Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Over Wintering Artichokes

Steve asked how I managed the successful over wintering of these Green Globe artichokes. Actually I thought readers were a little bored with this story which has been going on in here for nearly 5 years. Please begin by reading these past posts .

I used wall-o-waters the past two seasons. I did not succeed in 2008/2009. But this winter I did succeed. I suspect the success this time is linked to two factors: the way I prepared the plants and the kind of winter we had ... mostly the latter. This year I cut what remained of the plants to 6 inches above ground and covered them in grass clippings before putting on the wall-o-waters. But mostly I think it was the snow cover and the lack of extreme cold that led to success.

Our local garden columnist, Lynne Irons, also reported having successfully over wintered her artichokes this year. She uses different materials, but also gives lots of credit to what was overall a mild winter.

"Speaking of enjoyment — several of my globe artichokes made it through the winter. I had covered them with a double layer of Reemay and enclosed the bed with bales of hay. Keep in mind, however, we did have a mild winter. I do not believe we dipped into the single digits at all. Nobody believes me when I say such things because it was rainy, snowy and gloomy a great deal of the time, but all in all, the temperatures held steady."

One other thought to successful over wintering in northern climates is the variety of the artichoke. Imperial Star has not done well for me. I have experimented with and Northern Star and Emerald but have not had success over wintering them. The ones I had success with were Green Globe Improved from Reimer Seeds.

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