Sunday, May 23, 2010

How to Save Wilting Artichoke Transplants

Q: Gail, I just planted both artichokes in the garden today. They had been in a half bushel basket for the last week in the shade and they were doing great. The spot I put them in, in the garden, gets full sun almost all day. I just checked on them and all of the growth has completely laid down, almost flat on the ground. When I planted them I water them pretty heavy and then put grass clipping around the base. I'm hoping that is a little normal since they are just getting full sun today but I don't want it to be a shock to them. Any thoughts? Is there anything special I should do other than the directions on your website?

Steve - Nashville, TN

A: This also happened to me! Sounds like the plants needed a little more time in the shade. Leave them where they are. Pound some stakes in the ground and hang a sheet canopy over the plants for a little more time of shade. Pound in a thin stake next to the plants and gently bind them up for a little support. I usually use a plastic grocery bag to stake up plants. The artichokes will look a little sad for a while, but they will come back. Don't worry if the plants shed some of its leaves. This is how artichokes generate energy to the more important part of the plant; such as the center and the roots.

The pic on the left is an artichoke that I bound up to help it through its transplanting shock. See: B-1 can also help give a plant the boost it needs for recovery. This can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. Let me know how it goes!

It seems as though they needed a little more water. It's almost 5pm here and still holding steady at 91 degrees so I gave them another good soaking. After about 10 minutes they began to perk back up. I'm going to run a slow drip soaker hose through the garden in about an hour so and then water the whole garden just after dusk so they'll get a little more water then too. I think I just underestimated exactly how much water they need. I'll keep you posted. Steve

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