I’m starting some Imperial Star artichokes from seed right now, and as a first-timer, I was wondering if there are any tips out there from experienced growers? They’ve just germinated, so I’m getting very excited to harvest this summer.
For example, recommendations on soil type or amendments, can I harvest in year one, do they need full sun? Thank you!
They typically will stay pretty small the first year, and it’s the second year they really get going. I’ve had some seedlings that take three years to really start producing if they have a hard year. Slugs seem to like them, so slug bait or traps help. I feel like for every four seedlings I start, I end up with 1 plant. They’ve been tricky for me to get started. Start extras if you can, just in case. (you can always give away extras).
I’ve started artichokes from seed in two places now. Year one, the plants never seemed to get bigger than 6-10" tall. Year two, all of a sudden you’ve got a 5 foot tall plant. :-) Year three, you should start seeing offshoot plants that you can actually divide off and give to friends. If the seedling thing doesn’t work out for you, maybe look for someone near you that has a big plant that can give you a division. I’ve given away divisions that produce the first year they are replanted elsewhere.
June 2009 – Holimoli! http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookmonkey/3620306260/
Good luck to you! They are a really cool plant, worth your patience. :-)
Thanks for the tips, great pictures. I thought I would have enough with four seedlings, but now I’m going to start some more, and try buying one from the nursery for comparison.
I know they like a very slightly acidic soil and require extra growing space to spread out. I’m in zone 7a and am starting from seeds. I just took them out of the fridge after a 2 week cooling period in a baggie of damp sphagnum. Many of the 20 seeds are sprouting! I think I’ll have way too much! I plan to put a couple in a large pot I can move to a protected place this winter in case those planted in open ground don’t return in the spring.