Not all people have the luxury of having enough space or time to garden. But it doesn’t mean you can’t grow artichoke plants in patio pots or containers, whether to decorate your home or taste its delicious buds. You can grow artichokes, we’ll show you how.
But first, we need a few basics on the artichoke.
The artichoke is a wild perennial plant that produces edible thistle buds. They thrive on places with mild winters (they are susceptible to freezing), summers that are long and frost-free yet not too dry.
And since they are typically a wild-growing plant, artichokes can grow as big as four feet in height and eight feet wide. This leads us to the first requirement in growing them in pots: the size of your pot or container.
Growing Artichokes: Pot or Container Specifications
You will need a large container where you can plant your artichoke – and that’s just for one plant alone. Just how big should your container be?
Your pot should have a capacity to hold at least two cubic feet of soil. To make it simple, your container should be 20 inches deep and about 38 inches wide.
Young artichoke plants are also susceptible to root rot especially when over-watered, so make sure your container has large draining holes in them.
Growing Artichokes: Soil Specifications
Artichokes love sandy, nitrogen-rich and fast-draining soil. One that can reach its roots easily, retain moisture and nutrients, and drain excess water.
The acidity of the soil should preferably be around 6 to 6.8 pH. Mix compost or aged manure to the soil a few days before planting or seeding. You can also put fertilizer to the soil you are going to use according to package instructions.
They need regular water for an ample harvest, but if you just like the look of the plant and don’t want the thistles for your table, they will survive on very little water.
Growing Artichokes: Seeds or Root Divisions
You can grow artichokes from seeds or from offsets – either one is fine. If you are going to use seeds, soak them in water eight hours prior to seeding. Make sure that before you seed, two weeks had already passed from the last spring frost.
Growing artichokes from root divisions is easier to do especially if you are going to cultivate them in a container. Besides, if you got the offset from a neighbor or a friend, you can be sure the artichoke would grow true to its mother plant.
When you choose an offset, make sure it’s not less than 10 inches tall. If it is, the plant might not be able to survive. But any taller and it would be too difficult to cut.
With a sharp spade, dig deep and around to get to the roots. Once you have removed the shoots, dig a hole in your container and fill it with water. Plant the shoots and cover with soil just enough to cover the roots. Then, water again to settle the soil.
Make sure not to let the soil go dry, nor become too soggy. Fertilize every three weeks as artichoke plants are heavy feeders. Pull out weeds so they won’t be able to steal nutrients from the artichoke plant.
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