Whether you have a long or short growing season, there are ways to grow artichokes successfully in a home garden. If your growing season is shorter, start artichoke seeds indoors and transplant them outdoors when the soil warms. Once your artichokes establish in the soil, they will grow steadily until they are ready to harvest in the late summer or early autumn.
Fill the peat pots with potting soil in January or February. Place one artichoke seed into each pot and cover it with ½ inch of potting soil. Water the soil lightly immediately after planting.
Place the peat pots in a warm location and keep the soil evenly moist while the seeds are germinating.
Move the peat pots to beneath a grow light after they emerge from the soil. Continue to keep the soil moist while the seedlings grow.
Prepare the planting area approximately one month prior to the final frost date of your region. Cultivate the soil with the garden spade to a depth of 6 inches. Add at least 4 inches of compost to the top of the soil and cultivate this into the soil well with the spade. Rake the soil smooth.
Dig holes for the peat pots that are 1.5 feet apart in rows that are 2 to 3 feet apart. Place each peat pot directly into the soil, covering each pot entirely under the soil. Tamp the soil down firmly over the peat pots.
Provide water for the transplanted artichokes immediately. Keep the artichokes watered with 1 to 2 inches of water each week.
Add 1 inch of mulch around the artichoke plants to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from developing.
Fertilize the artichoke plants with 1 to 2 tsp. of granular fertilizer around each plant. Brush the mulch away momentarily and sprinkle the fertilizer on top of the soil approximately 3 inches away from the base of the plant. Work the fertilizer in gently with the hand rake and replace the mulch. Water the soil lightly immediately after fertilizing. Begin fertilizing the artichoke plants one month after you transplant them outdoors and fertilize them once per month thereafter.
Harvest artichoke buds when they are slightly larger than an apple and before they open. Use the knife to cut the buds from the stems, leaving 2 to 3 inches of stems extending from the buds.