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Growing ARTICHOKE in zone 8

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I have started my Artichoke seeds on December 11th, seven days ago and they are starting to sprout.
I am using Root Organics soil and a heating math set at 85 F degrees.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I am growing two varieties:
Green Globe Artichoke http://rareseeds.com/vegetablesa-c/artichoke/green-globe-artichoke.html
Purple of Romagna Artichoke http://rareseeds.com/vegetablesa-c/artichoke/purple-of-romagna-artichoke.html

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I started Artichoke this summer for the fall. I kept them in the coolest room in the house about 70* no bottom heat. They sprouted in about 2-3 days. I did soak the seeds. I followed the directions in Johnnies catalog. When I potted them up I was shocked that they had such an extensive root system.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Heres a link to the Artichoke Capital of the US. Castorville is zone 8b BUT their climate is way different then ours. Its called cool coastal climate. http://www.artichoke-festival.org/farming.html

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks so much.
I grew up near Venice(Italy) and one of the island is very famous for growing very small purple arichokes (=carciofo). You could buy 10 artichokes for a couple of bucks ... very cheap then.
I love them so much, but here in the USA are very expensive and very hard to eat ... they just don't taste as well as in Italy. I think they harvest them too late to make them bigger ... but they don't taste as good as the smaller ones.
Anyway, I am giving them a try.
1lisac do you have a picture of your artichokes right now?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

No, I grew the plants and Cardoon for an order. I had never grown them so I did a ton of research (ask Shoe). Lol I'm from CA tho and all I could think is it's 113*, this is nothing like Castorville Ca. Lol. I was going to keep a couple of the plants but I didn't have any place to plant them where the deer couldn't get to them. At the time the deer were eating my tomato plants I knew they would eat these plant for sure. It does say to start them in the fall and how to "trick" them into blooming in the Spring. Good luck

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Green Globe Artichoke germinated very quickly. I have at least 7 babies.
None yet from the Purple of Romagna ... but itis ok, because they suppose to germinate in 7-14 days

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Today I have 8 Green Globe Artichoke and only one Purple of Romagna seedlings
The first set of true leaf

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Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

They can take forever to germinate and some may germinate long after you have given up on them. Becareful when you pot up as they have an extensive root system that is 3x as large as the plant you see.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Updated picture

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Artichokes growing well

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Five true leaves.
Soon I will start to move them outside during the day.

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Victorville, CA(Zone 8b)

So glad I came across this!!! I ordered purple of romagna seeds from rareseeds a couple days ago and know absolutely nothing about artichokes. Do you think I still have time to start them? I'm in zone 8b and unlike that link above about Casterville i'm in the desert not near the coast. Our weather has been all wacked out and its been quite warm. I'm hoping that our winter hasn't started and that I will be able to use my greenhouse. Will you be potting them or putting them in a bed? Also I read on the plantfile page that you should deadhead them bc of selfsowing. Do you know what deadheading is?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I think you can still try to grow them.
In my opinion and from what I have heard in my zone, the first year artichokes will not make fruit ... just like my cardoon plants.
The first year they just seat there ... but after that I had the most amazing blooms ever.
I will plant them at the edge of one of my flower bed and just forget about them ... they should do great.
deadheading= removing the flower/bud

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Actually you can get flower buds the first year if you give them the chilling hours they require. I grow Imperial Star (from Johnny's Seeds) and was pleasantly surprised I got artichokes last summer from them (seeds were started in late December and more in January).

Once the seeds have declared it is best to alternate the ambient temperature (warm during days, cooler at night). Once potted up or set out time it so they get about 200 chilling hours, if that is possible in Texas where you are, drthor.

And beware, even though the plants are thistle-y, those dang deer LOVE them and will eat 'em up! (Dagnabbit!)

And yes, Googlie, dead heading is simply pulling spent flower heads but I'm surprised it was suggested regarding artichokes; the artichoke (what you eat) is the flower and you'll be picking it anyway at its proper eating time, not letting it come into bloom. But you know what, if you choose to let some flower, go to seed, etc, I can't think of a better volunteer to have growing! Lots of good "free" plants and good eating if that happens, eh?

Shoe

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

thanks
Luvv artichokes or CARCIOFO (in Italian)

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

carciofo...

