Your stripe bar message here.

Categories: Gardening

That most civilized of thistles, the artichoke, grows on a sturdy stem amid deeply cut, silver-green leaves that arch gracefully to give the plant a fountainlike appearance. It’s the unopened flower buds you cook to eat. Rinse them, snip off their thorny tips, then boil them. Serve hot with melted garlic butter or hollandaise sauce, or cold with mayonnaise seasoned with tarragon, mustard, or dill. If you leave the buds on the plant, they open into sumptuous, purple thistle flowers that are handsome in fresh or dried arrangements.

Artichokes need mild winters and summers. They thrive in coastal gardens, particularly in central California ― the epicenter of Western artichoke culture ― where they grow into leafy mounds 5 feet tall. (In hot interior climates, they may grow only half that tall.)

They’re propagated in winter or spring from root divisions; these are sold bare-root or, more often, potted up.

WHERE IT GROWS: A dependable perennial crop in Sunset climate zones 8, 9, and 14 through 24. Elsewhere, plant in spring when divisions become available at nurseries, and hope for the best. In the desert, grow plants in filtered light, out of direct afternoon sun.

PLANTING AND CARE: Space divisions 4 to 6 feet apart, with growth buds or shoots just above the soil surface. Bait for snails and slugs.

Mulch plants well to keep roots cool and moist in summer. Feed in spring or fall; water whenever the soil surface beneath the mulch dries out. In cold-winter climates, cut plants down to the ground after harvest in fall (unnecessary in mild-winter climates). Replace them every five years or so.

HARVESTING: Pick buds when they’re small by cutting stalks 2 to 3 inches below buds with a knife. You can eat buds whole when they’re smaller than an apricot. As buds mature and grow, there’s more to eat, but also more to discard, as scales become hard and stringy.

Along the central California coast, plants can produce two crops a year. After you harvest the first buds in June, cut the plants down almost to the ground, and they will regrow, giving you a second harvest in autumn. Elsewhere, expect one crop, usually in early summer.

BEST VARIETIES: ‘Green Globe’ is the standard California artichoke, but there are hardy varieties like ‘Imperial Star’. The purple, egg-size ‘Violetto’ is also becoming popular.

Spread the Word, like or share this page, your friends will also love it and thanks for it.


RSS Webhose

RSS Google+

RSS AbodeToday

  • NASA’s high altitude ER-2 scans California’s wildfires December 11, 2017
    For the second time this year, swaths of California are burning out of control thanks to unseasonably warm and dry temperatures. To better study what’s happening and assess the environmental impact, NASA deployed its high-altitude ER-2 aircraft with… Gadget
  • Netflix leads the streaming pack with nine Golden Globe nominations December 11, 2017
    Nominations for next month’s Golden Globes ceremony were announced this morning and streaming services had a pretty decent showing. Netflix led the pack with nine TV nominations while Amazon and Hulu each received three. Gadget
  • Ataribox pre-orders start this week, without any game details December 11, 2017
    Excited for the Ataribox? Well, starting December 14th, you’ll be able to lay down $250 – $300 for the retro-modern console. The company emailed the news to fans recently and even teased that there will be a chance for the “earliest supporters” to sn… Gadget
  • This California Corner Condo is a Bohemian-Meets-Mid-Century Paradise — Property Crush December 11, 2017
    True relaxation is kicking back in a hammock—in your own living room. And until landlords come around to understanding the benefits of touting weight-bearing-bolts as an added apartment amenity, the best way to ensure you’re set up for lazing in the bohemian lounge of your dreams is to scoop this charming one up for yourself. […]
  • 8 Simple Truths About Stuff to Remember in 2018 December 11, 2017
    Stuff. We spend a lot of energy and money acquiring it…and we spend a lot of time looking around our homes and wondering “How the heck did I get all this stuff?” If you are tired of the push and pull of stuff in your life, consider these simple stuff truths by a design expert […]
  • Look We Love: This is the New Scandinavian December 11, 2017
    If you make a habit of following design blogs, then you’re probably quite familiar with the look that a lot of Scandinavian interiors have: white walls, light floors, minimal furnishings, neutral tones. But lately, the Scandinavians, ever the design innovators, have been shaking things up a little, with new textures, new shapes, and even a […]
  • Urban Outfitters Is Having a 50% Off Flash Sale —And There Are Some Cute Stocking Stuffers December 11, 2017
    Good news for those who don’t know what to get their tween niece for Christmas or what to bring that’s cool yet cheap for the office holiday gift exchange. Urban Outfitters is having a 50 percent off flash sale on select items—but it’s today only. READ MORE » therapy
  • Rethink You Stance on Tinsel: New Ways to Use It You Haven’t Thought Of December 11, 2017
    We may not think of Christmas decor as something particularly faddish or trendy, but certain looks in holiday decor come and go, and even certain items. Case in point: tinsel garland, which used to be a common sight on Christmas trees, now seems a bit dated. But I can’t help thinking that tinsel garland deserves […]
  • Better Together: Color Combinations You Might Not Have Thought of That Really Work December 11, 2017
    I love color, and I particularly love it when unexpected colors come together to make an unexpectedly good combination. I keep writing these posts about unusual color combinations to put together, and yet I keep finding new ones, so I’m going to keep writing them. I hope you feel inspired, maybe, to explore a bit, […]
  • 7 IKEA Closets that Look Like a Million Bucks December 11, 2017
    If you’ve ever priced custom closets, you know that they cost a lot. Like, a whole whole lot. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a million bucks (or even a thousand) to get a closet that looks like a million bucks. Your secret weapon for custom-ish closets? IKEA. READ MORE […]