I ADORE artichokes. I cook a lot of Italian dishes that call for artichokes and I steam them and eat them dipped in butter. I don’t think I could ever get sick of eating them. Last year I ate 10 in one sitting and could have kept going. They are very expensive if you buy them in the store so as soon as we moved into our house I planted some in our garden.
When I planted them I thought they would be annuals since the weather here in Utah gets so cold in the winter. That is how most people do it. So I planted them close together since the first year they do not get really big. But later that summer I learned that you can winterize them and they will come back every year. I tried it and all but one came back! What I did was cut the leaves off in the fall right before the first frost. The I put about 6 inches of dirt over the stumps. Then I put the leaves I cut off over that. I added leaves from the yard and any dead plants and vines from the garden to the top of that. And last of all I covered it all with tarps.
These next few pictures are from last year……
I have winterized them every year and this is the fifth spring I have had them. BUT…….tragedy struck. While we were in Seattle this February the weather in Utah got unusually warm. The artichokes thought it was time to come up. They came up a little and since the tarps were trapping the heat in, the little starts FRIED. I came home and found shriveled leaves when I checked under the tarp.
So far only 2 have come up. And I think it is because they might not have had shoots come up during the warm weather. They must have been late bloomers so to speak, which may have saved their lives.
I had 3 rows of 5 in my garden.
I am just sick about it. SICK! I have prayed my little guts out for these plants to be okay. If you are a gardener, you know what I mean. You put so much hard work into a garden. I babied these plants for the last 4 years. I don’t want to start over.
There is one artichoke that has 3 places where little shoots are coming up. But none of the others show any signs of regrowth.
SO WHAT DO I DO??? Do I cling to the hope that the others will start to send up shoots??? Or do I dig them up and plant new ones this year??? I do not know enough about artichokes to know if it is worth waiting. I am hoping that some of you will be experts in growing artichokes and can give me some good advice.
And if you have never eaten an artichoke you must! Google some recipes and give it a try!