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We've always grown artichokes and cardoons from seed. I never seen an artichoke seedling around here. They will get quite large. If you are in an area that is dry, with high summer heat, the violet artichokes from southern Italy are better. The green globe artichokes are one of the commercial types. They do well on the coast with all the fog, but can be tough when grown inland.
This is the type that does best for us in Sunnyvale. The artichoke is somewhat tulip shaped, with very fleshy leaves and large thorns.
Artichokes (and cardoons) are great beginner gardener plants. The seeds germinate easily, they transplant easily, and they literally grow like weeds. A cousin to thistles, they can grow just about anywhere sunny and warm.
As previously mentioned, the coastal areas of California are commercial growing areas, but when I moved from such a climate in the late 80s to our farm here in Oregon, I dug and brought my artichokes with me. They survived the climate change for years until they petered out (which happens to all living things eventually).
They are attractive plants to creatively integrate into your landscape. Don't feel limited to putting them in straight rows in a big open veggie garden. They are a nice perennial to plant at the back of flowerbeds.
Here is a picture, in this case Cardoon, in such a bed:
Here in the Willamette Valley of the Pacific NW, they pretty much come back with no problem or effort from year to year. However, if the ground freezes hard, you could lose them but with some effort, they can be grown from seed as an annual.
Garden i remember Half Moon Bay is famous for their artichokes if i recall.
hey thanks for the info
I m getting excited about this. i really didn't think i would care to try them but now i m getting interested.
thanks MikeD i will look into those links
We did artichoke trials in our community garden last summer. We had started about six varieties from seed. It was very exciting to see them grow up into majestic plants and then harvest all those artichoked. All but the violetta were very tough. The ones that like the moist coastal climates will get tough if grown in the hot & dry valley. I suppose we could have watered them more.
Castroville, near Salinas, is the "artichoke capital of the world". Lots growing in Half Moon Bay still on the ag preserve land.
My husband and I tried globe artichoke in a large pot in a sunny location here. They came up quite readily and grew nicely although we didn't get any chokes. We thought we'd try them again but in the ground after starting them inside to get a head start. Needless to say, they didn't make it through the winter but we didn't try to protect them either. That would definitely be a consideration although we don't get as cold as you do!
Sorry for the delay. I'm in zone 6a and used a pot 12" wide x 15" deep. The chokes grew beyond the edge of the pot a good 8". That's not big compared to how they'd grow in soil. I've seen them growing in soil measure 4' across and about 3' high (not counting the bloom stocks).
Have to share a smile I got just now :). I'm reading all my seed packages, and trying to sort things out. I finally found the Italian seeds that I ordered, at least the package is mostly in Italian. The English part reads "Violet Chioggia Artichoke. Large, Globular heads, with firm green bracts with violet tinges, without prickles.
I love translation idiosyncracies, I have one set of instructions that advises me to "disopen" a door, and another to "disclose" a box...
For some reason, I find knowing that this kind of artichoke is "without prickles" very comforting, considering the effect the thistles here have on my legs in summer *g*.
I had great success with Artichokes in my Oakland, California garden. Unfortunately, in zone 7, it's unlikely you'll have a growing season long enough to allow for bloom, nor are Artichokes from seed a good way of getting superior buds. 'Globe Artichokes' are grown from off-sets, for instance.
That said, you CAN grow 'Cardoons', Cynara cardunculus. You blanch and eat the leaf stalks, and I find them even more flavorful than artichokes. Plus there's more edible material produced by each plant.
I now garden in Dallas, Texas (Z-8), and have GORGEOUS plants. I'd grow them for the beauty of the foliage even if I never harvested a single stem.
Go ahead and plant the seeds. It's a no-lose situation. Wait until warm weather, and make sure you have room. These puppies get BIG.
Artickokes are not hard to raise from seed. They have deep roots though, so need open ground. They are a nice plant that attracts lady beetles, has a beautiful flower & is healthy for surrounding plants as like Borage, they bring leeched nutrients back up to the surface. I am growing Green Globe & Cardoons atm, though the Cardoon is really a weed here. I am expecting some seed for the Violet Chioggia soon if you want a couple.
Cynara btw in the name of the Cardoon refers to cyranin which is a chemical that sweetens the taste of things eaten after an artichoke. Apparently, the US wine industry did the relevant studies.
