Growing artichokes in containers

Artichoke Plant: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Artichokes

With long, silvery leaves and strikingly attractive blooms, the artichoke is a unique addition to your vegetable garden. Growing artichokes isn’t difficult, and with the proper planting, watering and pruning, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of edible chokes.

  • What is an Artichoke?
  • Steps to Growing Artichokes
  • How to Trim an Artichoke
  • Types of Artichoke Plants
  • Artichoke Growing FAQs

What is an Artichoke?

Many people think of thistles as prickly weeds, and no gardener wants a weed in their vegetable garden. But the artichoke, scientifically known as Cynara scolymus, proves that not all thistles are a nuisance. Eaten by the ancient Greeks and Romans, this member of the thistle family has been cultivated as a gourmet food for centuries.

Where do artichokes grow? Although the artichoke isn’t traditionally a hugely popular plant in the United States, it can actually be grown in almost all US growing zones. Artichoke growing zones range from Zones 3-11, while artichokes grow as perennials in Zones 7-11. Colder zone gardeners can still grow artichokes, but only as annual vegetables. Most of the plant is edible, but the portion usually eaten is the immature flower bud in the center, formed before the artichoke blooms.

Steps to Growing Artichokes

Members of the thistle family are known for their ability to grow in almost any location. Because artichokes require lots of room and a long growing season, how to grow artichokes and achieve large harvests is a primary concern for many growers.

  1. Choose the Right Location
    Artichoke plant care begins with great drainage and plenty of sunlight. Often, gardeners assume their artichoke plants haven’t returned in the spring due to a cold winter. But in reality, soggy soil is usually to blame. Consistently sitting in moisture will damage the artichoke crown and root system.Artichokes love to eat up all the nitrogen from soil. If you’re planting artichokes in your vegetable garden, good artichoke companion plants include peas, cabbage, sunflowers and tarragon. These plants will not compete for nutrients.
  2. Prepare the Soil
    Artichokes grow in most soils, but deeply worked, nutrient-rich soil full of organic matter will increase your artichoke harvest. To check the texture of your soil, grab a handful, give it a squeeze and then open your hand. Properly mixed soil will not clump together, but it also won’t fall apart. It should gently crumble across your palm.To prepare your artichoke bed, dig your row at least 8 inches deep and work in 5 inches of compost. For a large artichoke garden, mix in 100 lb. of manure for every 100 square feet of garden space.
  3. Plant Your Artichokes
    Planting artichokes from seed can be a bit of a gamble – they don’t always stay true to seed package labels. Growing artichokes from seed isn’t impossible, but be forewarned it takes a bit of time. Artichoke seedlings usually need to be approximately 60 days old before transferring to your garden. Root divisions are an easier option and are widely available from both local and online nurseries and garden centers.With a height of 3 to 4 feet and a mature diameter of up to 6 feet, artichokes take up a lot of space. Artichoke plants require full sun, so if you plant them too closely together, the large plants can shade smaller ones. Plant your artichoke transplants in a row at an interval of 4 to 6 feet. Placing rows 6 to 8 feet apart will allow room to easily water, fertilize and harvest. Building the row up in a mound or with irrigation channels will help improve soil drainage.
  4. Trick Your Annual Artichokes
    Annual varieties produce buds during their first season because they’re not guaranteed to last the winter. If you see poor results with your annual artichokes, you may need to trick them. Expose the seedlings to cool temperatures below 50 degrees in March and April. If temperatures drop below freezing, bring them indoors. Then, wait to plant until after the last frost.
  5. Water Artichokes Consistently
    Artichokes love water. They need it to produce tender buds. As a thistle, the perennial power of an artichoke plant lies in its deep roots. To encourage strong roots, use Gilmour’s Thumb Control Swivel Nozzle to water deeply between 1 to 3 times a week, depending on the weather. Extremely hot summers can cause artichoke buds to open quickly into flowers. To prevent this from happening, overhead irrigation can keep the temperatures down so buds won’t open. Mulching around each plant can also help reduce soil temperatures and water evaporation.
  6. Apply Artichoke Fertilizer
    Taking the time to properly fertilize your artichoke bed gives your plants the essential nutrients for a well-established start. Apply a balanced vegetable plant food every two weeks throughout the growing season for healthy plants and high yields.
  7. Harvest Artichokes with Ease
    The center artichoke bud matures the fastest and grows the largest. When harvesting artichokes, all you need is a utility knife to cut the stem approximately 1 to 3 inches from the base of the bud. The stem becomes a useful handle when trimming the artichoke.After harvesting the center bud, the artichoke plant will produce side shoots with small buds between 1 to 3 inches in diameter. These side buds are extremely tender and flavorful.
  8. Pruning – Continue Care After Harvest
    Once the plant stops producing buds in the fall, pruning artichokes helps to prepare for over-wintering. Simply cut the artichoke stem back to a few inches above the ground. Apply a thick mulch of leaves or straw over your artichoke bed to protect the plants for cold winters. If the winter weather dips below 15 degrees, some plants may be damaged. Remove the mulch in the spring after the last frost date for your growing zone.
  9. Divide Mature Artichoke Plants
    Artichokes are generally considered 5-year plants. Each plant produces off-shoots that begin to crowd the parent plant. To maintain a healthy artichoke garden, carefully divide your artichoke plants every few years. You don’t have to dig up the entire plant, though. You can simply separate a rooted shoot with your gardening knife and then carefully dig it up with a spade.

