When to pick artichokes
I live in the Pacific NW, Zone 8, and have three varieties of artichoke (Green globe, Violetta di Chioggia, and one other Italian one). I grew them from seed in my greenhouse last year, and then planted them out; they grew to about 3' tall last year, although they produced no artichokes. During the winter they drooped a little, but came back strong and are now about 8' high, with multiple artichokes of varying sizes. How can I tell when they are ready to pick other than when they look "big enough"?