I enjoyed an artichoke recently that was so delicious and "meaty" that I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days.
The artichoke was grilled, somewhat charred and I devoured it, sans dip.
I'm like that.
I can be obsessive about food and when I fall for a vegetable, I have to plant it in my garden!
My zone 10 garden in Los Angeles is ideal for growing artichokes and March is the perfect time to dig transplants into the garden.
The evenings are cool and daytime temperatures are in the 60-70 degree range, ideal climate conditions for artichokes.
With two, one-gallon artichoke plants in my arms, I headed for the backyard in search of the perfect spot to plant my "chokes."
My Mediterranean garden with olive tree, dwarf pomegranate, sages, Vitex and succulents
Artichokes can grow from 4 to 5 feet tall and just as wide, so the new home for this perennial had to accommodate its mature size.
Full sun conditions and well draining soil are on the top of the list of artichoke requirements.
Artichokes don't do well when they have to "swim" to survive.
These are sun plants…think " Tuscan sun."
This bare area in my garden looks like the perfect spot for my artichoke.
I've had a bare spot in my "hummingbird garden" for a while and fancied a glistening, silver-colored plant there.
My sage plants needed a good neighbor that would compliment their vivid red flowers without stealing away too much attention!
So, I was resolute on adding artichokes to my Mediterranean garden!
Look at that beautiful baby artichoke plant! I'm so proud of it.
Planting An Artichoke
I prepared the planting hole by adding organic compost and set the artichoke with the crown slightly above the soil surface to discourage rotting.
Cold climate gardeners are able to grow this "sun" plant as an annual potted plant and shelter it indoors during the winter time.
Care during the growing season is not intensive, artichokes need a little side dressing of nitrogen about once a month and that's it.
Within approximately 110 days, I should have some edible globes to salivate over, (artichokes usually won't reward you with globes until the second season).
In the meantime, I'll keep my eyes peeled for pests, and relish the beauty of the attractive artichoke foliage.
It looks beautiful among the sages.
I'll also keep an eye out for my dog, "Whiggy" who insists on helping me "side dress" plants with urea. He's too cute to call a "pest!"