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During the growing season of 2003, the CSU Specialty Crops Program conducted trials on 6 artichoke varieties at the Horticulture Research Center (HRC). The year of 2004 continued an ongoing demonstration of artichoke production as an annual crop. Dana Christensen initiated research on annual artichoke production at the HRC several years ago. Our field observations indicate that production is a possibility, certainly a niche market, and choice of variety is critical for annual production. The only significant pests have been aphids (primarily, the thistle aphid, Brachycaudus cardui). There certainly seems to be a niche market for artichokes with a high demand for restaurants and markets for this unique to Colorado crop. Transplant cold treatment has been noted as a requirement for successful production as an annual of this perennial crop and overwintering has had mixed to poor results in our climate.

In 2003, the artichokes were planted in the greenhouse in early March. The seeds were hot water treated at 130°F for 10 minutes. Seedlings were fertilized with fish emulsion fertilizer once a week. The plants were given a cold treatment for 10 days at 50° F, and transplanted in the field in the end of May at 3′ spacings with 5′ between rows. The plants were grown on black plastic mulch with a single line of drip tape. We began harvesting artichokes in early August and continued through early October. Harvest data are published below.

Artichoke Variety
Avg. # chokes/plant
Avg. lbs./plant
Green Globe
Imperial Star
No Photo Available
Dash 3
No Photo Available
Kiss of Burgandy
No Photo Available
Violetto di Romagna


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