ARTICHOKE VIOLETTO DI CHIOGGA ~ stunning and tasty, one of the oldest recorded vegetables in England 6 seeds SOW: in moist seed compost in an unheated greenhouse/coldframe in late winter/early spring or outside in early to mid spring. GROW: Harden off and plant out in late spring/early summer time about 60cm apart. Dig in well rotted organic matter before planting (to help retain moisture and prevent winter waterlogging) and apply a general fertiliser. Water well after planting and during dry weather. Remove flowers in the first year so that the plants can establish. LONG TERM CARE: harvest in the summer when the scales are tightly closed, cut the terminal bud first (with about 5cm of stem) and then the others when large enough. Once the scales begin to open they become inedible! In mild areas retain stems and leaves for frost protection, otherwise remove and earth up in winter & cover with ferns or straw for added protection (uncover in spring). Mulch in spring - you can apply a high potash fertiliser when plants are actively growing. Pollinating insects will be very happy if you leave one flower bud to open fully while harvesting the rest.