Artichokes need to be started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before last frost. Plant in 3 1⁄2 inch jiffy pots, as they do not like to have their roots disturbed. Provide warm and moist soil until germination. Plant 1 seed per pot about 1 inch deep. Once the true leaves have emerged provide regular fertilization once a week to promote fast growth. To grow artichokes as annuals it is very important that they are exposed to 10 days of cool (5-10 degrees C) but not freezing temperatures. This tricks the plant into thinking it has gone through and winter and initiating flower buds. If it is not exposed to cool temperatures it will not form buds until very late in the fall or not at all. This is best accomplished by putting the seedlings outside for a few days in May when the conditions are appropriate. They should not be planted in their final location until all danger of frost has passes. Plants should be spaced 24-30 inches apart.
Plant in a full sun location. Artichokes love heat so a sheltered location that gets warm during the day would be ideal. pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is desired. Rich soil with lots of organic matter and regular fertilization are required for maximum yield.
Harvest artichoke flower buds just before the scales begin to open up.
Pests and Diseases:
Artichokes are relatively pest free.