Edible Articles: Cynara

Fields: Growing artichokes | Artichokes and Tomatillos | Artichokes in Pacific NW?

Growing artichokes

Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Growing artichokes Reply-To: FRANCIS ALBERT SINATRA


On Mon, 25 May 1998 08:45:58 -0400, Renzo <lindalo@ids.net> wrote:

>I was very excited when the short season artichoke was developed and I
>have started 4 plants (Imperial Star) from seed. They will be ready to
>go in the ground this week and I'd like any hints anyone could give me.
>About all the seed packet said is that they like about 4 feet all
>around. I'll give them close to that. But I have no idea what they even
>look like as mature plants. Will they need staking or caging or can they
>stand on their own? Do they like to be mulched? Should they go into a
>rich soil or not? Should I fertilize mid-season? How much water do they
>take? Any tricks to get them to bear more fruit?
>I'd appreciate any info about this new venture of mine!
>in RI

Artichokes and Tomatillos

From: "J. F Hensler" <hensler@povn.com>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Artichokes and Tomatillos Reply-To: hensler@povn.com

We've been raising artichokes from seed for about 3 years now. Two varieties have done well for us... Imperial Star and Violeto.

The plants are started very early indoors (any well lighted area will do)usually in February. Not all of the seedlings will produce well. Of 6 planted out the first year (I. Star) only 3 produced chokes. We've since learned that it pays to keep only the best of them.

This last season two plants really stood out from the crowd so we're trying to hold them over (first in the sunroom then to the greenhouse when the temperatures went above the teens). As soon as the temperatures are certain to stay above freezing, we'll divide the plants and set them out in the garden again.

Climates in the PNW can range from zone 7 all the way down to zone 3 depending on area and altitude. We figure we're about z 4b. Artichokes in our area will not winter over unless lifted and held in pots in an area that doesn't freeze.

We'll let you know how the artichokes from divisions do for us this year.

Happy gardening, Christy Hensler
-- Skip and Christy Hensler THE ROCK GARDEN Newport, Wash. http://www.povn.com/rock

Artichokes in Pacific NW?

From: Neason <Rebecca.Neason@foxinternet.net> Reply-To: Rebecca.Neason@foxinternet.net
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Artichokes in Pacific NW?

Jenn wrote:
> okay...do artichokes come as seeds, or do you have to buy plants? And do
> they grow on the ground with that little head, or are they big huge plants?
> How should I care for them? How do I know when they're ripe? I've seen
> people on this NG and rec.gardens.edible mention the "Imperial Star"
> artichoke, is this generally the best kind for my climate? Also, does anyone
> in the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area know of a place where I can buy
> artichoke seeds/plants?
> Jenn
> audacity@teleport.com
> free recipes: http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/9559/

I got artichoke seed from Territorial several years ago. Some of the original plants, as well as their descendants of still grow in my garden. I'm at 800 feet elevation about 50 miles southeast of Seattle in the Mount Rainier foothills. (Ever see Dante's Peak?) I think they call it zone 7a or someting. Our minimum low since I've been here (16 years) has been -1 F. Typical low is around 15 F.

You need to build a suitable bed for them. They need plenty of organic matter, well drained soil, and (in our climate) full sun. They will grow lots of foilage in the spring and the old stalks will send up flowers. The new growth comes from shoots around the sides of the old plant and will flower in late summer. These are very small but are really the best-tasting. Nothing like those hard things you get in the supermarket.

The side shoots can be dug up in March and rooted in place to expand the crop or replace winter kill. (I lose about 1 in 5 plants every year.)

I mulch very heavily over the winter with a 2" layer of rich compost followed by a 4-6" layer of sawdust/horse manure or alder chips. I don't remove the mulch in the spring so over the years the artichoke bed becomes more of a mound.

Steve (Maritime...)

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