How to Trim an Artichoke

Trimming an artichoke is not difficult once you understand the process. Artichokes require just a bit of work after harvest to become edible.

  1. Use a serrated knife to trim off the top third of the artichoke bud.
  2. Remove the outer 2 layers of leaves from around the stem.
  3. Use kitchen shears to trim the sharp tips off each remaining outer leaf.
  4. If you want the artichoke to sit flat, cut off the stem. Otherwise, simply peel it with a paring knife.
  5. Place the trimmed artichoke in a bowl of lemon water to keep it fresh until ready to steam.

Types of Artichoke Plants

The many different varieties of artichokes mean you can choose the perfect variety for your garden. Some of the most popular types of artichoke include:

  • Green Globe Artichoke – considered the original improved artichoke. It’s capable of budding in the first year, produces as an annual in climates as cool as Zone 3 and is still able to handle warm summers as a perennial. It reaches harvest early – at only 75 days.
  • Big Heart Artichoke – a painless variety with no thorns. This relatively new variety is able to handle warm weather and can be grown as an annual from seed. This artichoke’s name pays homage to its ability to reach up to 5 ½ inches.
  • Violetta Artichoke – a heavy producer of side buds. This heirloom variety from Italy has an attractive purple bud known for its tenderness. As a smaller plant, the Violetta artichoke requires only a 3-foot spacing between plants.
  • Jerusalem Artichoke – also known as a sunchoke. In fact, the Jerusalem artichoke is actually not an artichoke at all, despite its name. It’s a species of sunflower, native to North America. Much different than an actual artichoke, these plants grow from about 5 feet to over 9 feet, with sunny yellow sunflower-esque blooms. The edible tuber portion resembles ginger root and is typically between 3 – 4 inches long.

Artichoke Growing FAQs

Common Pests and Diseases for Artichokes

While overwhelmingly hardy plants, gardeners should be on the alert for a few of the following common pests and diseases for artichokes.

  • Artichoke plume moth is actually a small larva which damages the artichoke bud throughout the entire growing season. A regular insecticide program can help control an infestation.
  • Slugs and snails often eat the leaves, stems and outer surface of artichoke buds. There are many organic and chemical methods for control.
  • Curley dwarf disease kills artichoke plants. Symptoms include curling leaves, stunted growth, misshapen buds and reduced production. Plants should be removed from the garden.
  • Botrytis blight is a fungus that develops on artichoke plants damaged by disease, weather or pests. It often appears as a grey-brown coating on the leaves during a warm and wet summer. There is no remedy. Infected plants should be removed and destroyed.
  • Young earwigs leave holes in leaves. Most of the damage is simply cosmetic, but a heavy infestation can damage young shoots. Earwig traps help cut down on the population. Hot pepper repellents can be sprayed as a deterrent.

When is Artichoke Growing Season?

The artichoke season depends on your climate and variety. In the extremely warm coastal areas of Zones 9-11, artichokes grow throughout the winter and begin bud growth in May. Harvest continues into mid-June. In the mid-range zones of the country, artichokes live through winter under the soil and begin new growth once the ground begins to warm in the spring. Annual artichokes can be transplanted into the garden after the last frost.

What Growing Zone is Ideal for Artichokes?

