Artichokes are the new stars of the edible garden.
Of course we all love to dip the chokes in butter, but artichoke plants also have great garden design elements with their dramatic height, spiky foliage, and purple flowers.
Protect your artichokes from frost and welcome them back in the spring. Artichokes can grow for 6 to 7 years, and our Green Globe artichokes are a variety that does well in cold weather.
If you’re in USDA zones 6 and 7 you can pamper them through the winter.
In our new video on fall care for perennial vegetables, Tricia shows how to shield them from the elements in cold climates.
* Cut the stalks of the artichokes down so they are just 1 foot tall.
* Gather the stalks together and tie them to hold them upright and protect the crown.
* Add 4 to 6 inches of compost around the base of each plant.
* Layer 8 inches of straw or leaves on top of the compost.
Expecting a sharp drop in temperature? Cover each artichoke plant with a cardboard box or a styrofoam cooler, and add straw or leaves inside the box. Remove the box when the temperature returns to normal for your area.
If you’re in zone 6 you can leave the filled box on during much of the winter.
In April, remove the mulch and apply a balanced fertilizer. Keep an eye on the weather in case there is a cold snap that could hurt the artichokes in the last frosts that come with the advent of spring.
For more information on these delicious and decorative vegetables, see our Growing Guide and one of our favorite books, The Edible Front Yard, where author Ivette Soler calls artichokes “the hands-down superstar of front yard food.”
Manette Martinez Says:
Jun 17th, 2012 at 2:53 pm
what zones can you grow artichokes i live in zone 9-10
Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Feb 6th, 2013 at 1:58 pm
Manette, Artichokes will grow well in your zones.
David M Says:
Jan 15th, 2014 at 4:24 pm
I’m on the border of Zone 5 and 6 - will they grow well here?
Stephanie Brown Says:
Jan 21st, 2014 at 9:25 am
Hello David, There are techniques to “cheat” a zone that you can use such as planting the artichoke near the house on the southern exposure. Some years they would survive, some years they won’t. You can also grow varieties like Imperial Star that are bred to be grown as an annual.
Jane Moorhead Says:
Jul 8th, 2014 at 11:28 am
I’ve had success with artichokes until I harvest, then it seems the whole plant dies. As long as the plant doesn’t bloom, they are beautiful. What am I doing wrong?
Stephanie Brown Says:
Jul 9th, 2014 at 8:10 am
Artichokes can go into summer dormancy, in fact some gardeners deliberately induce such dormancy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/The_Kitchen_Garden/Feature_Vegetables/Artichokes/