Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) as cash-cover crop in an organic vegetable system


  • Anna LENZI Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences (DISPAA), University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence, Italy
  • Ada BALDI Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences (DISPAA), University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence, Italy
  • Romano TESI Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences (DISPAA), University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence, Italy



cynara scolymus, globe artichokes, organic agriculture, biological production, cash crops, green manures, nitrogen, crop yield, soil fertility, biomass, crop residues, organic matter


In organic vegetable systems green manure crops play an important role as a nitrogen source, but they cover the soil for several months without producing a direct income. Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) provides both heads to be harvested and particularly abundant plant residues to be possibly incorporated into the soil, so it may play a double role of cash and cover crop. This paper describes an on-farm study in which seed-propagated artichoke, cultivated as an annual crop, preceded zucchini squash and lettuce cultivated in sequence within a vegetable organic system. Artichoke produced about 7 t ha-1 of saleable heads and left, after harvest, 50.3 t ha-1 of fresh biomass usable as green manure. Zucchini squash and lettuce following artichoke showed a significant increase in yield when artichoke residues were incorporated into the soil. Furthermore, a residual positive effect of green manure on soil fertility was detected after lettuce harvest.



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26. 11. 2015



Agronomy section

How to Cite

LENZI, A., BALDI, A., & TESI, R. (2015). Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) as cash-cover crop in an organic vegetable system. Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, 105(1), 53–60.

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