- UC Marin Master Gardener Events & Classes
Garden Help from UC Marin Master Gardeners
- Farmers Markets
- Help Desk
- All about citrus
- Ornamental grasses
- Beneficial insects
- Preventing a codling moth invasion
- Stop snails in their tracks
- Winter garden color
- Caring for holiday gift plants
- Propagating native plants
- Japanese maples
- Container gardening
- Growing gorgeous camellias
- Redwood trees
- Pomegranates: an ancient tree
- Bulbs for spring
- Nothing quite like a freshly picked bouquet
- Seeds hold the miracle of life, so save, swap and share them
- Sold on Salvia
- Sudden Oak Death: a million trees gone and counting
- Habitat gardens
- Growing In Your Garden Now - Fava Beans
- Using water effectively in the garden
- Yikes, thrips
- Growing a salad in a pot
- Rain gardens: an attractive solution to a challenging environmental problem
- How to select bare root roses
- Lovely birds... or pests?
- Australian plants in winter
- Get a head start on spring with cold frames
- Snails and slugs: keep them out of the garden
- Sow seeds now for flowers in spring and summer
- Fire-safe landscaping
- Plants made for the shade
- Chinese pistache tree glows in autumn
- Attracting honey and native bees to your garden
- Sow wildflower seeds in fall for spring show
- Native shrubs create a visual anchor in landscapes - fast
- What to plant in the fall-winter veggie garden
- Proper pruning of wisteria for a plethora of blossoms
- Compost for every corner of your spring garden
- All about mushrooms
- Butterflies in the garden
- Growing blueberries
- How to plant a fruit tree
- Protecting plants from frost
- What's that plant?
- Bright spots of color lift the drabness of the winter garden
- Books for Marin gardeners
- Benefits of School Gardens
- Trees: not just nice to look at
- Dealing with mosquitos
- Epilobium – California fuchsia
- Why bees matter, and how you can help
- Picking the Right Plant for the Right Place in Your Garden
- What's That Plant?
- Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh
- Late Summer Color
- Growing Summer Squash
- Short on space? Containers!
- Herbs: tough, attractive, practical
- These plants are true companions
- Companion planting in the vegetable garden
- Get Grounded – Healthy Soil Does Matter
- Mushrooms on the March
- Our Gentle Winters are Good for Vegetables
- Rodents like it Warm
- Know What Makes an Invasive Species Invasive
- California Natives - Plant Like a Native
- Consider a Simple Water-Catchment System and Rain Garden/Bioswale Before Winter Rains Arrive
- Have You Scheduled a FREE Bay-Friendly Garden Walk?
- A Green Autumn
- Rx for Pests: Ants
- Fine Tune Your Garden
- Colorful Drought-Tolerant Plants Thrive in Marin
- Water Restrictions and Recognizing Signs of Water Stress
- UC Researcher Is Helping Plants Survive the Drought
- Summer Is Perfect For Peppers
- Do the Leaves on Your Trees Look Scorched?
- Fine Tune Your Garden
- How to Recognize Drought and Water Stress
- Spring is the Time for Potatoes, Asparagus and Citrus
- Don't Let Stink Bugs... Bug Your Vegetables
- Harvesting Berries
- Water Heroes
- Natural Cold Storage
- Fruit Trees; Why We Treat Them in Dormancy
- Fondness for Old Friends
- What Happens to Garden Bad Guys in Winter?
- Plants that aren't blown away by the wind
- A hill o' beans
- Fruit tree thinning
- Fragrant plants: Add some chocolate or Kool-Aid to your garden
- Top 10 resolutions for Marin gardeners
- Trees with interesting bark shine in winter
- Who says your garden has to be green?
