Artichokes in South Central Alabama
I live in south central Alabama. It is not unusual for the temperature to get over 100 degrees F in the summer. Winter temperatures usually bottom out in the 20's or high teens although it did once get down to 2 degrees F at my house. Snow is rare but it does happen. We got almost 6 inches of snow last winter in a freakishly rare snow storm.
Summers and winters can both be extremely wet sometimes and extremely dry at other times.
I'm interested in growing artichokes, hopefully as a perennial, not an annual.
Cold weather in the winter time appears to be the limiting factor which would prevent me from growing just any variety of artichoke as a perennial.
So far I am looking at Emerald and Northern Star artichokes. I am also interested in something called a "Saint Mary's Artichoke". I have found sources for seed for all but the Northern Star variety which I believe was developed by Peter Seeds and Research in Oregon. All of my attempts to contact this company or find a website that is still active for them have failed. I think the company might be out of business.
I would like to hear from any of you who are from similar climates that have had luck growing artichokes as a perennial, especially regarding the varieties I have mentioned. I would also like to hear from anyone that knows how to get seed for the Northern Star variety. If it is a hybrid as some sources suggest and the company is out of business, it may be impossible.