Tips for growing artichokes

Artichokes can be grown very successfully here in Southern California, especially in the cool climate that exists close to the coast.  Plants can grow to be 4-5 feet tall and will perennialize, coming back year after year if they are taken care of and not discovered by gophers, which love to feast on the succulent, tuberous root of the artichoke.  Artichokes will live in a dry, rocky, neglected location in your garden, but they will thrive and produce an abundant yield of edible flower buds, 4-7 per plant, if they are grown in a tended garden bed that has a rich, composted soil and receives ample amounts of water.  When you transplant an artichoke into your garden, we recommend loosening the soil 8-10 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Into this loosened area add and mix in, two double-handfuls of compost, three cups of our Landscape Mix and three cups of worm castings.  For each following year of the plants life, we say to mix in the same amount of amendment to the surrounding soil, as a way to keep the plant and the garden bed, healthy and problem free.

To protect against gophers, you can bury a gopher cage into the ground and then plant your artichoke into it.

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