Red thistle: characteristics, requirements and cultivation

red thistle stalk

In the world there are different varieties of thistle that have unique characteristics. One of the most popular varieties is the red thistle. In this variety we find organoleptic, nutritional and cultivation properties that make them different from any other type of thistle. It is a type of vegetable that is traditionally covered with plastic or paper to protect it from low temperatures since they are quite sensitive plants.

In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics, properties and cultivation of the red car.

Key features

Almost disappeared thistle collections from the Spanish countryside.

Thistle collections almost disappeared from the Spanish countryside.

The red thistle has to be covered with earth pyramids that usually reach a meter and a half in height to be able to protect it against adverse environmental conditions. On some occasions this earth pyramid can reach two meters in height. Although this task requires great physical effort on the part of the farmer, it is one of the key elements to be able to achieve one of the unique properties of Delicate Red. And is that During the first 60 days the plant of the red car is protected by the earth. Thanks to this type of cultivation, it is why it acquires the characteristic pinkish red color that gives it its name. In addition, it not only serves to protect this plant against adverse environmental conditions, but also significantly reduces its bitterness.

It is a type of thistle that has a lot of tenderness, so it may be the only variety that is consumed raw without having to be cooked previously. Red thistle crops stand out for having nutrients that are transmitted to the harvested product and make it is rich in vitamin C and B and minerals such as calcium and iron.

We are talking about a type of perennial plant that belongs to the same genus as the artichoke and is very similar to it. It has an erect stem and usually has an altitude of more than one meter. As for its leaves, its underside is whitish in color, while the upper surface is green. It has a petiole and a well developed main nerve and they are the most usable part of the plant. It differs mainly from the artichoke in that the plant is larger because it has very few suckers. Seed multiplication is almost always used since it is more resistant to cold and the leaves are split.

Requirements of the cultivation of red thistle

cultivation of thistle

thistle crop

As we have mentioned before, various adaptations are needed in the cultivation of red thistle in order to apply adequate protection. It can be considered a type of plant with a wide climatic dating since it develops during the summer season and has great resistance to cold. It prefers soils that have a composition that is mostly clayey limestone and rich in organic matter. Among the environmental conditions that do not favor it in its development we find excessive humidity. Although it can adapt to lighter soils, it prefers deep soils.

The red thistle is sown in the months of March to June. Germination temperature must have a minimum of 10 degrees, while the maximums are 30 degrees. In order to have an optimal development temperature, the place must be at around 20 degrees. To be able to sow the red thistle, the soil must be prepared and fertilized in a suitable way to provide a greater degree of organic matter.

Once the land has been prepared, it is left to proceed with the sowing. What is sought before sowing definitively is that the land has sufficient tempera. To do this, you must make a last cultivator pass that serves to be able to remove weeds and leave the soil in suitable conditions so that later the thistle can develop in good conditions.

Sowing the red thistle

red thistle

red thistle

The sowing is done outside and used separate lines of about a meter and another meter between floors. In this way, the plants will not have to compete for territory and will be able to develop in better conditions. The planting frames are used for those cases in which it is necessary to cover with soil. However, if a system such as very plastic black paper is used, the distance between plants can be reduced by approximately 0.8 meters.

To be able to sow red thistle, a mineral fertilizer is needed that can be incorporated both during the soil preparation phase to increase organic matter and after sowing. Both options are compatible since the main objective is that the plant bridges at all times with a greater amount of organic matter than was going to them to be able to develop in good conditions. It can remain several years in the field of seat in having to change the place of cultivation. However, it requires strong contributions of mineral fertilizers at a rate of about 1.200 kilos per hectare.

If we know that the soil is rich in potash, it does not require a contribution of this element, so we can use another type of mineral fertilizer. For example, in the area of ​​the fertile plain of the Guadalquivir a complete type of compost is not necessary, as it has a large amount of potash.

Among the maintenance tasks that we find the red thistle we have the thinning of the lines in sowing. It should be done when they have 4 to 5 leaves and the most vigorous ones will be left so that it can develop well and no more than two plants per planting goal. Regarding irrigation, it is a plant that tolerates water moderately concentrated in salt. Most of its cultivation is done in ridges. Since it is a plant with great foliar development, it has a high transpiration rate, so it will need constant watering. They should not be too abundant irrigations, If not, we focus on providing water in such a way that it provides the necessary moisture to the root system without causing flooding.

The first watering is recommended to be done immediately after sowing. Once the plant is born, it must be watered again. In this way, we achieve that the risks are established in a period of approximately 8-10 days between them.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the red thistle and its cultivation.

Red thistle: characteristics, requirements and cultivation

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