Heirloom Artichoke Seeds (Plant a few or an Acre!)

A variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescence), together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. Ok, enough about what it is--let's talk about growing, shall we? If you live in zone 6b or higher you can over winter these treats no problem; they will last 6 to 8 years. But if you don't and have cold winters like we do, there's 2 ways to go: First, treat it like a annual; start your seeds in February and around end of March put all your trays out side. When there's a medium to light frost for about a week, this will trick the plant into thinking its been through a winter and presto! --you have artichokes the first year. The second way, start your seeds when you start your others; when winter comes mulch heavy (and maybe even cover with plastic) and they will pull through just fine. Unless you don't get much below single digits or below zero for long periods in the winter, you don't need to worry about this. Happy growing!

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