Artichokes can be delight in the garden if you get them planted in the right place at the right time… and Fall is the time! Here are FOUR tips to get your artichokes off to a great start:
• LOCATION: Find the right micro-climate in your yard! We’ve found Artichokes to be quite versatile in the landscape and can tolerate locations between full sun and partial shade form A, B, C, and even E micro-climates. Be aware, however, the less light these plants get, the less upright the stocks grow. So, they may get a bit “loose” and floppy in the E zones.
• SPACE: Artichoke plants start small but grow rather BIG for a vegetable plant with a radius typically between 4 and 6 feet.
• SOIL: These beauties can handle the nasty clay pretty well if you give them a good spade-depth dig to start. When starting a new garden plot, we often use them as an effective soil-driller to open up the hard-packed soil with their awesome taproot. Just add a bit of gypsum to the bottom of your hole and an inch of nice compost to the top and you’ll be good to go.
• WATER: They don’t need a lot of water, but they certainly need more than the Arizona rains will give us. We typically have the artichokes on the same watering schedule as our perennial flowers, plants, bushes and herbs. Water them daily for the first week after you plant then back off to twice a week for the next, then water only when the top inch of soil is dry through the winter and beyond.
Follow these simple tips and by may of next year, you will have a cluster of beautiful artichokes towing above the silver-blue-green foliage!