Artichokes thrive in areas with mild winters, cool summers and plenty of moisture. As a perennial, artichokes perform well in hardiness Zones 7-11. Colder zone gardeners can grow artichokes as an annual vegetable or over-winter their perennial varieties in a sheltered area.

Can You Transplant Artichokes?

Transplanting artichokes is the ideal method of planting. Artichoke seeds are usually only 80% true to their parent plant. Transplants from indoor starts or dividing ensures you grow exactly what you want.

The Difference Between Artichoke Bushes and Trees

While mature artichoke plants do have a somewhat bushy appearance, there actually is no such thing as an artichoke bush or an artichoke tree. The artichoke is a member of the thistle family and grows large stalks with edible buds that are widely used in culinary dishes around the world.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Artichokes?

Perennial varieties of artichokes usually begin budding in their second year of growth. In ideal growing conditions – such as the coastal areas of California – artichoke plants produce buds throughout the entire year. For the rest of the country, buds begin to appear in early summer. The center bud matures the fastest, followed by the side buds for the rest of the growing season. Most artichoke plants reach harvest in 85 to 100 days.

How to Tell if an Artichoke is Ripe

Size is the primary way to tell if an artichoke is ripe. The central choke bud should be harvested when it is between 3 to 5 inches in diameter. If you wait too long, the artichoke becomes tough. The secondary side buds are best harvested when between 1 to 3 inches in size. If you wait too long to harvest, the bud will open into the artichoke flower – a surprisingly fragrant and beautiful flower.

Artichokes are beautiful and interesting plants to grow, and if you have space, they can be an incredibly delicious addition to your garden.

An artichoke plant has the unique distinction of being one of the few perennial vegetables that come back season after season if cared for well. They can survive about 4 to 8 years. They are relatively large plants, often growing 6 feet tall and just as wide.

The part of the artichoke we eat is actually the flower bud just before the bud opens. If not harvested, they bloom into brilliant spiky, purple flowers (sometimes as large as 7 inches) which make lovely ornamentals.

Ingo Di Bella / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Artichoke plants are part of the sunflower family which includes, of course, sunflowers, but also other less-common vegetables like Jerusalem artichoke, cardoon, burdock, tarragon, chicories, endives, lettuces, and salsify.

What I find most interesting about this family is that artichokes are so different from their relatives. Artichokes seem nothing like lettuce or burdock! This in comparison to say, the Brassica family of kale, cabbage, broccoli, and arugula which all seem quite similar.

Needless to say, artichokes are quite unique and will give gardeners and farmers a very fun project to undertake. That said, artichokes are not a quick project. These plants need time, energy, and care throughout their lifetime – which as mentioned earlier, can span several seasons.

Where to Grow Artichokes

While they can grow in many zones, artichokes really thrive in warmer areas (USDA zones 7 through 11), regions with mild winters (temperatures below 20 degrees will kill them), and cooler summers, like the Mediterranean region.

In cooler climates, they may grow but will likely die over the cold winter. Some purple artichokes can grow in USDA zone 6. In these climates, artichokes can be grown as annuals or grown from starts to encourage full growth within the shorter season.

Leigha Staffenhagen / Insteading

Some of the varieties of artichokes are:

  • Green Globe: Reliable in colder climates as an annual.
  • Violetto: Lovely purple heads that mature a bit later, so better as a perennial.
  • Imperial Star: Another annual that matures about a week earlier than Green Globe.

Planting Artichokes

Wherever you’re growing, these plants need a lot of time. Barbara Pleasant, writing for Mother Earth News, suggests starting artichoke seeds indoors in the midwinter under bright lights. Once germinated, transfer your seedlings to large pots to get them started. Six weeks before the last frost you can begin to bring the pots outside to acclimate them to cooler weather.

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“All the magic of life exists within a single, tiny seed.” #cureorganicfarm #seedstartingtime #artichokeseeds

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These plants need exposure to cold weather to trigger flowering, so planting them outside 3 to 4 weeks before your last frost date is ideal. Plant them between 3 and 4 feet apart in prepared beds that have been fertilized with natural fertilizer. After having been in the ground for about a month, Mother Earth News suggests using a high nitrogen-based fertilizer to stimulate new growth.

Caring for Artichoke Plants

Artichokes are best grown in deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Because they have a deep root system, you’ll need to plant them in the ground or in a really deep garden bed.

