How to grow Burdock
The greater burdock (Arctium lappa L., 1753) is a herbaceous, erected and biennial species of the Asteraceae family.
Burdock is a plant that grows quite adaptable from the Mediterranean area to the mountainous regions. The preferred soil is calcareous, with neutral pH and a good supply of nutrients. They should be compact to allow for good root growth. It does not grow in land and environment that is too arid and dry. It prefers sunny areas.
For a good crop should be carefully prepared the ground that must accommodate. In a kitchen garden, by hoeing or digging, it must make the soft soil to promote root development. If necessary, you can perform a milling to refine the ground well. In this phase it is possible to make the soil manure or compost at a dose of 3 – 4 kg per square meter.
Seed is not recommended because the seed has poor germination capacity and would be in a lot of failed areas of sowing.
It is however advisable to germinate seeds in seedbeds, in pots or tray fillers using a fertile soil for the nursery. The best time to do this is in February, in a protected environment. The ideal temperatures for germination are of 20 – 22 ° C, for the first two weeks, then will be sufficient 15 – 18 ° C.
After about two months, when the plants have 4 well-formed leaves, they will be ready for transplanting on land previously worked.
The burdock cultivation does not require special care. Weeds can be a problem only in the early stages of plant life; growing burdock occupies all available space, and competes very effectively with weeds, preventing them from developing.
The irrigation is required after transplantation, to allow to easily take root seedlings, while later shall only be performed in case of prolonged periods of drought or if the plants have suffering.
The fresh roots are harvested in the fall, while the leaves in spring. The roots must be cut into pieces of about 1 cm and exposed to the sun, while the leaves are allowed to dry in the shade in thin layers. Both products can be stored in glass jars or in paper bags in the dark and in a dry place.
The cultivation of burdock in a kitchen garden does not need any pest control.