has anyone planted artichoke?

buck1173August 15, 2007

hi, I'm new to gardening, but got the bug bad. I made a lotta mistakes w/my tomatoes this year, but learned a lot too, and feeling (over) confident. : )

I'm getting a little greenhouse and planning a gardening extravaganza for next year...

I'd LOVE to grow artichokes, and I got some seeds that rutgers research say do well in NJ, but if anyone has had experience w/ artichokes I'd really appreciate it.

thanks!

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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

I have never tried artichoke but you have been waiting for some response for weeks. I think Thomas Jefferson grew them at Monticello, in a climate not terribly different from ours, but, I think, his servants started them indoors.
I think, but am unsure, that they were carried over the winter under baskets full of leaves. They are just a cultivated form of thistle. Perhaps they were on the south facing slope of his little mountain.
Actually, Winters may have been colder then.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 10:39PM
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agardenstateof_mind

Bogturtle's right about Jefferson having grown them at Monticello. I picked up a packet of seed there last autumn. From the back of the package:

"Globe Artichoke [cynara scolymus] - Included in one of Jefferson's first lists of vegetables grown at Monticello in 1770. ... Globe Artichokes are not reliably hardy in Virginia, as Jefferson acknowledged ... 'we can have neither figs nor artichokes without protection from the winter.'... Sow seeds in pots indoors during late winter and transplant seedlings to the garden. Globe Artichokes need rich, well-prepared soil, plenty of sun, and even moisture. The edible chokes develop by mid-summer and several can be harvested during the season. If left on the plant, they will develop into a purple, thistle-like flower. Zones USDA Zones 8 through 10."

That last sentence is interesting, since I believe Monticello is in USDA Zone 7.

Unfortunately, however, all I know is what I've read, since the seedlings started in the greenhouse and carefully transplanted to their rich, well-prepared soil in a sunny raised bed with soaker hose for even moisture were promptly reduced to stubs by a formerly resident groundhog. Some things came back (the chards), but not the chokes. There's always next year.

It sounds like you're having fun with your gardening; that's the best way. You're right about learning a lot, and gardens seem to be quite forgiving, actually. At least, they don't hold a grudge.

Did you get your greenhouse yet? This will be my third winter with one and I don't believe I'd ever want to be without one again!

Wishing you a great season in your greenhouse this winter (another learning curve), and an enjoyable and rewarding "gardening extravaganza" in 2008.

Diane in Monmouth County, NJ

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 11:15PM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

Jefferson spent too much time in Italy!

Winters were colder in his time--the Delaware regularly froze over & now almost never does.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 2:18PM
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