Once planted, artichokes should be mulched well to keep soil moisture intact. These plants need adequate moisture: too little and the plants might suffer black tip (which doesn’t affect the bud, just the leaves), but too much water might lead to root rot.

Artichokes are fairly hardy plants, but if wet weather persists, they are susceptible to powdery mildew, Verticillium wilt, and Botrytis rot. Other potential diseases include curly dwarf virus and bacterial crown rot. To avoid disease, be sure to space plants between 3 and 4 feet apart when planting.

Texas A&M Extension Service gives very specific recommendations for soil fertilization but as they suggest, have the soil tested by your local agricultural extension so that you can best gauge your needs. Suggested inputs include:

  • Mix 100 – 140 pounds of composted manure per 100 square feet into the soil before planting.
  • Phosphorus and potash are best applied before planting and should also be worked in. Apply about 0.25 pound of P205 and 0.25 pound of K2O per 100 square feet.
  • Artichokes require about 0.1 pounds of nitrogen (N) per 100 square feet. Work it into the soil before planting, and apply an additional 0.3 pound per 100 square feet 6 to 8 weeks later.
  • Foliar applications of a liquid fertilizer containing calcium and zinc are recommended every two weeks during active growth in early spring.

Harvesting Artichokes

In midsummer, you will likely start to notice buds growing. Individual plants can grow anywhere from 24 to 48 buds during a good season which is a lot of artichokes to cook up!

Artichokes need to be harvested when the bottom scales have just started to open, but before the tops open, so keep a close eye on them. Cut the stems leaving about 2 inches attached to the bud. Once the first round is harvested, there will likely be a second budding.

Herry Lawford / Flickr (Creative Commons)

After harvesting, you can cook them immediately or store extras in the refrigerator (don’t wash them, as it can introduce bacteria.) If you have more artichokes than you need for immediate use, steam and freeze them (see below for directions).

How to Save Artichoke Seed

If you’d like to harvest the seeds from your good artichoke plants, let one or more of the flowers go to full seed. This is easiest in a warmer climate as the seeds will have time to fully mature. Once the flower turns brown and dries, the seeds are fully mature. Cut the flower and store it in a paper bag (much like the method for drying herbs) for two weeks. Once fully dried, you can break apart the flower to harvest the seeds.

In warmer regions, you can also propagate artichokes by cutting off the early springtime buds and rooting them. This would need to be in a warmer climate (where the artichokes would be winter hardy) as it would take many weeks for the buds to grow, and then they will need to be prepared for winter.

How to Cook Artichokes

While these veggies might seem daunting, a little work brings a big reward! Artichokes can be boiled, steamed, or grilled, and are usually served with some sort of sauce. Butter and lemon are the simplest preparation, while Hollandaise sauce is the traditional French accompaniment.

Before starting, chop off any excess stem (leave around an inch). Remove any withered or browned scales near the bottom of the artichoke. You can also chop off the spiky parts of the scales, but this is optional.

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Mamma prepping artichokes to be stuffed for lunch today

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To boil or steam an artichoke, rub with a half lemon to keep the scales bright green. Boil or steam for about 40 minutes — they are done when a knife slides through the stem easily. For more detailed directions for both steaming and boiling, see this article at Organic Authority.

Once cooked fully, you can cut the artichoke in half, or serve them whole. Each leaf has a tiny bit of meat on it and can be eaten by scraping with your teeth. The scales tend to get meatier and tastier as you get closer to the heart. As you get close to the center, scrape off any spiky parts hiding the heart, then dive in and enjoy the lovely artichoke heart which is the true treasure of this vegetable.

Artichokes can also be grilled but must first be blanched to soften. This recipe for grilled artichokes from Mother Earth News and this grilled artichoke recipe with a fancy mayo looks perfect for summertime grilling.

Siniz Kim / Unsplash

In her book, Vegetable Literacy, Deborah Madison cautions that because of the limited growing region for commercial artichokes (Coastal California), these plants are often heavily sprayed with pesticides. So when possible, choose organic artichokes. While they might have a few bugs inside the scales, Madison explains, a soak in salt water will draw them out. She also recommends the Ocean Mist brand which ensures little to no pesticide residue.

Health Benefits of Artichokes

Like many of the vegetables in the sunflower/thistle family, artichokes are high in inulin, an indigestible sugar. This polysaccharide is a soluble starch that enhances digestion of certain vitamins and is a prebiotic – a food for probiotics that is good for our bodies.

