed stock for next year's planting. - You can also propagate cardoon vegetatively. - Pick the pods when they are dry and brown. This is usually two months after the initial seed ripens.


Growing cardoon from seed can take a long time and is not for everyone. You can also get started growing cardoon faster and easier from vegetative propagation. Growing from seed takes a long time and in some climates, it is impossible to grow cardoon successfully. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get started growing cardoon, you should consider the easy-to-follow instructions. After reading this article, you will have a better idea of how to grow cardoon in your garden.

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