Globe Artichoke

slowpoke_gardenerMay 24, 2014

Last year someone on this forum was going to plant Artichokes for the first time. I was wondering how that project went. I had never seen an artichoke plant before this year. I saw a pot with three plants in it at Walmart and bought it out of curiosity. Now what in the world do I do with these plants? They are in the garden and looking pretty good. Am I wasting my time? I live about 15 miles south of Ft. Smith, AR., will they grow and produce in this area?

Thanks, Larry

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Larry,

I have grown artichokes here several times. I don't remember who was growing them last year, but I remember we discussed them several times, including the purple one called "Opera" that one seed company was selling.

When I grew them here, I grew them from seed started indoors in January and transplanted out into the ground around the time of my last frost.

They need a long season to produce, but they will produce in our climate. Mine came back for 2 or 3 years, and they were in only lightly-improved soil at the lower north end of the garden. I spaced them about 4' apart as the plants do get huge. I lost them after the April 29, 2009, one day rainfall of almost 13". That rain washed down about 4" of sand, silt and debris from the property next door that buried the entire lower end of the garden, mulch and all. I uncovered all the plants and tried to keep them alive, but then we had about another foot of rain over the next few weeks and it was too much for them. I think they would have survived if I'd had them in a raised bed that would have kept their roots above the worst of the constantly wet soil---which lasted from about late April until late July.

The plants are huge and very architectural and make a dramatic focal point in a garden.

Dawn

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 6:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
slowpoke_gardener

Dawn, thank you. I expect mine are too close, I did not measure but I am guessing about 3' apart. They do look rather nice, but mine are only about 8 or 9 inches tall.

Larry

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tracydr(9b)

I grow them here in AZ. I don't always get them through the summer but I start seed in August to plant out when it cools off. They produce pretty heavily the next spring. I have had them survive through summer and come back really strong with lots of baby plants.
I feed the artichokes tons of organic fertilizer and lots of water. Used coffee grounds, manure and alfalfa hay plus fish and anything else I can throw at it.
Mine produce about 20-30 chokes, some pretty small and some large, per plant in the spring. I'm just now letting them flower as the chokes were getting a little tough and dry from the weather.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 11:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
slowpoke_gardener

I thought I would post an update on this thread. As I had stated before, I don't remember seeing an artichoke plant when I planted 3 of them in my garden. My wife has stated that she wants some for the flower bed next year because they are such a pretty plant. I expect they will look better as I learn to care for them, the may even produce food.

Larry

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Larry, They look terrific. They will be huge by autumn. They will eventually produce flower buds, which you cut, harvest and eat before they open up and bloom. If you were to leave them on the plant unharvested, they would give you a purple flower that looks very much like a thistle. Normally they form buds the second year, but you can get them to bloom the first year if they were exposed to cold weather for a significant period before the spring warm-up arrives. Since you purchased your plants, you have no way of knowing if they were exposed to cold weather long enough for vernalization to occur. If it did, you'll get buds this year (or flowers if you don't harvest the buds and eat them) and, if it didn't, you'll get buds next year if the plants survive the winter.

I think that in your area the hardest part of overwintering them will be that they can rot in perpetually soggy soil. If your winters are as wet as your springs/summers, they may not survive the winter there.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chickencoupe

While flipping through seed packets I noticed the artichoke seed and am considering growing, maybe, one up front of the house by the road in the round plot now with alfalfa. They're beautiful. How do I expose it to cold? Germinate, harden it off and allow it to get cold over the next few weeks? Cuz that would be feasible.

I've read up on the mulch-cover with inverted basket-mulch scenario by Bonnie Plants for freezing temps. If it's up front, I'll be able to tend to it frequently and it will be protected from the harsh afternoon heat blasts. I might even try to overwinter. Would be fun.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 4:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

That's how I do it with first-year artichokes from seeds. I sow the seed around the beginning of February (the beginning of January might be better but I'm never ready to start seeds that early), pot them up from the starter flat to individual pots when they have two true leaves, harden them off to sunlight and wind as soon thereafter as I can, and leave them outside in cold weather (but not freezing cold since they are so young). I transplant them into the ground around the same time I transplant tomatoes, and I put them where they get morning sun and afternoon shade because July/August heat can be really hard on them. If in well-drained soil, they are a short-lived perennial here, usually lasting at least 3 years. What usually kills mine is a very, very wet year with flooding where our soil just doesn't dry out for several months. Because cold nights hang on so long here, and because my greenhouse is unheated, I don't go to a lot of trouble to put them in the ground early and get them cold-exposure as they'll get enough of it anyhow with all our late recurring cold nights through early May.

With some flowering plants that need a certain degree of moist cold stratification, like Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate and Chocolate Daisies, I sow the seeds in a sterile, soil-less mix in a half-flat or a quarter-flat, put the flat in a zip-lock bag, write the start date on the bag with a Sharpie, and put the flat in the refrigerator for however long the cold stratification needs to be. Once they've had enough cold, I take them out of the fridge and out of the bag and put them on the light shelf or in the greenhouse to sprout. Someone told me long ago I'd have to cold-stratify artichoke seeds, but they were wrong. Mine sprouted just fine (and very quickly) after going straight from the seed pack to the starter flat, with no cold stratification.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chickencoupe

Perfect! Thanks. A fun project for me.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2015 at 3:33AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
seed swap tulsa
are they having the seed swap in Tulsa today
oldokie
2015 Spring Fling Anyone?
It must be so. I've reserved a porta-potty and marked...
p_mac
Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Landscape
Sometimes I think many gardeners tend to overreact...
Okiedawn OK Zone 7
Question on my potatoes
I planted the first week of April. They're strong and...
chickencoupe
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™