Artichokes are high in antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins C, K, and B6. Finally, artichokes contain high levels of the chemical cynarine, which gives the vegetable a slightly bitter flavor that is concentrated in the leaves. The leaves are inedible but have been used for centuries for herbal medicine that helps with liver, gallbladder, and kidney issues.

Do you love artichokes? If so, why not add the plant to this year’s veggie garden? Globe artichoke is grown for its tender, delicious flower buds and with some TLC, will be a rewarding plant. A member of the thistle family, Cynara sclolymus is an annual in Denver’s zone 5 region, although perennial in coastal climates with cooler summers, warmer winters and higher humidity. The artichoke we buy in the grocery store was probably grown in northern California.

Planting and Care Tips

Start seeds in early winter, or plant transplants in the ground in early to mid April. Garden centers have starter plants for sale now or will very soon. Protect the plant if Spring “treats” us to a late season frost.

A sunny location which gets some afternoon shade is an ideal planting site. Soil should drain well and be amended with 4″ to 6″ of compost, tilled 6″ to 8″ deep. Artichokes are heavy feeders: a 16-16-8 fertilizer can be added at the time of planting and a high nitrogen, 21-0-0, can be worked into the soil monthly thereafter. The plant needs good moisture, however, overly wet crowns will rot and invite slugs. For best success, water with a soaker hose or drip irrigation and apply mulch to retain moisture and keep the roots cool. An occasional misting will provide beneficial humidity. Hot, dry conditions yield fast growing but less flavorful plants that are susceptible to aphids.

Artichoke plants can get quite large – up to 4′ feet wide. Check the tag for the spacing on your specific selection. Globe is a highly rated, popular variety with fleshy chokes and excellent flavor, Imperial Star has shown good disease resistance and Romanesco has beautiful purple-tinged bracts and is less “meaty”.

Harvesting

The plant will send up one large and several small buds on a thistle-ly stem. Harvest when the buds are tight and about 3″ across. A cook’s tip is to pick chokes which are heavy for their size. Once the bracts open, the vegetable becomes inedible and an exquisite flower will follow.

For additional information:

Colorado State University’s trial of six artichoke varieties

Utah State University’s Cooperative Extension’s publication “Artichoke in the Garden”

Written by Linda McDonnell, a Denver County Master Gardener. First published on the blog denvergardeners.wordpress.com

Photos courtesy of .com, a source for royalty free images

Let’s talk about how to grow artichokes today! Whenever someone visits the garden, they always ask about the artichokes. Most people are surprised to find out that we can grow artichokes in our Zone 4 climate. However, with a few tricks, they can be grown in most climates. Keep reading to find out how to grow artichokes as annuals in your own garden.

Artichokes, oh how they make my heart sing. There’s hardly anything I love more than strolling down to the garden and picking one to eat as an appetizer. I’ll steam it while melting garlic butter with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. Once steamed, I pluck off off a leaf, dip it in the butter, scrape it with my teeth, and wash it down with a crisp sauvignon blanc. It’s a transformative experience, indeed.

Globe artichoke is a member of the thistle family, in which the flower buds are edible before they bloom. You might be surprised that you can grow artichokes in most climates. The difference is whether you can grow them as perennials or annuals.

In Zones 7–11, you can grow artichokes as perennials, meaning they live more than two years. In Zones 3–6, you can still grow artichokes. However, you must grow them as annuals, meaning they complete their life cycles in a single growing season. This is completely OK, as most vegetables are annuals! In fact, there are specific varieties of globe artichokes for annual production, which we’ll talk about more below.

How to Grow Artichokes as Annuals

Since I live in Zone 4, I’ll be sharing how to grow artichokes as annuals. Because artichokes are perennial plants by nature, there are a few tricks to growing them successfully as annuals. By utilizing these tips, you’ll learn how to grow artichokes as annuals in no time 🙂

Selecting Seed Varieties

Choose artichoke varieties that are best suited for annual production. ‘Imperial Star’ is a green artichoke specifically bred for annual production that produces well-developed artichokes the first year from seed. ‘Colorado Star’ is also for annual production, but it produces purple buds.

