Help and Information
Large plants that produce edible flower buds which are appreciated as a delicacy. Plants are perennial, so good preparation is essential for the long term. Excellent as an ornamental foliage plant in the garden. Two main varieties are available, namely Green Globe and Purple Headed.
Purchased plants should be kept moist, not wet, until planting. Place the plants so the base is just below the surface. It may be beneficial to place a temporary stake at the plant to hold the plant in place until it becomes established, which may take a month or two.
Plant in full sun, but avoid windy sites.
Rich well fertilised/manured soils are best, ensuring good drainage. Regular feedings or side dressings throughout the season is beneficial.
FERTILISERS and MANURES
Prepare the bed initially with a good dressing of a complete fertiliser dug well through the soil. A generous dressing of poultry manure will help. Add a side dressing of a complete fertiliser using 25 grams per plant when flower heads begin to appear in spring.
Rows Place around 1.5 metres apart. Within Row –90 cm to 1 metre apart.
TIME of PLANTING
As soon as possible after receipt into the prepared beds over the late autumn/winter period.
Plants require generous watering until established which can take several months. During hot weather the plants do like constantly well watered soil.
Cut off the buds before they start to open. Heads not harvested for eating are best removed.
PEST & DISEASES
Troubled by few problems but keep a lookout for the occasional aphid infestation (Confidor or Pyrethrums), and earwigs (Carbaryl or Pyrethrums) in the buds.
When the flowers spikes appear, leave no more than three buds per stem. Each Autumn the leaves should be cut back to just above ground level, at the same time give a generous dressing of poultry manure and apply a generous mulch. When plants are well established, leave no more than three or four shoots for growth for the following year.