Artichokes are perennial plants that are grown for their edible flower buds. They can be grown from seed or propagated from root cuttings. Here are some general steps to follow when planting artichokes:
- Choose a planting location: Artichokes prefer a sunny location with well-draining soil. The soil should be fertile and rich in organic matter.
- Prepare the soil: Before planting, prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and drainage. The soil pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.
- Plant the artichokes: Artichokes can be planted in the spring or fall. If planting from seed, start the seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date. If propagating from root cuttings, plant the cuttings directly into the ground. Plant the artichokes about 3 feet apart and about 2-3 inches deep.
- Water and mulch: After planting, water the artichokes well and apply a layer of mulch to help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth.
- Care for the plants: Artichokes require regular watering and fertilization throughout the growing season. They may also require staking to support the large flower buds. Remove any dead or diseased leaves as they appear.
- Harvest the artichokes: Artichokes can be harvested when the flower buds are fully formed but still tightly closed. Cut the bud off the plant, leaving about an inch of stem attached. Artichokes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
With proper care, artichokes can be a rewarding addition to a home garden, providing a delicious and nutritious vegetable for the table.