Monday, August 13, 2012
Early this spring I ordered a couple of artichoke plants along with several varieties of mint. While I adore tomatoes and peppers, I feel that perennial food plants are much more efficient as far as labor goes. You do have to get them going and maintain them regularly, but once they are established, they are always there. I am aiming for about seventy-five percent perennial food plants on WeeHavyn. The mint and artichokes were the start of this endeavor.
I've never grown artichokes before and it is the opinion of the locals that they wouldn't grow here well. But I needed a certain number of plants to fill my order anyway so I figured I'd give it a try. They had a rough trip and came to me wilted and damaged. After spending a couple of days in intensive care in the house, I planted them in two large plastic tubs. All my reading told me they like cool summers and mild winters. The poor things had to endure the hottest, driest summer in 60 years. Needless to say they pretty much just sat there, loosing leaves just as fast as they added them. I began to think they were never going to grow. Still, I watered them daily and left them to their own devices.
To my surprise, they have grown mightily the last few weeks, at least tripling in size. I'm not sure I will get any artichokes this year, but the beauty of perennials is that there is always next year. Who knows though, I may feast on artichoke this fall yet.
Next year.... asparagus!