Artichokes - Cultivation
Artichokes are edible flower buds on a perennial thistle plant that grows primarily in climates that have cool, foggy summers and mild winters. Artichoke plants need well-draining, fertile soil and require plant food to survive and grow large buds. They also need to be watered multiple times per week to ensure the soil is moist, but not overly wet. Mulching with organic materials will help keep the soil warm and moist, but when buds begin to form, remove the mulch and replace it with compost to promote growth. Slugs and botrytis blight are the main threats to Artichoke plants and can be minimized by setting slug traps or bait and removing infected blight leaves. Artichokes are planted after the last frost in early spring and are harvested in the late summer and early fall, though some climates can produce buds year-round. Artichokes should be harvested when the buds are still tight to ensure tenderness.