Re: [gardeners] Snow in the Garden

Linda Baranowski-Smith (
Mon, 4 Jan 1999 14:52:07 -0500

>Linda -- I did not know that artichokes would produce in their
>first season. I shall try some next summer!
>Penny, NY zone 6

Hi Penny,

Yes, do try them.  The seed I tried was the Imperial Star Hybrid (95 d. to
maturity).  I started 14 seeds in mid-March, each in a 4" pot.  All but 2
germinated.  Advice from list members was that they are heavy eaters and
drinkers, so I made sure I did just that.

In a month, they had outgrown their 4" pots so I transplanted each into a 2
gal. pot.  In mid-May, the roots had already filled the 2 gal pots!  I
transplanted 3 plants and gave away the rest.  Since our natural soil is
silty clay, I planted into raised beds containing sandy loam, continued a
fertilizer regimen every few weeks, and watered regularly.

The first terminal bud to show (usually the largest on the plant) was my
pride and joy so I let it go until it was, indeed, the 4.5" diameter, as
advertized.  It was a bit tough so I cut all subsequent 'chokes when they
were smaller.  Our yield may have been good because of the extended season
in '98.

Aphids on the leaves were a slight problem but with a little spray of
non-toxic light oil, the aphids were history.  The only other insect
problem was late in the season ...earwigs hiding in the outer leaves.

It was delightful to have our own 'chokes and I intend to plant more this
season.  I wanted to dig one up to overwinter in the greenhouse but the
plants were so massive that my aching back decided against that action.  My
DH/GP took one look and opted for getting the hatchet.  Sooooo, I cut them
off, with a lettuce knife, under ground and then mulched the area.  The
roots will likely die from the cold, but we'll see.

I'll try one in a very large pot (maybe 20 gal?) this year and see whether
it does well enough to transfer to the greenhouse in the fall.  It will be
an interesting patio plant, if nothing else.  Artichokes are as close to
California as we get here in NW Ohio.

Linda in NW Ohio near Toledo/Lake Erie, USDA Zone 5