I am getting invaded by ants on my artichokes /plants. Is there any organic remedy that I can use to combate this?
Artichokes are particularly loved by aphids. You have ants on your artichokes because the ants are farming aphid honeydew. Get rid of the aphids and you'll get rid of the ants.
Hose the plants off with a fairly strong stream of water from the hose at least daily for the next several days. Often this is enough to disrupt the aphid invasion. If water alone is not sufficient to get the problem down to a dull roar after a week or so, then you might want to consider an insecticidal soap. You shouldn't need anything more potent than that on soft bodied pests like aphids.
I agree with Mary. I make my own soap with 1 gal water, start with 1 tbl soap and add 1 tbl veg oil, clove of crushed garlic and a couple pinches of chili powder. Spray in a dedicated qt sprayer. The garlic & chili keeps critters away.
Plant the herb epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides) around the base of your artichokes. Ants are repelled by epazote. To cover the aphid angle I would also sprinkle some cilantro seed (can use whole coriander to get faster bolting) around the area and let them grow until flowering. They attract lady bugs that will eat the aphids on the chokes and will flower right around artichoke season. I realize this is a longer term solution, but I have had success just mulching the base of afflicted plants with epazote to get rid of ants as well. Unfortunately, epazote oils are quite volatile so the effect is temporary, so planting the herb near the affected plant works better. Since artichokes are perennials you might want to try this approach next year. Good luck. I love artichokes and I am growing them too.
More importantly, use compost and organic fertilizer on your soil around the artichokes. Healthy plants normally do not attract aphids. I had this demonstrated to me in a nearby greenhouse. Three identical plants grown in different soils. The soils were based on Wal-Mart potting soil (simply because everyone can get it). Then compost was added to two of them. The canopy of each plant was in contact with the other two. Only one plant (no compost) had aphids and it was covered with them.
Can the epazote plant be located and sold in NJ? I have ants on every leaf of my artichoke plant and didn't understand why. My soil is composed of compost and manure and also fertilized with organic fertilizer. May I also comment that this is my first year in growing these plants. One has an artichoke on it.
Just hose them off every few days. It's all it takes.
You know that the artichoke is unlikely to survive the winter, right?