Artichoke is one of the common vegetables that is grown mainly for its tender and delicious flower buds. Artichoke can be grown as annuals or perennial vegetable. If you are living in colder regions, growing artichoke as annual is the best option. Artichoke loves mild winters and well-drained fertile soil. In these mild winter climates, you can grow artichoke as a perennial vegetable. The ideal growing zones for growing artichoke are zones 7-10. Sow 1-3 artichoke seeds 0.5 inches deep down the potting or garden soil.
Artichoke can be grown vegetatively and by means of seeds. You can grow from seeds, suckers, and root crowns. For the sale of this article, I’m going to only discuss how to grow artichoke from seeds and crowns.
Let us get started.
How to grow artichoke
The best way to grow artichoke successfully is from root crowns. This is because root crowns are already established and they grow fast. Unlike, seeds, which they need to pass all the four major Plant growth stages. Sometimes, artichokes that are grown from seeds do not grow true to their parents. They may be less adaptable to pests and diseases. Some may produce lower yields with less flavor.
However, if you can find good heirloom seeds from local growers, it is worth growing from seeds. In this article, I’m going to look at the ways to grow artichoke so that you can choose the best growing method that suits you.
How to grow artichoke from seeds
Here is a step by step guide:
1. Choose the best artichoke variety: the first is to find and buy good quality artichoke seeds. Buy artichoke seeds that are open-pollinated, heirloom, organic. These are pure original. They produce artichoke plants, which are true to their parents.
Artichoke varieties come in different shapes, colors, flavors, and sizes. The common two varieties that are widely cultivated are the globe and elongated artichokes. Green globe artichoke is a good variety that is widely cultivated by most artichoke growers.
Green globe artichokes are heavy producers which produce about 4-5 inches of artichokes. The artichokes have tender, creamy, and delicious flower buds. Green globe artichokes are open-pollinated and usually take 90-100 days from planting to harvest.
Another good open-pollinated globe artichoke that you can consider growing is an imperial star. This is usually grown as annuals and thrives well in zones 1-6. Other varieties include Violetto, Bigheart, and Fiesole.
2. Choose a quality pot: if you are growing your artichokes in the garden ground, skip this step. Artichoke likes a well-drained and fertile environment. So, find and buy good pots. Use good ceramic pots such as terracotta pots. You can find these pots on Amazon.
Do not use black plastic containers. These types of containers absorb more heat and heat up the interior, and this may hinder your artichoke’s healthy growth.
If you find the right containers, fill them with a good potting mix. Find and buy a good potting mix from gardening stores or your local gardeners. Do not use garden soil because garden soil can contain weed seeds and pathogens. Both weed seeds and pathogens can affect the healthy growth of your artichokes.
However, you can also use garden soil, but you need to sterilize the garden soil in the oven. Then, you need to mix in compost, cocopeat, sand soil, dried leaves, and rabbit manure. Then, fill the pots with the prepared soil.
3. Choose a good garden spot: if you are planting the artichoke seeds in the ground, you need to locate a spot that receives partial sunlight. Artichoke plants love well-drained and fertile soil with a pH that is near neutral (6.5-7.0). The location should also be well-ventilated and free from rodents, snails, and slugs.
Tip: learn more on how to choose a good garden spot here
4. Prepare the garden spot: the next step after locating the good garden spot is to prepare and make the spot ready for planting artichokes. Use your garden rake and fork to loosen the top 10 inches of the soil. Remove large rocks, stones, roots, and other plants from the soil.
Prepare rows that are 8 inches deep. Leave at least 48-72 inches in between if you are planning to grow the artichokes as perennial plants. However, I do not recommend this space if you are just growing them as annual.
After you have finished making the rows, I recommend that you need about 4-5 inches of well-aged compost. Mix in the compost before planting and then spray gently the garden with water.
Tip: learn more on how to prepare a garden spot here
5. Plant the artichoke seeds: sow 2-3 artichoke seeds about 0.5 inches deep. Space them at least 8-10 apart if you are growing artichokes as annual. However, if you are growing as perennial plants, space plants about 24-35 inches apart. Thin out the less vigorous seedlings after germination and leave only one healthy seedling. The right time for planting in March or April.
Related: How To Grow Caraway Plant From Seeds
And if you started the artichoke seeds indoors, you can transplant the seedlings to their permanent pots or garden spot when they grow at least the first five true leaves. Space the seedlings about 24-35 inches apart.
6. Keep the soil and seeds moist: immediately after you finish with the planting, water gently to keep the pot or ground and the seeds moist.