Start Indoors

Sow artichokes indoors 8–12 weeks before last spring frost date. to find your last spring frost date. Artichokes germinate best between 70–80°F. I put my pots under shop lights and place them on top of my Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat set to 75°F. Once seeds have four leaves, transplant to 4″ pots and grow at 60–70°F during the day and 50–60°F at night. The trick to growing artichokes as annuals is giving them a period of what’s referred to as vernalization.

Vernalization

Essentially, vernalization is the process of introducing plants to chilled temperatures in order to induce budding. For climates with mild winters, this happens naturally. Artichoke varieties like ‘Imperial Star’ and ‘Colorado Star’ require shorter periods of vernalization to produce buds. This why choosing the right variety is one of the steps for how to grow artichokes successfully as annuals.

These newer varieties require approximately 10 days of temperatures below 50°F (but above 32°F). The easiest way to accomplish this is by timing transplant so the plants can receive this exposure outdoors. Time transplanting so plants receive 10 days of 45–50°F. Protect from frost with blankets, cold frames, and so forth.

If this isn’t an option, start bringing the plants outdoors when temperatures are above 32°F. If freezing temperatures are expected, bring them into a porch or other protected area. However, do not bring them back into a warm house or greenhouse, as we are trying to trick them into a winter.

I’ve also read that you can simply chill seeds in the refrigerator for two weeks before starting your transplants. However, I have not tried this method.

This might all sound complicated, but I promise it’s not. Don’t stress it and do the best you can. I find these varieties to be quite forgiving.

Overmature Artichoke Buds

Transplant Outdoors

Depending on vernalization period, transplant 6- to 12-week-old plants 2–3 feet apart in rows 4–6 feet apart. If your summers are hot, mulch plants thickly with straw to keep the soil cool. Artichokes are heavy feeders, so be sure to amend soil with organic fertilizer and top-dress with a layer compost. Once buds begin to form in July, I apply a high-concentrate liquid seaweed fertilizer. Artichokes have few pests other than aphids. Control aphids with high-pressure water spray or organic insecticidal soap.

Harvest

The first bud to mature will also be the largest, but the side shoots will also produce some respectably-sized buds. Clip mature buds before they open. Overmature buds can be tough and bitter, so it’s best to let them go to flower. They open up to mesmerizing lavender-colored flowers that attract all kinds of beneficial pollinators, so it’s a win either way. Buds can be stored for eating up to two weeks, but I prefer to eat them soon after picking. You can also freeze and/or can the hearts.

Alright, frand! Do you feel like you have a head start on how to grow artichokes? Let’s get you growing!

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Growing Artichokes in Pots.

Growing Artichokes in Pots, Containers

Today, we get into details of growing Artichokes in pots/containers. How to grow artichokes in pots?. If you are enthusiastic to grow artichokes but are very much confused about the growing process which you have to follow, this article is for you. This article works as a tutorial which will give you a complete insight into growing artichokes in pots. A positive element about the plantation of artichokes is that they can be grown in an easy way in different environmental conditions.

There are several varieties of artichokes which you can choose. For example, you have an option to grow Big Heart, Omaha, Imperial start and Green Globe. A good thing is that the plantation of artichokes is worth your efforts.

The artichokes are very rich in the content of Vitamin C and you can get a fiber which can be added to your diet from artichokes. In the leaves of Artichokes, you can find Cynarin which is helpful in increasing the health of the liver. The main objective of this article is the introduction of the gardening basics to the beginners who are confused about the process. You can go through the process in detail.

Artichoke Blossom.

Read: Tips for Growing Hydroponic Strawberries.

Preparation of pots for growing artichokes:

  • When you have pots, there is no need to plant the artichokes in the ground. The suitable size is a pot of 24-inches as this will give the plant enough space for growing. You can start growing the artichokes which are at a length of 5 feet and a width of 6 feet in the pots. Each and every plant will be able to grow at least 30 artichokes all across the year.
  • For growing artichokes, you will need to choose for organic soil as the artichokes will need fertile and rich soil which is organic. Additionally, you will require to select the soil which has natural nutrients. It is also important that you will need to choose the soil which is draining. That means it should have a rich texture so that whenever you are watering the soil, it will go through in a simple way with much ease.
  • Anyways, this soil should not cling on to the roots as this may even cause death to the roots. When you are able to get hold of the soil, ensure that it has some kind of ingredient which can restore the moisture in the ground. Always choose the soil which has the extract of yucca in it as it is the thing which has the ability if drawing moisture.
  • You can purchase an artichoke plant which is of 2 months of age. You can make use of the plant which is been grown from the seed or the one which is cultivated as the division. The artichoke plant needs to have roots which are tender and which covers the area of the roots.
  • You will need to get a hold of tomato vegetable food and it should have a perfect mixture of nitrogen. Moreover, this tomato vegetable food should have the perfect content of potassium as well which is required for your artichoke plants for growing.

