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Globe Artichoke

Posted by slowpoke_gardener 6/7 (My Page) on
Sat, May 24, 14 at 18:00

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


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Globe Artichoke

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


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RE: Globe Artichoke

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


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RE: Globe Artichoke

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.


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RE: Globe Artichoke

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

 photo DSCN1818_zps54234cb0.jpg


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RE: Globe Artichoke

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


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