We are sure happy to see our artichokes coming in strong this year. An absolute late season favorite of ours, this is one of those crops we can specifically grow exceptionally well, simply because we live in a cooler climate.
If you’ve struggled with getting your artichoke heads to develop fully (or at all), there’s a couple key reasons for this. The first is up-potting your plants early in the season, ‘chokes love a healthy amount of soil to grow into and not giving them what they want will hold them back. Second, they have to experience temperatures in the 40’s early in the season, thus they are ideal candidates for growing outdoors.
Artichokes are rather cold tolerant, so there’s no major rush to get them out of the garden prior to our upcoming frosts. They’ll easily handle a frost or few, remember this a crop most often grown over the winter in much warmer climates! Just make sure to harvest prior to the hard frosts and mid-20’s.
While we often see our plant produce two to four heads, only one usually gets to typical market size. This is completely normal to see in the far north and other short season environments. If we had more season, like another month or so, we could easily harvest multiple artichokes from each plant.
We love it when these come in and we’ll be starting our harvests soon. Home grown artichokes are exceptional for flavor. We typically like to steam them in a salt/lemon water, typically for 25 to 30 minutes. There’s lots of other artichoke preparation techniques to try out there, so don’t feel locked into just the traditional way!