Artichokes love the cool foggy conditions along the California coast, but can be grown in areas of colder winters and warmer summers too. In cool summer climates artichokes produce their flower buds from September to early May, possibly all year long. In other climates plants grow from spring through fall, with flower buds growing in early summer. You can try to grow artichokes in cold winter conditions, but you will need to protect the plant from cold weather.It is also unlikely any buds will grow in cold winter climates. Dormant plants can be planted in winter or early spring. Seedlings can be planted in early spring in cool coastal areas. Space plants 4-6 feet apart, watering very well once a week after growth begins. When plant is done producing and leaves turn yellow cut off old stalks at ground level. In colder winter climates top plants to 1 foot in height, tie them over the root crown and mulch well. Artichokes can also be grown in large containers.
Each stem will produce 3-5 buds and each plant will produce multiple stems. Harvest artichoke buds while they are tight and plump. Make sure the leaves are still closed. Cut the artichoke from the stem leaving 2-3 inches of the stem on the plant. If you leave the buds on the plant they will flower into beautiful purple thistles. You can cut them to use in floral arrangements.
Pests and Diseases
- Spray plant buds vigorously with water to control aphids.
- Plant in raised garden beds with wire mesh at the bottom to control gophers.
- vitamins C, K