Growing artichokes in Toronto

(Question)

I would like to know if Globe Artichoke will flourish and give flowers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and what is the sowing/seedling time and soil requirements for this type of plant.

 

(Answer)

That’s a great question, which suggests that you already know that most of the globe artichokes we see in our grocery stores are the product of perennial plants grown in the warm climate of California.

However, recently the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has been encouraging Ontario growers to consider growing some of the newly developed varieties that can be grown as annuals from seed.  There is at least one producer in the Markham area that has been growing the Imperial Star variety for about 5 years.  From seed started indoors in March and transplanted in late May, this variety will produce heads that are ready to harvest in late August.  Imperial Star seeds are available from Dominion Seed House and from William Dam Seeds.

Cornell University has a quick guide to growing artichokes here.

And there is an excellent article, specifically on growing artichokes in Ontario, on the Canadian Gardening website.  Just click here.