Artichoke Seeds

Useful gardening information

It is best to start seeds indoors in late winter, and transplant after danger of frost has passed. Artichokes perform best when grown in rich soil and given plenty of room.

The large flower buds are harvested just before they begin to open. These heads usually start to develop a reddish color when they are ready to be cut. Artichokes can be eaten raw, but are usually steamed for a half hour to 45 minutes, depending on size. The petals or "scales" will pull off easily when they have cooked enough. In addition to the artichoke heart (the base of the flower) the thickened flesh at the base of the larger scales may be scraped off and eaten. The scales get smaller and smaller the deeper you get into the center of the head. The small undeveloped petals are scraped off, leaving the heart.

Most varieties, such as Green Globe Improved, will not produce a crop the first season, and so must be wintered over. The plants will tolerate frozen soil if covered by a thick layer of mulch. Mice may be a problem, tunneling through the mulch to consume the plants during the winter. Overwintering this tender perennial is easier in areas with a mild winter. The flower buds are usually produced in late spring or early summer the second year.

Sowing Instructions

Start seeds in 4 inch pots in late January or early February. Transplant out 8 weeks later when the soil has warmed. Due to genetic make-up, about 20% of artichoke plants from seed will be useless, so cull (pick out) smaller and albino plants at the time of transplanting.

Sowing Outdoors
Direct sow in early spring when soil temperatures reach 55°F. Direct sown plants may not mature the first year in zones 6 and below. Fertilization Tips-Apply 1 cup of a blended organic fertilizer or a shovel full of chicken manure around each transplant to provide the nutrition necessary for optimum production.

Informative articles found on the web:

How to cook and eat an artichoke
20 great artichoke recipes
All about artichokes
Artichokes 101
How to grow artichokes
D9712 Artichoke: Green Globe
6 months. Large green heads with a purple tint. A very flavorful and fleshy variety. Plants grow 4-6’ tall and spread 6-8’. Each plant will yield about 15 buds. Start seed inside in February and transplant outside after the danger of frost is past. It is possible to overwinter artichoke in New England in a sheltered spot with protection.
  1.5g Package ( about 25-30 seeds ) $2.15
IP212 Emerald
Emerald is thornless, meaty and very productive. Capable of producing up to a dozen flowers the first year from seed. These glossy, deep green, oval shaped buds are packed with delicious, meaty-based leaves and a full heart.
They uniformly measure an impressive 5 inches in diameter and 4 inches long. The 4-5 foot tall plants have a robust, upright habit with hefty stalks and silvery foliage.
This friendly variety is spine-free and easy to handle.
Grow it as a perennial in zone 7 and above, or as an annual in colder regions. This variety can also be grown in containers.
PVP Variety- Seeds may be used only to grow for personal use, you cannot save seeds for future use.
  700mg Package ( about 20 seeds ) $3.95
TRM833 Imperial Star
A green artichoke specifically bred for annual production, Imperial Star will produce well-developed artichokes the first year from seed. Plants become 1 1/2-3' tall and have an open growth habit. Each typically produces 1-2 primary buds, which average 3-4" in diameter, and 5-7 smaller secondary buds. Perennial in Zone 7 and warmer; otherwise treat as an annual. This variety can also be grown in containers.
PVP Variety- Seeds may be used only to grow for personal use, you cannot save seeds for future use.
  700mg Package ( about 20 seeds ) $3.95
IP233 Tavor
Fast to mature, cropping in the first year from planting is not unusual, with 8 or more globes per plant in following years not being unusual.
Harvest when immature for pickling or allow to grow to their usual 4" diameter.
Another benefit of Tavor is its improved cold tolerance over the Winter months when the crowns of other varieties can be killed off by prolonged hard frost.
  725mg Package ( about 20 seeds ) $3.95
NW66 Violet
This is actually a French heirloom variety that is noted for its fine flavor and pretty purple buds that are lovely on the big, ornamental plants, especially when the buds open. Produces abundant yields of tender and flavourful purple heads year after year, similar to many Artichokes but with a finer flavor.
  2.1g Package ( about 40-50 seeds ) $3.25