Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grow Artichoke Plants Anywhere!

Q: I live in Savannah, GA and want to plant some globe artichokes but I don’t know much about them and can’t seem to find any clear info. I am very interested in buying your plant (it looks amazing!!!) BUT I have a couple of questions. Will they grow here? (I’ve read mixed reviews) If so, is now the time for me to plant? We are clear of frost and the temps are 60-70s. You’ve got great seller feedback so I’m hoping you can share some information with me and steer me in the right direction. Thanks!!!!!

A: The most hardy artichoke is the Imperial Star. I’ve got tons of information about growing on my website at: Information Includes growing instructions and pest control.

Artichokes are wonderful to grow for their fruit and for their flowers too. People are amazed that I can grow them in my town, because our summers can be very hot and humid… up to 120 degrees.

Shade Young Artichoke Plants: Young artichoke plants need to be shaded with a nursery shade cloth, but mature artichokes can be out in full sun.

Prep for Winter in the Spring and Summer: If you have hard cold winters it is probably best to winter over indoors. This can be accomplished by planting your artichoke plant in a garden box with light and fluffy potting soil… this makes it easier to pull up the artichoke roots after the plant goes dormant. Then you can keep it potted in the garage until the warm season returns.

- - - For more information about artichoke plants, contact Gail at

Friday, March 25, 2011

More About Water Hyacinth Care

Q: I'm new to water gardening and I need to know if the old growth dying off around the outer edge of the water hyacinth is normal? The new growth is coming in in the center. Also my little boy pulled the roots off of one. Will it grow new roots? Thanks for your time, Tom

A: Hey Tom - Any growth is good growth. Oftentimes water hyacinth will produce new plants and then eventually the old plant will die off. Also, if the hyacinth is too cold or does not receive enough sunshine, then the edges will turn yellow and brown. I had hyacinth that my dog munched on and ripped out the roots, and it did come back.

You can give the hyacinth a boost with a diluted Miracle Grow fertilizer bath for 30 minutes. But, you will need to wash off the plants afterward so you will not get excess fertilizer in the pond… which will promote algae. My best hyacinth grows in very shallow water and absorbs the nutrients from the pond soil and fertilizer tabs that I push into the soil. I believe this is the best way to promote growth.

If you end up with too many plants, place the extra plants in the mulch pile and under trees and bushes. Because it absorbs rich fish emulsion, nitrates, and minerals, your garden will thrive better than any fertilizer you can buy.


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