Friday, May 15, 2009

Check Out My Artichokes

I hope you like pictures of artichokes because I have a boatload today. It's their second year in this garden. When I moved from the old ranch house to the new ranch house, I dug up most everything I had planted. Some of the chokes were for eating, so they were transplanted into raised beds. Other chokes were planted around the old house were definitely not for eating. Who knows what was in that old soil. I always play it safe when it comes to food. Seriously after years of trying to eat organic food and then turn around and have a Micky D burger or an arsenic artichoke. It's not happening.

I have four plants in the raised beds and multiples of gypsies. Three of the four have decided to gift me with an abundant crop, but my problem, and it's always something, is that I kind of want to let them bloom. Sure I'd like to eat them too. I love artichokes. Hot. Cold. With Butter. With Mayo. Grilled. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
But with this heat we've been having, I think they may have already gone to seed. And let's face it, artichokes are a thistle. 
One plant is about six feet tall. That's the first photo. It was the best tasting last year. Hands down. Close up of one of its chokes is the second photo.

The third photo is the choke with meaty leaves. And the four photo is the choke that has a real dense head. I know, you'd think they would all be the same. But they are each unique.

Notice my beautiful steamer on the porch. I can't believe The Mister picked it out all my himself. Some B-days he does good. Artichoke green stripes! 


marné said...

I just got a little artichoke plant myself! It's hard to believe it could ever get that big. Were you able to harvest any the first year?

Judy said...

Hi Marne, Thanks for stopping by. Whether or not you get 'fruit" the first year depends a lot on what you have to begin with. A seed plant, maybe not. A four inch nursery plant, maybe yes in the fall if you put it in Jan/Feb, but maybe not if you put it in now. Some plants just take the year off. These are usually the best tasting ones. Most plants at least give you one choke. Also aphids love these plants, so beware, and ants will "cow" the aphids which makes it worse.

I'll be really interested to see if my gypsies give fruit. I plan to be the next Judy Artichoke! Also be warned, I have six raised beds (I'll blog about it one day), and two of them have been taken over by artichokes. They are monsters!!!!!

Chanalynn said...

Those are beautiful artichokes! I still haven't planted my Maple but I think I will today.

Judy said...

I love Maples Chanalynn. I've got a whole blog about one special one. Someday...