Sunday, 12 February 2012

A is for artichoke

Like starting over

I'm fed up waiting for spring so I've decided to start the clock with some Jerusalem artechokes. These will happily be sown in January or February. I thought they were indestructable but last year I had a crop failure for the first time, so I'm not so blasé now . I forked out 70p for these. Half a dozen should be more than enough (Iggy).

French Artechokes
 Ideally they should have been organic UK grown artechokes but rather than delay another day I went to the greengrocers that's open on a Sunday and just got on with it. Whatever does grow will be gourmet quality. 6 inches deep and 18 inches apart I pampered these with a liberal dose of compost mixed into the planting hole.

artechoke planting
I feel better now my gardening year has started!


  1. I do love to cook with artechokes but have never grown them i heard they can be quite rampant and take over whats your opinion? as i may give them a go

  2. Just keep an eye on them - we once grew them and they are thugs that will spread and spread and ... you've guessed it.

    Where will this all end Z for zucchini?

  3. And I remember digging them all out - every last one - eventually!!!

    Like you can't wait to get started, this week maybe.

  4. Stacy, If you like cooking them then you must grow them! Go for the least nobbly variety with a good taste (hence the greengrocer visit)and yes - they can turn into a thicket if you don't dig them ALL up over the winter. I've never had any problem with that, but then we love artechoke soup.

    Sue and Martyn, Several of my neighbours are still figuring out how to erradicate their patches. I think they take the view that you don't need to resow annually that way!

    I'm definitely starting on the sowing year - but not necessarily starting an alphabet.

  5. would they be any good grown in containers? this would also restrict there growth a little but would you get a crop?

  6. I don't think I have ever eaten artichoke or know what to do with it...maybe I should look up some recipes and give them a go...I really am more than ready to get back into my gardening!!

  7. Stacy, Be warned these normall grow to over 6 ft tall. With a rich potting compost that could be 10-15 ft. Even open ground they need to be staked or cut down once the autumn winds start. So, unless you have a spare oil barrel and use garden soil - probably not!

    Tany - Don't be tempted to follow recipes that say these can be eaten raw. They need cooking and even then are very windy. But they make great soup!