Growing Artichokes in Virginia

charlieboringOctober 11, 2013

My good buddy Thomas Jefferson (haven't seen him in a long time, I wonder why?) grew artichokes as perenials in Virginia. What was good for Thomas is good for me! I am in Northern Virginia. I have a raised bed about 18 feet long and five feet across, shaped like a kidney. In the spring I filled the bed with a mixture of garden soil, straw, horse manure and topsoil. I germinated the globe artichoke seeds indoors and kept the six little plants under lights until May and planted them in my raised garden. My wife was trying to gain space for her zucchini and planted some zucs in the bed. The zucs shaded the artichokes too much and they did not grow well. Suffice to say that no buds were produced. After removal of the zucs, they started growing very well and are now about 2 feet tall. Now I need to prepare the artichokes for the winter. I intend to cut them back to about 10 inches after the first frost; add a four inch layer of topsoil around the plants; cover the plants with a layer of leaf compost; add a two inch layer of straw and cover the entire mix with a plastic tub and place a rock on top of it to keep it in place. In the spring (about April 20) I will remove the tub and spread the compost around the plants and add a little 20-20-20 fertilizer. Can anyone with Virginia artichoke experience offer any advice?

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I will post the raised bed in the development stage and here are the artichokes on 10-12-13.

This post was edited by CharlieBoring on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 8:19

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Before planting.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:20AM
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Another angle with an Asian pear tree in the foreground.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:22AM
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That is gorgeous! What variety artichoke are you growing?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:57PM
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I believe they are Globe. I lost the seed packet, but I know I was intending to buy a short period producer.

This post was edited by CharlieBoring on Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 7:49

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 4:47AM
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This is a pretty quiet forum - I'm really excited about my artichokes, but this my first year as well, and can't offer any post-year advice. I've planted asparagus crowns along side of the artichokes. My shinseiki asian pear is going through it's second year reasonably well, but hasn't fruited yet. Cardoons are also an interesting artichoke-related plant to consider.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Today is April 11, 2014. I was in my backyard yesterday admiring the approach of spring. My burgundy plum and elberta peach are blooming. My shinko and hosui asian pears are almost at the blooming stage. My moorpark apricot trees are also starting to produce blooms. My hardy kiwis should bust out soon, since the buds are swelling. My fuzzy kiwis are still dormant, but I see they survived the winter and the buds are swelling. I tried to overwinter six artichoke plants by covering the plants with leaves after the first frost and then convering the pile of leaves with a piece of plastic, a garbage can lid, two tubs, a 5 gallon bucket, and a large pot. I have six plants so one makeshift cover per plant. After such a cold winter in Northern Virginia, I was not very hopeful of a successful saving of the plants. I took the make shift covers off of the plants on three days ago and today I noticed one of the plants has started to sprout leaves. Now even that plant has wilted. I hope all survive because this will tell me how Thomas Jefferson must have raised artichokes in Northern Virginia. I will post pictures later when/if the plants grow. My hansen bush cherries, stella cherry tree and fuyu persimmons have still not bloomed. My angel red and Russion pomegranites may not have survived; they look dead.

This post was edited by CharlieBoring on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 12:43

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 1:12PM
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My Artichokes did not survive the winter. I also lost my celeste, brown turkey and Texas everbearing figs and my blackberries and pomegranites.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:05AM
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I lost my pom, but my Green Ischia and Black Mission figs made it through. They were killed to the ground though...buds around the base only.

Weird that you lost the blackberries..

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:42AM
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