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The Cardy is not only a delicious Spanish artichoke, but also a wonderful decorative element. So here are our tips for cardy cultivation and care.The Spanish artichoke looks great
The thistle-like plant that is now very common Cardy is still one of the relatively unknown late vegetable varieties. Although it is particularly popular for a variety of decorative purposes. Because their large artichoke flowers with purple-colored bristles are ideal for drying.
Harvest the flowers with a stem and let them dry loosely in a container. However, the stem should not touch the bottom of the vessel. You can then work the cardy flower into flower arrangements or remove the stem and use the flower for table decoration or garden decoration.
Cultivation of the Spanish artichoke
You can buy cardy seeds in the well-stocked garden center. From January to March you have to put the seeds in small flower pots, then place them in a temperate room or greenhouse and grow small plants from them.
From the end of April to mid-May (note frost), you can then plant the plants in the previously fertilized field. It is recommended that you choose a sunny location that is protected from the wind if possible. It is also important that you plant the cardy in a slightly loamy soil.Cardy can grow up to 150 centimeters
Since the cardy can grow between 100 and 150 centimeters, you should keep a planting distance of about 80 centimeters between the individual plants when spreading.
Cardy also look extremely attractive in an ornamental flower bed. The great thing: as an ornamental flower, they can even be left on site for several years.
Care of the Spanish artichoke
Cardi plants generally do not like waterlogging and their extensive leaves also do not like soil moisture. Therefore, you should lightly tie the cardi plants from a height of about 60 to 80 centimeters and lay straw around the plants.
You should also fertilize the Cardy with nettle slurry in August. Alternatively, you can of course use any other nutrient-rich fertilizer.It is best to fertilize Cardy with nettle slurry
Protection in winter:
If you keep cardi plants in the decorative bed, you must protect them against frost in winter with brushwood. In the event of severe frost, you should even cover the cardies with a garden fleece.
Harvest & processing
The greyish-green colored leaves of the cardy are harvested as vegetables, the stems of which contain a particularly large amount of vitamin C and sustainably promote digestion. You should cut these as close as possible to the end of the stem, because unlike the artichokes, only the stems of the Cardy are edible. Then you have to cleanly separate the leaves from the stem and peel the stem with an asparagus peeler.
To prepare, cut the stalks into pieces and blanch in salted water for about 30 minutes. Then you should eat the vegetables as soon as possible, otherwise they will turn black. To preserve the color a little, you can also put the vegetables in vinegar water.Only the Cardy stems are processed
You can also process the cardy stems with a vinegar-oil dressing into a nutty-tasting salad. You can also cover them with a batter and deep-fry them.
A bitter liqueur can even be made from cardy vegetables, which ensures good wholesomeness of hearty meals.