Globe artichokes range in size from 7 to 13 centimeters in diameter and were traditionally cultivated as a perennial. Each artichoke can weigh up to 3 pounds. Globe artichokes have densely packed leaves that form a compact floret with pistachio and lime green tones throughout. Each leaf contains a needle-like thorn on its tip and is usually cut off during preparation. Globe artichokes can be eaten raw when they are younger and more tender. When cooked, Glove artichokes develop flavors of toasted nuts, dry grass, and caramel. Current Facts
Globe artichokes, botanical name Cyrnara scolymus, are the immature flower heads of an herbaceous perennial thistle plant and member of the Aster, Asteraceae family, also known as the Compositae family. Even after artichokes are separated from their parent plant they are still living organs in which respiration processes become the main function because their nutrient supply has been cut off. In short, artichokes can be very vulnerable and temperamental if they are stored in poor ventilation, resulting in fermentation if CO2 levels and atmospheric oxygen supplies are inadequate.
Artichoke seedlings need lots of nutrients as they develop, so fertilize them with fish emulsion or something similar. Transplant the seedlings 8 to 10 weeks later, but only after the soil has warmed and the danger of hard frost has passed. The transplants should be 8 to 10 inches tall, with stocky stems and two sets of true leaves. Because they grow quite large, they should be planted at least 4 feet apart.
Artichokes feed heavily, so, for each plant, work into the soil one cup of complete organic fertilizer or a shovel of compost or aged chicken manure just before planting. You can also apply 1⁄2 cup each of feather or blood meal and bone meal for each plant. A midseason dressing of aged manure benefits the plants, too.
Artichokes started with rooted root-cuttings should be kept moist until ready to plant. In the early spring, plant cuttings in well amended soil and space 4 to 6 feet apart. dig a hole and place root cutting so the crown will be just above the soil line, back fill planting hole and tamp down soil so the roots are in contact with the soil, watering in will help the soil settle into the roots