Harvest artichokes: All about timing and procedure

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Anyone who has planted artichokes in the garden for the first time will surely be waiting for the harvest. Now, there is one more question: when is the right time?

There are green and purple artichokes

Did you plant artichokes in the garden? Then you surely know that ripe artichokes are a tasty delicacy. But the plants of the thistle family have even more to offer: The beautiful flowers are long lasting and an adornment for every dry arrangement. So you have to decide: eat, decorate or both? But when is the right time for harvesting? You recognize this by a few specific characteristics.

Harvesting Edible Artichokes: Now they are ripe!

They recognize the right time that the scales are tight and the flowers are not yet open. The flower head must feel firm and firm. This is the case under favorable conditions and depending on the variety from mid to end of July. Later varieties can be harvested from August to October. The plants usually have several flower heads, which you can gradually harvest.

Cut the flower heads just below the flower. When the scales spread, the buds discolor and the plant starts to bloom, artichokes do not taste anymore. Green varieties turn reddish, violet varieties are on the outside very dark to brownish-black.

In the first year, the edible buds are often still very small. Then harvest and preparation are hardly worthwhile. It would be better to wait another year to get the full enjoyment.

To plant green or purple artichokes?

Green varieties are more robust and resistant, violet varieties are slightly more sensitive and less productive. On the other hand, the taste of purple varieties is often more intense and the flesh is more tender. Generally both types are suitable for consumption. Here are a few known varieties presented:

❍ Known green varieties:

  • Camus de Bretagne
  • Castel
  • Catanesi
  • Green Globe
  • Romaneschi

❍ Known purple varieties:

  • Petit Violet
  • Romanesco
  • terom
  • Violet de Provence

Prepare and enjoy artichokes

Who knows artichokes only as a topping on the Pizza Quattro Stagioni, clearly missed something! Artichokes from our garden taste great and are not difficult to prepare. Edible are generally the lower, fleshy parts of the bracts and the delicate heart. These parts should best be prepared this way:

❶ Wash the flower heads thoroughly under running water. Then break out the stalk. Best over a table edge. It takes a bit of strength.

❷ Pull out the so-called "hay" with the stalk. The fibers are sitting on the flower and are inedible. If the stalk does not dissolve, cut it off with the lower part of the flower. Even now, the hay must be removed again. Very young buds hardly contain hay and can be eaten whole.

❸ In the next step cut off the outer leaves and the tip. Immediately sprinkle all interfaces with lemon juice, otherwise they will be unattractive brown.

❹ Boil the artichoke in salt water to which you have added lemon juice or white wine. Small heads take between 20 and 30 minutes, larger ones up to 40 minutes to complete.

Artichokes are considered very healthy. They support the liver, bile and heart and they are appetizing. As an appetizer, the delicate flower heads are perfect! These also taste spicy dips or a hearty vinaigrette. But you can also process the artichokes: you can use them, for example. fill, use as a topping for a vegetable pie, season with spices in oil, gratinate and much more.

Harvesting blooming artichokes

If you still do not have the perfect table decoration, wait until the magnificent flower shows. The purple flower heads are a magnificent eye-catcher in the garden, but also make excellent in the vase. Do not put any water in it, because then the artichoke flowers will last for weeks and dry very nicely.

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