The Q&A Archives: Artichokes in Massachusetts?

Question: Will artichokes survive Massachusetts winters and will the salt air damage them?

Answer: Artichokes grow best in damp, coastal regions of zones 8 and 9, so while salt air is not a problem, your winters are. You can try to overwinter the plants indoors by cutting them back to 5 inches above the crown, digging the roots and removing any soil, and storing them in mesh bags in a cool, damp frost-free place. Or you can grow artichokes as annuals. Plant them in a sunny spot in rich, well-drained, slightly acid soil that's heavily amended with organic matter. Use a fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium. The plants are becoming more widely available in the spring in nurseries and greenhouses. I'm growing them for the first time this summer here in Vermont!

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