Re: [gardeners] Artichokes

George Shirley (
Sat, 17 Jan 1998 11:30:03

At 10:35 AM 1/17/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Mother has been wanting to try artichokes from seed. I've never done 
>it....have always figured the only places they'd actually produce 
>edible fruit is California-type climates. Fredericksburg, Texas  is 
>USDA 8a; soil is highly alkaline and thin. No problem with humidity 
>and reasonable amount of rainfall. *Very* hot summers....but dry and 
>cool at night. Freezes are never deep. Winter is counted in days, not 
>even weeks when it comes down to it, so I figure a deep mulch would 
>protect over winter.
>Nobody grows them locally, but I'm learning that is not always an 
>good indicator. The palette of things that do really well here is 
>narrow, but not as narrow as people tend to think, I'm becoming 
>convinced. Either that, or I am trying to talk myself into thinking 
>that a soil pH of 7.8 is really not so horrible if I end up moving 
>here to live year round!
>Suggestions, admonitions, warnings, and advice appreciated.
>Catharine, normally in Atlanta; visiting in Texas Hill Country.
Don't know nufin about growing artichokes as I don't really care for them.
Do know a little about gardening in soil on the alkaline side. We gardened
in Saudi where the pH of the sand was about 8.5. Once we learned that lots
of organic amendments were needed we did much better. Managed to get the
soil down to about 6.5 to 7.0 most of the time but it took a lot of chicken
and camel poop plus any organics we could scrounge. The Royal Commission
that ran our town did not have a composting program until we asked about it
and then advised on how to do. As advisors we got lots of compost for free
after that. After about 18 months of heavy amending we could grow about
anything as we had plenty of sunshine and plenty of irrigation water. I
would have to agree that many more things can be grown in areas despite
what the locals seem to think.