Growing Globe Artichokes

Q: My son would like to try to grow globe artichokes in our garden this year. Do you have any advice regarding this plant?

A: Globe artichoke, Cynara scolymus, is a member of the thistle family. It might grow perennially in south Georgia but I don’t believe it would overwinter north of Macon. However, you can buy seed online and plant them indoors in February. Keep the seedlings in strong light and feed regularly. Plant them in full sun outdoors after April 15 but shade them a bit for two weeks. Be prepared to protect from temperatures lower than 45 degrees as well. Harvest unopened buds when the lowest bud bracts (“leaves”) separate from the main bud. The first hard freeze will kill the artichoke plants in fall.