Steps for growing Artichokes in pots:

Steps for Growing Artichokes.

Read: How to Grow Ginger Indoors.

  • First, you will need to take a big pot of 24-inches and completely fill it potting soil which is organic.
  • The plant has to be kept in the pot which is having the soil. The baby plant has to be kept at the same height in the pot as it was in the previous pot. The roots of the plant should be submerged into the soil completely and only the plant leaves have to keep above the level of the soil.
  • After this, you will need to start watering the artichoke plant. On a daily basis, you will need to touch the soil with your finger to check if it will require any moisture or not. If you feel that the soil is dry, then you should start watering the plants. Always keep in mind that the artichoke plant which is in the pot will dry out more rapidly when compared to the plant which is grown in the ground. You will be required to be very careful about this particular aspect mainly if the climatic conditions are hot.
  • Your daily routine should be in such a way that you will need to water the artichokes one time in a week. Anyways, the artichokes should not be standing in water. Additionally, if you see that the water is less, then even in such cases, there is a chance that the buds will have bad taste.
  • When your plant reaches the age of one month, then you will need to add vegetable food. The main reason is that the artichokes will need a heavy feed. Now when you are done with planting in the spring, you can wait for the first harvest after six months in the early fall.
  • If you are residing in a climate which is cool and you are planting the artichokes at the time of spring, then you will need to give a time of complete summer for the plant for growing. You can wait for the harvest of artichokes at the time of fall.
  • Now, the artichoke plant will be big and you will need to start thinking about the lines of cutting 6 inches. You will have to add some amount of mulch. Moreover, you have to start covering the plant mainly if you are growing the artichoke in an area which has snow. You will have to keep the pot in the garage if you are planting the artichokes in the winter season. It will get its share of warmness and will have the ability to grow with ease.
  • Once the season of spring arrives, you will have to bring the plant to sunlight and ensure that you are drying it out. The artichoke plant has to be placed under the sun. Always remember to water the plant along with fertilizing it.

Read: How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts at Home.

Harvesting the artichoke plant:

You will need to check the artichoke plant regular basis daily. Whenever you start seeing the flower buds appearing, then it would be the best time for the harvest. The buds have to be picked up prior to the opening of petals. If you have waited for so long, then there is a chance that the buds become fibrous and also stringy. If you have taken a decision to make use of the artichoke seeds, then ensure that the seeds are at the top of the amended soil. The plants have to be placed at least at a distance of 4 feet from each other. After about thirty days, it is always suggested to make use of liquid fertilizer.

Make sure that there are no weeds in the beds of artichoke. As said above, you will require mulch in the initial stages. Anyways, when you see the buds appearing, you will need to ensure that you are removing the mulch. Here, you will have to use the compost which forms a thick layer of 4-inches surrounding the plant.

There are few instructions which you have to follow for the purpose of harvesting. The buds need to be harvested whenever they are tight and also firm. When you are done with the harvest of all the buds present on the stem, then the stem has to be cut to the ground.

That’s all about growing artichokes in pots or containers. Keep gardening!.

Read: NFT FARMING in India.

Container Grown Artichoke Plants: How To Grow Artichokes In Pots

Related to the thistle, artichokes are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, and magnesium, and, they are absolutely delicious. If you don’t think you have garden space for the large plant, try growing an artichoke in a container. Potted artichokes are simple to grow if you follow these container grown artichoke tips.

About Artichokes in Pots

Artichokes thrive with mild winters and cool, foggy summers where they can be grown as perennials. In these mild climates, USDA zones 8 and 9, artichokes in pots can be overwintered when pruned and mulched.

Those in cooler regions needn’t despair; you can still grow artichokes in pots, albeit as annuals which are planted in the spring. In the subtropical regions of zones 10 and 11, container grown artichokes should be planted in the fall.