7. Take care of your garden: after planting, do not add fertilizer. This is if the soil is well fertile. However, if it is not, you can apply a slow-release liquid fertilizer. Water regularly to keep the soil moist so that germination can take place quickly. Then, after germination, water 1-3 times a week. You also need to apply nitrogen riched fertilizer every two weeks.
Weed the garden when needed. You need to cover your artichokes with mulch in late autumn if you are living in colder regions. And if you are living in warm climates, mulch the garden in spring. When the surface of your artichokes garden becomes warm and moist, apply high potassium general fertilizer.
Tip; learn more on how to take care of your garden here
Now we have discussed how to grow artichokes from seeds. Let us look at how to grow artichokes from root crowns. Then, we discuss how to harvest and control pests and diseases of artichokes.
How to grow artichokes from root crowns
Here is the step by step instructions:
1. Find artichoke root crowns: you can find these root crowns if you already have an artichoke plant. However, if you do not have them, they are also available at many garden stores and nurseries.
2. Prepare the garden spot: to prepare the garden spot, follow the procedure I mentioned above. But, in this case, you need to add potassium-rich fertilizer before planting the root crowns. Water the soil to wet the surface.
3. Plant the artichoke root crowns: dig about 6-8 inches of holes. Add in root booster that contains enough mycorrhiza and vitamins. This root booster helps quicken the growth of your root crowns. When you added the root booster, place the root crowns in the holes one per hole. Cover the root crowns with 6-8 inches of soil.
4. Water the surface of the soil after planting: water the surface of the garden. This watering can help dissolve nutrients and make the nutrients available to the root quickly.
5. Mulch the bed: you need to also mulch the surface of the soil where you planted your root crowns. This mulching helps prevent weeds’ growth, which in turn helps prevent competition.
Artichokes are usually harvested from June through September. Flower buds can be harvested using a secateur when they reached the size of a golf ball. After you have harvested the first main flower buds, secondary bids will appear and these secondary flower buds can be also harvested when large enough.
Tip: learn more on how to harvest plants here
Artichoke companion plants
- Members of the mustard family
Pests and diseases of artichokes
The common pests of artichokes include Young earwigs, artichokes plume moth, aphids, slugs, and snails. For slugs and snails, you can spread sawdust and eggshells on the potting soil or garden spot. While for aphids, you can control them by squashing aphids colonies. You can also use the biological control method using biological enemies and practicing mixed cropping.
While for young earwigs, use hot pepper repellent. Spraying hot pepper can help determine the Youngwig. And for artichokes plume moth, use insecticide program. It helps control the infestation.
Common diseases of artichokes include Botrytis and Curley dwarf diseases. Plants affected by Curley dwarf disease should be removed and burnt. Artichoke plants that are also affected by Botrytis blight disease should also be removed and burnt.
Artichoke growing frequently asked questions and answers
How many articles per plant?
Under normal circumstances conditions, an average and healthy artichoke can produce up to 6-9 flower buds.
When to plant artichokes in southern California?
Southern California falls under zones 5-11, which means southern California is a low desert. Artichoke plants are best planted during fall in these areas.
Can you grow artichokes in New York?
Yes, you can grow artichokes in New York. This is because artichokes can be grown everywhere in the United States. The only exception is Florida. The optimal growing conditions for artichokes are cool and moist summers and mild winters. If you are living in a colder climate than Zone 8, your best option is to grow new artichokes every year.
What time of year do you plant artichokes?
The best time of the season to plant artichoke seeds or root crowns is March through April.
How many artichokes do you get from one plant?
You can get up to 6-9 artichokes flower buds from a healthy artichoke plant.
How long does it take to grow an artichoke?
Can I plant artichoke from the grocery store?
Yes, you can grow artichokes from store-bought artichokes. However, this type of artichokes are not always tasty and they are not well adapted to the environment. This is because most of the store-bought artichokes are hybrids.
Are artichokes easy to grow?
Yes, artichokes are easy to grow and maintain. With simple gardening maintenance and care, you can grow a healthy artichoke garden.
How to grow artichokes in northern California
Northern California falls under Zone 7. Artichoke growers usually start seeds in early fall through early spring. This is sown usually so that the roots of artichokes will be well established in the ground.
How to grow artichokes in Canada
You can also grow artichokes in Canada. Growing is just like growing in other states. However, the local growers usually grow artichokes in the summer. The best rule of thumb is to plant when the weather is a little bit cool and the sun is not very hot.
In this article, I discussed how to grow artichokes from seeds and crowns. I hope you will find this article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.