Unbelievable that Container Gardening Yields Two Artichoke Crops in a year.
An improbable story of Container Gardening Yields Two Artichoke Crops in a year. Truly a fantastic story you have to try. When I started developing this gardening system, I needed to find a genuine experiment—purchasing three Artichoke plants from a local nursery to use as test plants for the research. The experiment’s hypo, the thesis is: Is there a significant difference between plants grown in the ground vs. plants grown in a container?
Artichokes are fairly common in my neighborhood. When I discussed my results with the gardening buddies that grew artichokes, they were stunned to find that I was able to get two crops out of the plants in a year.
I was purchasing three Artichoke plants from a local nursery to use as test plants for the experiment.
The experiment’s hypothesis is: Is there a significant difference between artichokes grown in the ground vs. artichokes grown in a container?
What resources did I need to grow artichokes in a container?
How large a container would I need?
I planted two of the artichokes in the ground. I dug 20-inch holes and put a lot of organic material in the pits and planted the artichokes.
Next, I purchased a half oak barrel from my local DIY chain store when barrels were cheap—filling the barrel with the same mixture as the ones I planted in the ground.
After a couple of months in the winter cold, you can easily see the difference between the ones and in the ground versus the one in the barrel. The barrel was the winner in this experiment.
I purchased a couple more half barrels and transplanted the ones in the ground into separate barrels with the same mixture.
The replanted artichokes were always just behind the original barrel in growth and fruit production. The late developing plants turned out to be a bit of a blessing since we had artichokes crops for an extended period.
Artichokes grow three stocks the first time they bear fruits. The second crop produced three times more or nine fruits per plant. A surprise for sure.
After the first crop, the artichokes seemed to go dormant. I cut off the three steams close to the root ball. I pulled out the root balls and restocked the containers with more alfalfa, straw, and compost mixture.
Now it got freaky. All three plants start growing new leaves again. It wasn’t long before I noticed stalks beginning to appear from the core of the plants. Not three stems like the first time, but nine shoots appeared.
It was getting hot in Southern California in midsummer. I noticed the plants need watering a few times a week. The lack of water was due to the amount of bedding in the barrels. The barrels could only handle less than half the material that a full-sized raised bed did. Thus, there wasn’t enough moisture for an extended period.
I went to the local DYI store and picked up some 1” pvc pipe and some shade cloth and constructed shading structure over each barrel. The shade structure limited the sun during the hottest part of the day. We were back to watering once a week, sometimes twice a week, during really hot 100° plus days.
The artichokes took off, and within a few weeks, the second harvest was ready. I soaked the artichokes in a tub of water to get any remaining bugs out of them.
I made a garlic and butter mixture and wrapped them in foil to steam cook them in the barbecue. I was placing the artichokes on the cool side, using indirect heat, until done.
Wow! The artichokes were delicious, and I was the hero to my girls.
Yes, container gardening can yield two crops of Artichokes a year.