The edible part of the artichoke plant is the flower bud that grows at the end of a woody branch. This savory vegetable grows as a perennial in many areas, notably California, and sometimes offers two harvests in a single season. If you harvest a lot of artichokes, consider freezing them for future use. Pick your artichokes at just the right time for optimum flavor.
Things You'll Need
- Garden shears
Artichokes starts that are set out in the garden in late spring will offer buds that are ready to be harvested in mid-summer.
Look for buds that are full, with leaves that are still compact and tight against the bud.
Squeeze the artichoke lightly. It should give a little squeak if it is ready.
Cut the artichoke stem with the garden shears about 3 inches away from the base of the artichoke bud.
Tips & Warnings
- After you harvest the artichokes you want for eating, let the plant continue to develop its signature purple flower, which is used in flower arrangements and crafts.
- Eat artichokes hot or cold. They are usually cooked by steaming or boiling, but immature artichokes may be eaten raw.
- Artichokes don't produce a bud the first year.
- Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images