I htink i will try this type i got for now :)
funny how weeds are actually highly nurtious for the soil and us. ! i was reading an article in oh i think it was Mother Earth or Grit mag about the nutritional value of weeds .
thanks for hte info , i m getting more and more excited about growing them this season
OK. That is interesting. Wonder what it is like. The Italians have a dwarfed variety that produces year round too. Haven't managed to find its name yet though, let alone its seed. You won't regret growing them Taynor.
HI, I ORDERED A PACKET OF THE Purple of Romagna Artichoke ALSO AND AM PLANNING ON STARTING THEM TODAY. I'VE BEEN READING UP ON GROWING THEM IN THE NORTH AND FROM WHAT I READ WE NEED TO "TRICK" THEM INTO THINKING THEY HAVE GONE THROUGH A WINTER ALREADY. I GUESS THEY USALLY DON'T PRODUCE ARTICHOKES UNTIL THE SECOND SEASON BUT WON'T OVERWINTER IN THE NORTH. THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO DO THIS. THE 1ST SAID TO PLANT YOUR SEEDS IN POTS AND WAIT ONE OR TWO DAYS AND PLACE IN THE FRIDGE FOR ONE MONTH, KEEPING MOIST BUT NOT WET. TAKE THEM OUT AND START AS NORMAL. THE OTHER WAY IS TO START THEM 6 WEEKS BEFORE APRIL 1ST. THEN PUT THEM IN A COLD FRAME AROUND APRIL 1ST AND "RUN IT BACKWARDS". OPEN IT WHEN TEMPS ARE 26 DEGREES OR ABOVE AND SHUTTING IT WHEN IT IS WARMER TO HOLD THE COLD IN. THE INSIDE TEMP OF THE COLD FRAME SHOULD BE BETWEEN 39 AND 43 DEGREES. THEN PLANT IN GARDEN AFTER SIX WEEKS. I AM A LITTLE LATE FOR THE SECOND METHOD BUT AM PLANNING ON TRYING THEM BOTH (WITH A SHORTER TIME IN THE COLDFRAME) AND SEEING IF I CAN GET ARTICHOKES THIS YEAR. ANOTHER METHOD I SAW SAYS TO START THE PLANTS AND AFTER SIX WEEKS PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE FOR 8 HOURS AT NIGHT AND REMOVING DURING THE DAY FOR SUN. YOUR SUPPOSE TO DO THIS EVERY NIGHT FOR A MONTH. MIGHT TRY A COUPLE OF PLANTS THIS WAY TOO, CANT HURT RIGHT???. HOPE THIS HELPS.
OK. This fridge trick is similar to a method used to germinate stone fruit which like to spend a winter in the ground before sprouting. It would probably work but I wouldn't do it because forcing early flowering will inhibit the growth of the plant & possibly shorten its life span. Even late planted artichokes that flower in the following summer are often not harvested for the same reason.
I DO KNOW THE BOOK SAID THE ARTICHOKES THEMSELVES WOULD BE SMALLER, BUT A SHORTENED LIFE SPAN FOR THE PLANT REALLY ISN'T A PROBLEM HERE BECAUSE THEY REALLY ONLY HAVE 3 1/2 TO 4 MONTHS AT THE BEST FOR A GROWING SEASON, AND IT IS TOUCH AND GO IF WE CAN OVERWINTER THEM AT ALL. IT SAID THE CROWNS MUST BE KEPT IN WELL DRAINED SOIL AND BE MULCHED HEAVILY AND THIS STILL DOESN'T GUARANTEE THEY WILL LIVE UNTIL THE NEXT SEASON. SO WE WOULD REALLY BE TRYING TO GROW THEM AS AN ANNUAL INSTEAD OF A PERENNIAL.
OK. It is hard for we in Australia to understand how cold it is over there. My artichokes become hardier in the cooler months & needed to be shaded from the worst of summer. I haven't heard of them not surviving winter before.
today here in Ohio it snowed and is 18 degrees . I believe that is -7.8 celsius ? if i m doing my math right lol :)
sunday we had 45 mile hr winds making it -14 Farenheit so with my math being what it is . -26.5 celsius
I believe your summer are much hotter than our. We usually have an average in our summer months of 90 farenheit with alot of humidity
i would make a cover for them in our cold temps like a cold frame for them. If that would work. or keep them in the GH over to winterize.
I have no idea yet on these ideas but Bill makes good point to follow here in the states
hope it helps
Our whole year sounds a lot hotter than yours. I have noticed that your climate zone system for gardening is based on minimum temperatures, whereas ours is the opposite. Have you thought about throwing a greenhouse over some of your garden?