Kar -see- oh-foe? Just want to get my pronunciation right!

Thanks!
Shoe

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

no ... just "carciofo" ... giggle

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

sheesh...It's my Southern accent, ya see... :>)

Victorville, CA(Zone 8b)

Haha! You two are funny! Thanks for the responses. Horseshoe, I was a little confused about the deadheading haha. I even thought to myself.. Isn't the artichoke a flower?!

I forgot that artichokes are perennials, so I didn't even think about them not flowering till next season.. About how many years do they live for? How far apart would you plant the purple of romagna? Do you fertilize the seedlings, if so with what? Excuse my million questions :)

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I don't use any fertilizer on my seedling untill they are estabilished outside.
I use a very rich growing medium by ROOTS ORGANICS

Today I have put my transplants outside to start the VERNALIZATION process.

That's is what have read:
"IMPORTANT COLD TREATMENT (VERNALIZATION): Time transplanting so that plants receiveat least 250 hours of temperatures below 50F (10C) to induce budding. Protect from frost.
Vernalization is the technique of making the plants believe that they have undergone a winter season and 'forcing' them into producing flower buds in the same year that they are planted.
In practical terms this means starting the seeds off early in the year in a warm indoor environment and then exposing them to cool spring temperatures to mimic the mild maritime winter they are adapted to. "

This is all new to me ... so i will let y'all know what will happen.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Yep, that info looks like what Johhny's post on their site. I followed it and had great plants.

Here is something to look forward to...a baby bud/flower coming on last June

Have fun!
Shoe

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

wow carciooofooo !

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Ohhh, so THAT'S how you pronounce that word! *grin

Happy Gardening!
Shoe

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

My artichokes are going to spend the night out.

This message was edited Apr 19, 2012 7:11 AM

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Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Hokay...

Lookin' Good!

Shoe :>)

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Half of those Purple of Romagna artichoke seeds didn't germinate.
So I gave up and use that soil to pot up my tomatoes seedlings and ... guess what?
Seven artichoke plants germinated inside the tomato pots ... almost after ONE MONTH ... ah ah
So now I have lots of artichokes.

The Green Globe variety is growing very fast. At least four times bigger than the Purple of Romagna variety.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Everything I've read about them says their germination is very erratic I had the same thing happen some germinated 6 wks later then the others. Some I found in the starting mix their roots were everywhere while the leaves were just peeking out of the seed.

I'm reading Johnnys right now and it says to germinate kale/collards at 90* doesn't that seem high?

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I thought that the purple one is supposed to be a smaller variety...and more tasy!!

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I dunno ... I'll keep posting
90 degrees for collards? huumm doesnt' sound right ...

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Artichokes are outside day and night.
The Green Globes are the bigger ones in this picture.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Here a close-up of Green Globe

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I have transplanted out my Artichokes outside.
You can see the "forgotten" bed in the back of the house.
I have removed the Monky Grass, put down some soil and compost ... and this will be my artichoke bed (full sun) and not "forgotten" anymore ...

Green Globe was double of the size of the Purple Artichoke.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Green Globe mulched with pine needles

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Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Werent you amazed at their roots?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

not really ... why ?

I was amazed on how SLOW they grew ...

I am not expecting them to flower this year.
Because it was not really cold to do the "VERNALIZATION process" ... I will be just happy if they can survive their first year ...

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

When I started Artichoke the root system was 4x as big as the plant. I was surrrised at how vast their root system was. There would be this little pant on the top of the starting mix but when I took it out to up pot it the roots went on forever.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

My artichoke plants are growing fantastic.
I have lost none so far.

Instead I think the Sparrows are stealing my PINE NEEDLES I have used to mulch my artichokes. aaaahhhh
I think they are using them to make their nest.

Could you think of anybody else that would still pine needles?

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I think mine will be vernalized by the snow now. We have had spring-like weather for the last 2 months. Very unusual to last as long as we frequently have warm weather for short bursts during winter, but not for such long periods. Now the snow is coming down more heavily with not so much wind. Last night it was so noisy, with snow being blown off the branches of tall trees.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

wow ... it is amazing we are in the same zone !
Today was 76 and sunny and blue sky ... so beautiful ...

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