How to Grow Artichokes

Growing artichokes in your garden can make it a masterpiece. These delicious culinary delights often produce fifteen to twenty artichokes per plant each year. Artichokes, members of the thistle family, are perennial plants that grow in warmer climates; however, in areas with cooler climates, they are grown as annuals. They can produce stunning blooms for up to 6 years. You might be amazed at how easy it is to grow artichoke plants. For more information about how to grow artichokes, read the guide below.


The Ideal Soil Composition and pH for Growing Artichokes

Artichokes are heavy eaters, so make sure you amend your soil accordingly with worm casting, well-decomposed compost, or other organic materials. Artichoke plants thrive in well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.0. Visit your local extension center if you have questions about your soil’s pH or content, or get a soil test kit at your local nursery or home improvement center.


Artichoke Growing Requirements: Temperature & Light

Choose a spot in your garden that gets full sun. You can plant artichokes in hot areas by choosing a location that gets partial shade during the afternoon.

Growing Artichoke from Seed

It is recommended that you plan ahead when growing artichoke seeds. You should start seeds indoors at least 8-12 weeks before the last frost date in your area. You can start by doing the following.

  • Place individual seeds in pots.
  • Insert seeds at 1/4 inch depth and cover with soil.
  • Put the seeded pots outdoors in a sunny, warm place.
  • Plant seedlings in the ground or raised beds.
  • Keep your soil moist.

Artichoke Plant Spacing

Plant your transplants outdoors in three to four feet of space between the plants.

Watering and Nutrients

To produce artichokes, they must be well-watered and nourished throughout their growing season. Artichoke plants not receiving enough water will produce stale fruits and a lack of juiciness. Seedlings can harden outside once they have at least four leaves. Keep your plants strong and healthy by amending your soil with compost. It is important to keep weeds under control when growing artichokes, as they can compete with your plants for nutrients and water.

Common Pests and Diseases in Artichokes Growing

Artichoke plants are resistant to disease due to their bristly and serrated leaves. However, you will still likely have garden pests that can affect these plants.

Pests Attracted to Artichoke Plants

  • Aphids – These tiny insects will flock to many crops in the growing season. Spray the aphids from the garden with water to knock them off your plants. Using trap crops such as nasturtiums near tender crops can also attract aphids.
  • Slugs – Reduce the impact of slugs and plant artichokes above the ground in containers or raised beds. Slugs can be trapped by placing a pie plate into the soil. Make sure the soil’s surface is flush with the plate’s edge, and fill the plate with beer to attract slugs and get them away from your plants.

When is the Best Time to Harvest Artichokes

There are significant benefits to learning how to grow and harvest artichokes. Artichokes can be harvested for their tender, sweet hearts for many dishes. The most challenging part of growing artichokes is choosing the best time to harvest them. Artichokes can be very bitter if they are not picked at the right time.

  • Artichokes planted in spring should be ready for harvest by the middle of the summer or early fall.
  • Artichoke plants planted during the fall in warmer climates may be harvested in spring.
  • Harvest artichokes before they bloom.
  • You should look for buds with a tight shape that measure 3-4 inches in size.
  • Use pruning shears to make an angular cut about three to four inches below the artichoke base.
  • The tender artichoke core is found in the stem closest to the flower. It is beneficial to harvest the stem to reap all the benefits.
  • Collect succulent-petalled flowers from the plant.

The Best Artichoke Varieties to Grow

There are two types of artichokes: tapered and globe. These are some of the most popular options for your garden this year.

  • ‘Green Globe’
  • ‘Imperial Star’
  • ‘Violetto’

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