Because most of the commercial artichokes come from California, people assume that they won’t grow in our shorter season areas. Actually you can grow edible artichokes here. They are not heavy producers and take up a bit of space but they are still not hard to grow and a fresh artichoke is always tastier than store bought.
Start the seeds in mid-march in a pot that is at least 3″ x 3″ using virgin potting soil. Grow them as you would tomato seedlings with good light. Transplant outside after danger of frost has passed and grow them in a sunny spot in rich soil. Provide ample moisture and usually by the end of August you will see the artichoke bud develop. The edible part of the artichoke is actually an unopened flower bud. If you want a magnificent cut flower, don’t eat the bud and let it go to seed.