Growing Potted Artichokes

Annual artichokes are usually started from seed indoors while perennial artichokes are usually purchased as starts. Start annual seeds indoors about 8 weeks prior to the last frost-free date for your area.

Plant the seeds in pots that are at least 4-5 inches (10-13 cm.) across to allow for growth. Sow seeds just under the soil.

Keep the seedlings moist and in a sunny area that gets at least 10 hours of light per day. If need be, supplement the light with artificial lighting. Fertilize the seedlings lightly every couple weeks.

Harden the plants off over the course of a week before transplanting into larger containers outside.

How to Grow an Artichoke in a Container

Potted artichokes are easy to grow if you provide them with a large enough container. The plant can get quite big, and its root system is quite large. Perennial globe artichokes, for instance, can get 3-4 feet (a meter or so) tall and the same distance across. They need rich soil and plenty of water to form their large flower buds.

To grow an artichoke in a container, select a pot that is at least 3 feet (1 m.) wide and a foot (30 cm.) or more deep. Amend a good quality, well-draining potting mix with plenty of compost.

Fertilize the container grown artichoke in midsummer with either commercial fertilizer or a top dressing of compost.

Water the chokes regularly. Remember that containers dry out quickly, so keep an eye on an artichoke in a container. Provide it with an inch (2.5 cm.) of water per week depending upon weather conditions. A good layer of mulch will help to conserve moisture.

Care for Perennial Potted Artichokes

Perennial artichokes in pots will need some preparation to overwinter.

Cut the plants down to a foot (30 cm.) in height and pile straw or other mulch over the plant to cover the stem, not just the area surrounding the roots. Keep the plant covered through the winter.

In the spring, remove the mulch a few weeks prior to the last frost date for your area.

Artichokes grow best where there are mild, frost-free winters and long, moist summers.

Set out artichoke crowns or root divisions in spring about 2 weeks before the last frost.

About artichokes. The artichoke is an edible thistle flower bud that is eaten before it opens. Artichokes are tender perennials that grow from 3 to 4 feet tall and to 6 feet across.

Yield. Grow 1 or 2 plants per household member.

Site. Artichokes grow best where there are mild, frost-free winters and long, moist summers. (Artichokes are commonly grown along the central California coast and along the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts.) The optimal growing temperature is not less than 50°F at night and not more than 75°F during the day. Do not plant artichokes where there are fewer than 100 frost-free growing days.

Artichoke planting time. Plant artichokes on the average date of the last frost in late winter or early spring. Set your root divisions up to 2 weeks before the last frost. The optimal planting soil temperature is between 50° and 85°F.

How to plant artichokes. Grow artichokes from offshoots, suckers, or seed. Plant artichokes in full sun. Artichokes require rich, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil with a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Add compost and well-aged manure to planting beds in advance of planting.

More at Artichoke Planting Tips.

Spacing. Set offshoots or suckers 3 to 4 feet apart in rows about 6 feet apart. Sow seed ½ inch deep; thin to 6 feet apart.

Water and feeding. Keep the soil evenly moist. Allow the soil to dry between watering. Add a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-10 to planting beds in spring and fall.

Companion plants. Plant artichokes with other perennial vegetables such as asparagus.

Care. Where the winter is cold, cut plants back to about 10 inches and cover with a box or basket and then mulch with about 2 feet of straw or leaves to help maintain an even soil temperature. Artichokes bear best the second year and should be started from new plants every 3 to 4 years.

Container growing. Grow artichokes in large containers at least 36 to 40 inches wide.

Pests. Aphids and plume moths attack the artichoke. The plume moth is a problem in heavy artichoke-growing districts. Hose off aphids.

Diseases. Crown rot may infect plants covered in winter. Do not place mulch until the soil temperature drops to 40°F. Remove mulch as soon as the weather begins to warm. Plant disease-resistant varieties when they are available. Avoid handling plants when they are wet. Remove infected plants and destroy them.

Artichokes ready for harvest

Harvest. Artichokes are harvested beginning the second year. Cut buds about the size of an apple before they open. Cut stems 1½ inches below the bud.

More at How to Harvest and Store Artichokes.

Storing and preserving. Artichokes will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. Artichokes hearts can be frozen after cooking, canned, or pickled.

Varieties. Green Globe, Imperial Star, Violetto.

Common name. Artichoke, globe artichoke

Botanical name. Cynara scolymus

Origin. Southern Europe, North America

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