Beautiful purple heads of artichokes look like flowers on these plants. Fruit is more elongated than the green globe type. There is some variation in the seed and the Italian supplier recommends removing any weedy looking seedlings before setting out, in order to get the best crop. Start indoors in late winter for a mid-summer crop even in Maine. In Italy, which is Zones 8-10, the plants are started in spring and transplanted in autumn. 20 seeds.
Germination- 10-18 days
Indoors - 8-12 weeks before last frost 1/4” deep in 4” pots with soil temperatures 65-75 degrees. Before transplanting outside, a vernalization is required for growing in the north (zone 6 and below) to induce first year bud formation. Set the seedlings out for 10 days at temperatures of 45-50 degrees. Sow seeds in the fall if you live in zone 7 and above. Transplant at 3-4 feet apart ,after danger of frost has passed, into rows amended with lots of compost or aged manure
Harvest - just below the bud when they are firm and still closed
Tips - Artichokes are heavy feeders so fertilize well from the early stages of growth.