Crop Diversification In Ontario: Adaptation of Annual Globe Artichokes

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  • 1 Univ. of Guelph, Plant Agriculture, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
  • | 2 Univ. of Guelph, Plant Agriculture, Kettleby, Ontario, L0G 2W1, Canada
  • | 3 Univ. of Guelph, Plant Agriculture, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 4N5, Canada
  • | 4 Univ. of Guelph, Plant Agriculture, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 4N5, Canada

Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) is a high value cool season crop which requires vernalization to induce flower formation. The climate in Ontario does not allow for survival of perennial cultivars or for consistent natural vernalization of annuals. Three methods of vernalization were tested: a controlled environment chamber, a lighted cold storage, or GA3 application in the field. Plants, cv. Green Globe Improved, were grown in a greenhouse set at 25 °C day temperature in 72-cell Styro-foam trays in a peat mix. At 4 weeks, plants receiving vernalization were transferred to growth chambers, or lighted coolers (four standard 8 foot cool white fluorescent lamps) at 10 °C for two weeks. The others stayed in the greenhouse. GA3 treatments (PROGIB, 15 g ai/ha) were applied at 2, 4 and 6 weeks after transplanting. Cultivars Green Globe Improved, Imperial Star, Emerald, and Large Green Globe were evaluated in separate trials. Trials were conducted at Simcoe, on coarse sand in a high heat area, and Kettleby, on organic soils in a cooler area of Ontario. Shortly after planting at Simcoe several 30 °C days occurred which devernalized and injured the crop. Artichokes grew well at the Kettleby site. Vernalization in the growth chamber was most effective and resulted in the earliest bud formation and highest total yield (1503 cases/ha). Large Green Globe was not well adapted to Ontario conditions. Imperial Star and Emerald produced the highest yields, 2180 and 1779 cases/ha, respectively. Globe artichokes can be grown successfully as an annual crop in cool production areas of Ontario.

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