Artichoke Question

CA KateMay 27, 2006

I'm growing several artichokes for the first time. One has a several small buds already growing on it. How do I know when to pick the artichoke to eat before it goes to flower?

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bfreeman_sunset20(Ca 9b vta co)

I wait until they are decent size and start to open up. Then I know they arent going to get much bigger.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 11:29PM
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Heathen1(10a)

Yes... I'd give them a little blooming fertilizer too! I warn ya, they may be a little unhappy in your evening heat... you might give them a little extra water too. They really like the coastal areas...

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 11:47PM
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CA Kate

Evening heat hasn't been a problem lately.... it's been positively COLD. Maybe that's why I've getting some nice artichokes.

OK, one is the size of a softball and the "leaves" are starting to pull away from the ball. Is this one ready to pick?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 12:39PM
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Heathen1(10a)

Yeah, it probably is ready. Heat sure hasn't been a problem lately, huh! Oh, just to warn you, it'll die back a bit during the summer, then spread.... :o) They get a bit bushy.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 5:25PM
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CA Kate

Thank you for the FYI, heathen. I guess we'll share one small artichoke for supper.... along with the fresh zucchini I just picked.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 5:54PM
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Onion(z9b/15 Nor Cal)

Hey there,
The Sunset garden guide says to cut the stalk to the ground when you harvest a choke from it, that way new stalks will grow faster (for more chokes) than if you let the remaining stalk stick around.

Anyone have an opinion on this?

Ummmm artichokes...
~Onion

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 7:38PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

When you harvest the last choke of the year it is appropriate to cut the plant to the ground. Al

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 9:49AM
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Heathen1(10a)

I didn't do this... didn't know about it... mine grew fine.... wish I'd known about the cutting back part, they get ugly and ratty as the summer gets hotter... I would have cut them back!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 10:34AM
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CA Kate

I removed the one artichoke, but left the stalk because there was another bud coming on. Thanks for all the advice!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 11:12PM
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tressa(SECA)

Artichoke and zucchini ALREADY???? I'm jealous, Westelle!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 10:31AM
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tinkerpeace_myway_com

I'm surprised to actually have an artichoke this year, I tried several times before but was not able to produce anything. Now what should I do? Cut it back and cover for the winter or plant again next year?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 11:06PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am not sure about Idaho temperatures, but where artichokes are normally grown they return from last years roots. Al

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 10:57AM
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youreit

According to Sunset info on artichokes, in Sunset zones 4-7 (Pocatello is Sunset zone 2A), "plant in spring when offered and hope for the best - you will get foliage, maybe flowers, and a crop if you're lucky."

So it sounds like you're really lucky, Brenda! :)

Another Brenda

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 2:20PM
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mrskirky

OK, I bought root stock and planted it and it has taken off. I have it planted in a raised bed so that it won't overtake the whole garden. I have watered it frequently and fertilized it. I have about 7 artichokes growing. I picked one as the leaves were starting to spread, trimmed it, and steamed it. It was SO bitter that I could not eat it. How can I ammend the soil to get rid of the bitterness?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 12:37AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Are you in a cool, coastal area? I think I read that the reason artichokes are grown in cool areas is because they get very tough and inedible grown in hot areas. About all I can think of is making sure it is always very well watered.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 11:11AM
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CA Kate

Our Master Gardeners successfully grow eatable ones at their garden here in the Central Valley - Clovis, so I don't think heat is the factor.

Mrskirky: you might try contacting your local Cooperative Extension Office and/or Master Gardeners to see if they can offer any local help.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 12:17PM
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laurie_in_sf(Z10 SF Bay Area)

What happens if you eat the artichoke after it has begun to flower? Is it bitter or otherwise not good? A couple of mine have just started flowering and I want to know if it's too late to eat them or if I should just let them go and enjoy the flower. I had only intended to let one flower (which it is and it's lovely). Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 7:52PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

When a flower has started it is too late to eat it, enjoy the bloom. A bloom cut and allowed to dry will keep its color and add to any dry flower arrangement. Al

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 9:18AM
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laurie_in_sf(Z10 SF Bay Area)

Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:17AM
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anatolian

Hi! I am pleased to see that there are lots of others who grow artichokes too! last year, I obtained about 25 shoots (root stock) from a local farmer. I believe I planted them about late September.
I was rewarded with a great harvest in May thru June. I love artichokes and enjoyed eating them daily during that time.
I was able to get some chicken manure and used that along with the donkey manure we usually use...my plants are still gorgeous looking although past the 'fruit' growing stage. I've already divided the plants since they threw out a huge number of shoots...gave most away and planted a few more in empty places in the garden.
My question is this...should I be cutting back the leaves now.I remember reading that they should be cut back to 2-3" below ground level. Is this correct or did I misunderstand? is it too late now? we're probably going to get our first frost in a few weeks.
I'm going to mulch with pine needles, since I've heard this is good for the plant and for the soil.
Any suggestions or corrections would be very appreciated.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 12:03PM
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ptnana

I raised my first artichokes this year, getting them as seedlings and they produced several artichokes (about 12+ on 5 stalks. They came so quickly that I could not eat them all and many of them went to bloom. A friend of mine told me that they could still be cooked and eaten after they bloom. I notice in your article that you advise against it. What is the reason that you state they can not be eaten? Are they dangerous (posion) or tough, or bitter?

Thanks for all the good information posted. I just cut my stalks back, not knowing that they were supposed to be cut as low as you suggest. I also noted that there are green leaves starting at the base on three of the 5 stalks. Should these be allowed to continue or should they be cut back also? Will there be another growing session in the near future?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 5:00AM
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