Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Artichoke Alert

      I am so excited.  I looked down into the artichoke plant that overwintered in the park garden, and what did I see?  A little artichoke, of my very own.  Wow. Cool.  This was my third attempt at growing artichokes.  Maybe it will be my first success.

Artichoke bud,  5/8/2012
      I did not really expect to see a choke this early in the year.  Figured the plant had to get much bigger.  Now I have to wait until the choke itself gets bigger.  Then I will introduce it to melted butter.  Pictures will follow to document its growth.

      The choke has beautiful purple coloring at the bottom of the individual petals.  Hope it keeps this coloring as it matures.  I have another artichoke plant in a large flower pot that I moved onto the porch for the winter.  Will move that pot out to the garden to get more sun.
      The difficulty with growing artichokes is that they need to go through a cold cycle (vernalization) in order to set buds.  Supposedly you can trick young plants into flowering by keeping them cold, but that did not work for me.  And although they supposedly are able to survive the winter in my zone 7A garden, they often rot instead.  At least they did until this year.  From what I have read, I may get 4 to 5 chokes from this plant this year, and a plant is good for 4 to 5 years.  They send off side shoots, so I hope I can separate the shoots to make more producing plants.  All new to me.
      This Green Globe Artichoke plant was sown 1/28/2011 from seed packaged for the year 2009 from Fedco Seeds.  So I have been trying to grow artichokes since 2009, maybe this is the year!  It did not set flower spikes in 2011 even though it was on the porch for the winter of 2011.
      Two plants were planted over at the park for the summer of 2011, only this one survived the winter, though the second one came teasingly close to making it.  Now I wonder if maybe the voles chewed the root of the second one.  The following picture was taken 1/1/2012.  Note the total lack of snow on the first of the year.  Pretty much the total lack of snow for the entire winter.  The plant on the right is the survivor.

      Anybody out there who has grown artichokes?  Would love to hear about your experience.  Maybe I will go back over to the park now to see if it is any bigger.

1 comment:

  1. Tried once and failed miserably! But then, I didn't (don't) know much about growing them. I may give it a try sometime. I want to see how yours does first! :~D
    Best wishes for a successful artichoke harvest!