- Plant bulbs now for spring beauty
- Gardener's checklist for fall
- Cover crops boost soil in vegetable beds
- Rx: Living with deer
- Growing berries in Marin
- How to build healthy soil
- Gardener's checklist for summer
- Water-saving tips for the home garden
- Gardener's checklist for spring
- Stop the popping - Controlling hairy bittercress
- How to control aphids
- Brightening up the winter garden
- Selecting a fruit tree
- What to plant and harvest in the winter vegetable garden
- Rain, rain, don't go away
- Gardener's checklist for winter
- Getting rid of rats
- Fall: a time for planning and planting
- Asparagus: spears for years
- Lawn: use it or lose it
- Rx for powdery mildew
- Community Outreach Projects of UC Marin Master Gardeners
- Great Gardening Information
- Selecting Plants
- Marin Master Gardener Independent Journal Articles
- How to Become a Master Gardener
- UC Marin Master Gardeners Opportunity Fund: Providing for the Future
Want to try an edible flower? Grow artichokes!
Artichokes are an easy and satisfying edible crop. The bud, or immature flower, is the part of the artichoke that is harvested. The edible portions of the bud are the tender bases of the leaves (bracts), and the fleshy base upon which the flowers are borne (heart). The artichoke does best in frost-free areas having cool, foggy summers. Freezing temperatures kill the buds, and hot, dry conditions destroy their tenderness.
Preparing the garden
The artichoke is a perennial, so prepare the soil well before planting. Mix manure, compost, or other organic matter into the first foot of soil in about equal volumes. Artichokes don't reproduce true from seed, so they're best planted by using root divisions available at nurseries. Or a healthy plant can be dug up, the root divided into two or more parts and replanted. Artichoke plants reach a height of 3 or 4 feet and a spread of up to 6 feet in diameter, so allow plenty of space for them to grow. Irrigate thoroughly before planting.
In areas where plants can produce all year around, feed them in the fall with a high nitrogen fertilizer. In cold areas, feed in the spring. Use a side dressing to fertilize. Apply approximately 1/10 pound of nitrogen per plant when the new crown growth begins. This equals 1 pound (2 cups) of a 10 percent nitrogen fertilizer, 1/2 pound (1 cup) of ammonium sulfate, an d 1/3 pound (2/3 cup) of ammonium nitrate. During the harvest season, apply 1/4 to 1/3 of the above amounts monthly.
Irrigation and cultivation
Artichokes require frequent irrigation during the growing season, and moisture deficiency results in loose buds of inferior quality. However artichokes won't tolerate standing in water, so plant the artichokes either on mounds or in rows with irrigation furrows. During the growing season, the artichoke needs to be irrigated about once weekly; irrigate more often in warm areas and less often in areas with heavy soil. Hoe to keep weeds under control.
In the cool, coastal areas from San Francisco to Santa Barbara two crops per year can be expected. After spring harvest, cut off the old stalks just below ground. New shoots will develop and produce a fall crop. If you live outside the temperate coastal areas, there are several measures you can follow to insure the best crop possible. In areas with hot, dry summers, plant in partial shade. In cold-winter areas, temperatures near freezing will cause the outer skin of bud scales to rupture and give the bud a blistered whitish appearance. The blistered skin will turn brown, but this does not impair the eating quality of the artichokes. Sustained cold temperatures from 28 to 30 degrees F can completely kill the buds. which should not be harvested for eating.
Temperatures below 28 degrees F may destroy all above-ground growth. If this is a danger in your area, cut back plant tops to 12 inches in fall. Tie these remaining stalks over the crowns and cover with mulch.
Harvesting and storage
Harvesting begins with the maturing of the first buds in fall and continues normally through the following spring unless interrupted by frost. Peak production occurs in spring. Cut artichokes from their stems about 1 to 1-1/2 inches below the bud base. Use immediately or refrigerate as soon as possible after harvesting.
Buds allowed to become over mature will be loose, fibrous and inedible – but the blossoms are attractive as fresh or dried flowers.
Original article by Harwood Hall, Farm Advisor; Susan Wada, Technician; and Ronald E. Voss, Extension Vegetable Specialist -- UC Cooperative Extension
Edited for Marin Master Gardener website by Nanette Londeree
Edited for The Leaflet by Jane Scurich