I bought a cheap one from Ebay a little while back, made of reinforced plastic that could blow away of course. That problem was solved by placing it in a sheltered position & laying a fallen log down the centre of it; to which I secured the central roof-pipe with vertical wires screwed along its length. The sides are dug in & weighed down with containered mango trees, ginger & so on. It is steady as a rock now even in storms, the log itself I grow stuff around & hollowed out a little for a small lemon tree. Next up, I will be putting in things like Heliconias which just would not live around here otherwise.
Perhaps you could try something like that. You would enjoy the options it allows.
Well it is becoming one of my favourite places, as yours will no doubt. You won't look back after building it. I'd like to get a couple more but will probably build a solid glass one next. With the old pine log, I was inspired by a New Zealand bonsai site on which a bloke was showing bonsais he'd grown using natural containers like stone, fallen timber & the like instead of trays. I don't know how the lemon tree for example, will react to being planted in a pine log but friends say it will root through. It should look interesting & of course, I can shape it along the way. Been trying to get moss growing on the log too, which should give it the final touch in time. You don't hear gardeners talk about moss much but really, it can be quite beautiful. You see stunning examples in Japanese gardens.
Ha i love moss ! :)
i look for it in our woods all the time. I enjoy it.
i am going to use it in my lanscape around our new house. Instead of grass i am going to just use the moss.
We are building a log home in the woods so it will fit in just right.
Funny. Your right moss is definetly underated.
Bonsais is somthing i wanted to get into, but just never have gotten around to it.
sorry i got off subject LOL :)
HI AGAIN, A GREEN HOUSE SOUNDS GREAT BUT DOUBT I WILL HAVE ONE FOR A GOOD WHILE. TODAY WHEN I LEFT FOR WORK IT WAS 5 DEGREES FARENHEIT. I THINK THE LOWEST I HAVE TRACKED THIS WINTER HAS BEEN 2 BELOW ZERO F. I DID SOME MORE READING ON THE INTERNET AND ANOTHER OPTION IS TO LIFT THE CROWNS IN LATE FALL AND KEEP THEM IN MOIST (NOT WET) SAND AND KEEP IN A SPOT THAT DOSN'T FREEZE. THEN REPLANT IN THE SPRING. I HAVE A CRAWL SPACE UNDER MY HOUSE AND THOUGHT THAT MIGHT BE A GOOD SPOT. I HAVE KEPT APPLES AND MY CANNA AND DAHLIA BULBS THERE FOR THE WINTER AND THEY HAVE DONE FINE. IT IS A COLD CLIMATE HERE BUT WE ACTUALLY HAVE IT BETTER WITH MORE PLANT CHOICES THAN THE ZONE 3 OR 4 PEOPLE.
OK. I am glad we don't have to deal with temps like that. By comparison, cardoons grow wild around here. They can be a bit of a weed. I suppose the ground freezes regardless of whether you had a hot house, now that I think about it. Good luck wintering them. To be honest, it sounds dicey but you don't have a lot to lose. Have you thought of growing them in a container as an indoor? I have one artichoke in a container & it is going fine.
The log cabin sounds nice Sue. I could handle living in one I reckon. The moss sounds like a great idea too. A bit of work but it could look amazing. It is too dry here for anything like that.
never thought of a container. might be a fun project.
wow that is a great pic. excactly what i am planning on doing in the front of your house. THanks for hte pic
Bill that is a good idea with a crawl space.i never thought about that . I am thinking of making a root cellar in our basement.
The picture is just one I found on the net but its an inspiration. I wish I had that sort of climate. Actually, I wish I was a millionaire who could afford to keep gardens in about 3 different climate zones. Keep on dreaming, hey? This picture is mine though. It is the artichoke in a container, about six months old. Pls excuse the weeds. You can see it is happy, as is the borage & mint. I'd recommend borage. Its purty & its tasty.
Spring can't be too far away I hope. We are heading toward Autumn now. My favourite time of year. That thistle is typical of everything seeding atm. Some trees are starting to colour too. Hopefully I'll get some good autumn pictures.
Well I hope the artichoke problem is solved by containering. It would be a shame to lose all that growing time even if the plants survive wintering under the house. Btw Bill, did you know that writing in capital letters is considered shouting on the net? I know we have been off track & all but no need to yell at us. :)
I see so many nice pictures I would like to use as wallpaper on this site, but they are mostly small & all watermarked. I have this idea about posting 1024x768 original photos in a thread to collect for desktops. There is the hosting & watermark problem, but we can avoid it by linking to photobucket or other domains. Do either of you know if it has already been done somewhere? I've had a look through the forums & seen nothing so far.