growing artichokes in containers

We’re starting to dabble a little more in container gardening this year. We do most of our gardening in raised beds, which I suppose is gardening in containers on a larger scale. But hey, containers are expensive. I’d like to have all sorts of ‘em all over our house and yard, but we’re going to have to acquire a little at a time. We got to venture out to the port of Tacoma to shop for some good quality pots recently at Bamford & Bamford.

We found some of the brightest colors we could. My only disappointment was I was really hoping for something in orange. That’s okay, because I decided to turn some $5 tubs from Target into gardening containers and found bright orange and kelly green.

Five dollars for giant 19 gallon tubs in cute bright colors, with little rope handles! All I had to do was drill some holes. I really liked this idea for adding caster wheels to the bottom. I checked 3 or 4 stores for them and ultimately decided the high cost would take away the great deal I was getting on these containers.

Then Levi helped me with the most gigantic block of coconut coir I’ve ever seen.

I knew he would be on board if I let him spray the hose.

Then we mixed the coir with our garden mix (50% mushroom compost, 50% topsoil) in hopes that these smaller containers won’t get compacted.

We used up some of our river rocks under the pots for drainage.

And a layer on the bottom inside the containers as well.

And in go the artichokes.

I’m testing out one artichoke in these rather generous sized pots.

And I’m trying three in the big 19 gallon tubs. Baby steps toward a nicer looking yard. And if you can’t tell, I do have high hopes for these artichokes.

xo Krista

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “growing artichokes in containers

  1. Gorgeous pots!

    I wouldn’t put rocks in the bottom of them, though. Here’s why.

    • misterkrista

      Well, I guess we’ll see what happens. These rocks aren’t the pebble or broken pottery material they describe. They are actually big ol’ river rocks that we have to get rid of. Our yard came with about 10 yards of them and we have only had a tiny bit of luck getting people to take them for free so far.

      The pot is pretty large and only has one drainage hole in the bottom, and I’ve had some bad luck with pots like that in the past in these watery parts.

      Have to tell you it is kind of ironic to get drainage advice from the Californian with a perpetually flooded yard!

  2. Janna

    I’m so glad you wrote something about your artichokes. I was actually thinking about them the other day. I love artichokes and didn’t even think about trying to grow the. Keep us posted on their progress.

  3. Sofia

    I love your blog! I bought two artichoke starters without any clue about what I was going to get myself into. I just bought a container similar to what you have on your blog, how did your artichoke come out? I didn’t see a follow up. Thanks!

    • Interesting question. The artichoke grew and seemed to flourish, but in the end I think our climate was not idea for the tender Green Globe artichoke. I am trying again this year but I’m frankly not too hopeful. Next year I plan to switch to a faster-growing annual variety, like the Sicilian Violetta artichoke. It’s an experimental process. Good luck with your artichoke! What kind of climate do you have?

  4. Joe

    Any chance of an update on how these artichokes turned out? I’ve read that they need much bigger pots than shown here, so I’m curious to see how much of a difference that made. Thanks.

    • Hi Joe. They have been in the same containers for 4 years now and they are still growing. Honestly, I probably would have transplanted them to something bigger, except I have infant twins and time for garden projects is scarce. The plants seem sufficiently happy to stay alive, but the harvestable crop is very small. I have another artichoke in a livestock water tank, and it is doing well, sends up several edible chokes at a time over the summer. So, I would say that yes, it would be better to grow them in a larger container if your aim is food, but if you just wanted the visual interest of a beautiful artichoke, a smaller container could be suitable in a pinch. Happy gardening!

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