S. Nicola, G. Tibaldi , E. Fontana
Artichoke reaches the fresh market in Italy from October to May. During summer, many fresh vegetables are available, while fresh artichoke is not present despite consumer appreciation for its organoleptic quality and freshness. During summer, in the typical Mediterranean growing areas of artichoke, high temperature limits head formation, while the species cultivated in North France are commercialized in Italy in September. In North of Italy there are traditional and small plantations in some areas of the Piedmont Region, producing head artichokes for the summer, although serving a narrow local market only. The major agronomic issue is to overcome the winter freezing temperatures and late spring freeze. A two-year project aimed at the introduction of out-of-season artichoke production took place, testing two F1 hybrids (Opal, Concerto), two weed control strategies (mulching, no-mulching), two transplanting dates (April, May), two covering strategies for late spring freeze (plastic cover, no cover). Gibberellins were applied for flowering to obtain heads in the first year. Harvest occurred in August and September, in the first year, and in June and July, in the second year. During the first year, Opal, early planting and covering enhanced yield, although total production was very limited (0.12 kg/plant). During the second year, early planting only increased production, however, yield was greater than in the first year (0.43 kg/plant). Early planting gave 45% more yield in the second year than late planting. In general, Opal produced more than Concerto, while heavier and greater heads were obtained with Concerto. Opal was thus more adapted for processing than Concerto, and it was tested as canned artichoke. Both hybrids were resistant to freezing winter temperatures, although during summer plant protection was a serious problem, especially due to downy mildew (Bremia lactucae) and European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) attacks, both due to close by growing areas of lettuce and corn, respectively.
Nicola, S., Tibaldi , G. and Fontana , E. (2012). INTRODUCING THE OUT-OF-SEASON ARTICHOKE PRODUCTION IN THE PIEDMONT REGION. Acta Hortic. 942, 55-60
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.942.4
crop management, summer production, early planting, seed-grow hybrids, mulching

Acta Horticulturae