“My artichoke has grown quite large, do I have to dig the whole thing up or can I remove offsets easily and replant them.” Question from Jean of Longview, Washington
Answer: Dividing globe artichokes (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) is a cinch. As offsets arise and begin to leaf out, take a sharp spade and cut down between the offset and parent plant. Then dig out the offset–being sure to dig deep enough to capture the long taproot of the offset. Then plant it where you wish. When replanting, the addition of compost, such as Black Gold Garden Compost Blend, will lighten the soil and add extra enrichment. Artichokes are tough plants that are not too demanding once established, but the application of fertilizer formulated for vegetable growing can boost bud set.
“I live in zone 5B and was wondering if I can grow artichokes. If so, how would I go about doing that so that I can have edible flower buds? Thanks!” Question from Trish of Newton, New Jersey
Answer: It’s all about timing, choosing the right artichoke variety, and giving the plants good care.
Timing: Start your plants indoors from seed early–in February or March. Artichokes are very easy to start from seed, but they need lots of sun and have a tap root, so start them in a deeper pot–something no smaller than a 4-inch pot. Expect them to grow quickly.
Choosing the right variety: The only artichokes that northerners can successfully grow are those that bloom in the first year. Three good choices are ‘Colorado Star‘, ‘Tavor‘, and ‘Imperial Star‘.
Giving them good care: Full sun in a necessity. Plant your artichokes in a garden bed with quality soil that drains well. Amending your garden soil with Black Gold Garden Soil at planting time is recommended. Be sure not to overwater your plants; they like it on the dry side once they are established.
For all the details in between, please watch the Black Gold video about growing artichokes un North below.