CARDOONS (Cynara cardunculus)
An uncommon vegetable in this country, perennial, but easily raised from seed. Trenches are prepared in the same way as for celery, at the end of March. The seed is sown where it is to grow at the end of April, three or four seeds being sown, in. apart, down the centre of the trench. They should be well watered after sowing, and a flower-pot should be inverted over each group of seeds. As soon as theappear, they should be reduced to one at each station, the pots should be taken away, and a few leafy branches laid over the trench until the beginning of June, when protection can be dispensed with altogethei. The plants should be fully grown by September, if they are kept well watered all through the warm weather. The foliage should then be tied loosely together with raffia.
Blanching is done in the same manner as celery. A piece of paper about 6 in. in width is wound round the base. This is secured, and thenis banked up against it.
A light stake is required by each plant. Earthing up in this manner is done about three times, and if frosty weather arrives some slight protection is given to the tops. The stems will be blanched in about a month’s time but they need not be lifted until they are required for use.
For exhibition they are lifted, washed, and wrapped in a damp cloth until it is time for the judging.