Saturday, January 21, 2012

How to Grow Patio Artichokes

Sweetheart Artichoke Co

Growing Artichokes in Small Spaces: This is an artichoke that I recently potted. By the end of the summer it should grow to about 4 feet tall. Artichoke plants can be grown in large containers on a patio or deck. In severe hot climates, a shade cloth with 30% or 40% shade may be necessary. In severe cold climates, the container can be placed in a shed for winter storeage.

The key to successful container growing is good drainage. This begins with a simple drainage rack below the container. I made mine with wood stakes. Bricks also work well.

The bigger the container the better. A large tree container or a 20 gallon Rubbermaid tub will also work.

To prevent the soil from coming out and bugs from creeping in, place a layer of weed block cloth at the bottom of the tub. This can be purchased at any nursery supply store or hardware garden nursery.

Plant your artichoke with a rich mix of potting soil, bagged (cured) steer manure, and decomposed granite (or river sand). It is best to use fresh soil every year to produce the best artichoke crop.

Remember that potted artichokes need full sun and light watering. However, potted artichokes need more water than ones potted in-ground because they dry out much faster. A weekly deep watering may be necessary in the summer months.

Artichokes are big feeders. Fertilize weekly with organic solutions during the growing season from spring until late summer. Rotate the types of fertilizer used, such as: diluted powdered milk, crushed egg shells, aquarium water, and cured steer manure.

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