HWhat should I do with my artichoke plants?

kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)November 3, 2007

I planted a number of artichoke plants this last summer, but I started late and the weather was cool so they didn't produce. However, they are very healthy, bushy, and dark green, and about 3-4' high. I live in the Pacific NW where the weather is rainy in winter, but usually above freezing. (We may have 10 days of below freezing nights, but it usually gets back above freezing the next day or two.) Can I mulch these and get them to re-grow next year? Should I cut off the foliage or not? Can I dig the roots up and save them? Any advice is appreciated....

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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

I had some of the globe variety for a couple of years. I ended up not liking the globe (round) artichokes, so I pulled them.I also got tons of ants and earwigs!
Anyway, once I planted them, I just let them be! They surprized me with fruit when I least expected it!
Unfortunately, the kind I got didn't have alot of "meat" to them, and the hassle of the ants and earwigs turned me off to growing them.
Good luck to you! NT

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 8:53PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

ninjabut- Thanks; that's encouraging.

Anyone else - Do you have similar experiences, or know if mulching would help or hurt?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 11:46AM
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esobofh

I don't think mulching will hurt if your soil is well drained.. I'm just north of you in vancouver and I just mulched my beds (all of em) with leaves I collected from neighbors. I have onions continuing on through the winter, and i mulched them up a few inches.

On the other hand, if your soil is too moist or shaded you may end up in a rotting/molding situation that could encourage the plants to do the same.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 1:29PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Kudzu, I should think you'd have the perfect climate for growing artichokes. My goodness, Castroville, Ca is the artichoke capital and they should be in about same zone as you.

I've grown "Imperial Star" here in central Maryland. They did ok but I didn't care for their small size. I like big meaty artichokes. Imperial Star doesn't require as much chilling or vernalization as the perennial varieties.

I think you should mulch the plants with several inches of leaves or straw. I don't think you have to worry about them rotting or molding. I found the link below to be informative. A google search on "growing artichokes" will bring up plenty of good info also.

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing artichokes

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 8:22AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Thanks, everyone, for all the great info. I think I'm prepared now!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:00PM
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growingup

Leave them. I have a globe variety and mine fruit after winter. They usually take 2 years depending on when you plant them, to fruit. I thought mine had died over summer, but I left them, chopped them way down and now, they are huge. I'm expecting a great harvest after this winter.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 1:09AM
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