One Of Our Fav’s, Growing Artichokes In Subarctic Gardens

One of the really cool things about growing in an extreme northern climate is that we can grow artichoke. Yeah, you heard that right! In fact, it’s due to our climate that we can be successful in growing them! So, if you want to know more and get those awesome Artichokes this season, this one’s for you!

If you’re not yet into this phenomenon, you might be familiar with the fact that artichokes are most commonly grown as perennials. The overwhelming majority of the US supply is grown out of California, a much more favorable climate for perennials than we have. We obviously can’t perennialize them, but we can grow them as annuals!

The most important key to this annual growth is genetics. There are two varieties that we’re familiar with that can be grown as annuals, Green Globe and Imperial Star.

You might find purple colored cross-bred variants of these varieties. For our purposes, we’d suggest avoiding these types. While they might “look cool” we can tell you that in general, purple colored variants will generally grow slower than green colored varieties. There’s also some more obscure varieties out there, but from our experience they’re practically impossible to acquire from US seed houses.

Where we’re at, sowing our artichokes at 9 weeks to last frost (or around now for us) is ideal. They are going to get considerable in size and we’ve found it highly beneficial to up-pot them a second time, once roots start showing. We’ve found that any degree of “holding them back” by not providing adequate soil can impact final maturity and harvest. So, we’re generally aiming for what we’d call “linear growth” throughout their lifecycle. We’ll talk about this more as the season goes on.

One of the things that makes artichokes “tik” in northern climates is our cool temperatures. They need exposure to temperatures under 50 degrees during the early season for at least a week. So, when we’re hardening them off, we often leave them outdoors when temperatures aren’t frosty, at least 38 degrees. They are quite cold hardy, so even that’s a bit conservative and they can handle temps down to freezing without troubles.

As for what you can expect, you’re not going to get a bustling plant with dozens of chokes. In general, one plant will produce one or two decent sized artichokes and maybe a couple other smaller artichokes. We generally grow enough for some late season treats, and they’re always a favorite around our late harvesting season.

We think it’s super cool that we can grow artichokes, so we lean into them a fair bit. If you want a bit more detail, we have a full growing guide for artichokes in northern climates, which you’ll find linked in the comments!

Growing Artichokes As Annuals In Cold Climates & The Subarctic

That’s All We Wrote!

Having a good time?  We have an ever growing list of insightful and helpful subarctic & cold climate gardening articles, waiting out there for you! is 100% ad-free and we do not use affiliate links!  This resource is voluntarily supported by our readers.  (Like YOU!)  If we provided you value, would you consider supporting us?

💚 Support! 💚

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *