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Growing Globe Artichokes

How to grow globe artichokes in garden beds and allotments


Globe Artichokes

Family/Latin Name

Asteraceae - Cynara scolymus

Type of Plant

Crop Rotation Group = None


Suitable for

Garden Beds and Allotments

Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants


Globe artichokes are not the easiest of vegetables to grow and take up a lot of space. However they will continue to produce crops for up to 4 years after which time cuttings can be taken to replenish the stock.

Although they can be sown from seed (details below) better results are achieved from rooted suckers (offsets), purchased or taken from existing plants in early spring.    Not recommended for containers.

Well looked after plants will continue to produce asparagus for up to 20 years.

Plant Dimensions

Height - Up to 120cm/ 48"   -  Spread allow +90cm/3ft

Yield per plant Up to 10 globes once established
Sowing time Late February - April - temperature  +18C/64F

Planting time

Late February - April - temperature  +18C/64F

Time between planting and harvesting

1 -2 years

Where to Sow

Indoors (February) - 3-4 seeds 2.5cm/1" deep  in small pots of compost

Outdoors (March - April) - 2.5cm/1" deep in  drills.

Potting up indoor sown plants

Pot-up seedlings individually into 12cm/5" pots once they have reached 2.5-5cm/1-2".

How to Plant Out

Harden off indoor raised plants. Plant firmly at least 90cm/3ft in each direction. Water well and protect from full sun until established.

How to take Offsets from existing plants In February or March, scrape away the soil from the base of the plant and using a sharp bladed trowel, slice down between the parent plant and the outer smaller shoots (offsets), making sure you leave at least 3 shoots in the centre of the parent plant. Plant each offset about 5cm/2" deep spaced as above. Any leaf tips can be trimmed back. Water well and protect  from  full sun until established.

Growing on - 1st year

It is very important that you don't harvest any matured globes in the first year.  Cut off any heads as they start to develop.  Keep the ground weed-free and well watered and apply a mulch around the plants in May.


Apply a liquid feed every two weeks from June to August.


In the autumn, cut down the stems and cover the crowns with a double layer of fleece, leaves or straw to protect from frosts.

Growing on - 2nd and subsequent years

Remove the winter protection in April. Apply a liquid feed every two weeks from June to August.


In the autumn, cut down the stems and cover the crowns with a double layer of fleece, leaves or straw to protect from frosts. This should be removed the next spring.


The plants will throw up several stems each of which will carry a large (king) bud or head and possibly several smaller ones down the stem.

Although they can be eaten at various stages, they are properly mature once the buds have swollen but the scales are still soft and green and about the size of a cricket ball. Harvest the king bud first along with a short portion of stem (about 7.5cm/3"). This should trigger further buds to develop lower down.

Harvest regularly from late June to September

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Petal Blight
Indications Uncommon  - Brown spots appear on the heads, gradually covering the whole surface
Treatment Organic
None - cut of infected heads and burn.
1. Spray with Dithane
Prevention If petal blight is known in the area, spray every fortnight with Dithane once the flower buds start to appear. Only use between mid-February and October.
Indications Young leaves are eaten - sometimes completely missing
Treatment Organic
1. Sink small pots filled with beer to ground level. Empty daily
2. Sprinkle slugs with table salt
Use slug pellets
Prevention  Avoid damp or humid sites
Black Fly/Aphids
Indications Leaves distorted, yellowing and stunted distorted growth on bean pods and withering plant stems with patches of black in the leaf nodes
Treatment Organic
Spray with a weak solution of soapy water
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Spray with an insecticide containing Bifenthrin, Imidacloprid or Pyrethrum
Prevention None

 Companion Flower Graphic

None in particular




Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies".


To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:  Refrigerate for up to 4 days 

Preparing:  Cut off most of the stalk, cut 2.5cm/1- inch off the tip of the artichoke. Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem and trim off the points of the outer leaves. Wash well then dry. Rub cut surfaces with lemon juice to prevent discolouring.



Whole - 60 minutes - Drizzle liberally with oil and seasonings


Whole - 25-35 minutes until leaves pull out easily. If eating cold, leave it to cool in the liquid which prevents discolouring

Heart - 15-25 minutes


Quartered - coat with seasoned beaten egg. Deep fry until golden


Whole  1  =  6-8 minutes 
  2  =  10-12 minutes 


Whole - 30-40 minutes until leaves pull out easily
Heart - 15-25 minutes


Whole - Remove the  hairy centre (choke) which is inedible and stuff the cavity

For more preparation and cooking information about globe artichokes  plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.

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