The globe artichoke is seldom found in" American gardens. The edible parts are the base of the flower heads and the midribs of the large blanched leaves; the latter are called chards. The flower head scales must be cut when young and tender. They are generally eaten raw, although they may be boiled and served as "artichoke salad," or cooked and pickled.
The globe artichoke is hardy, but requires some protection during the winter in most northern sections. It is easily propagated from seed or suckers, or by division of roots. If the seeds are sown under glass in March, and the young plants pricked into pots before setting in the open, edible heads may be cut the first season. If the seeds are sown early in beds out of doors the plants should be set in the field the following spring. Some gardeners prefer to propagate from suckers, because plants from seeds show great variation.
This vegetable thrives in any rich, moist, but well-drained garden soil. The rows should be not less than 3 feet apart and the plants spaced 2 feet in the row. For the best results the plantations should not be retained more than two or three years. Some growers keep them only one year; when maintained for more than one season, the old plants are cut back to the ground in the fall and the ground mulched with 5 or 6 inches of coarse manure. In fields started from suckers or potted plants edible heads should be produced from early spring until frost in the fall.