If you’ve planted Jerusalem artichokes, in autumn the plants begin to die back and, when they’re completely brown, the harvest can begin. Use your hands to ‘bandicoot’ under the plant bases and pull out the tubers – they look a bit like knotted potatoes.
If you’ve planted Globe artichokes, they’re generally ready to harvest in spring. Pick the buds when they are firm, but just before they open. Tip: Use a sharp knife to cut the stem and leave a few centimetres of stem.
Water the base, especially early in the day so the leaves have time to dry before nightfall; this will help keep the plants disease free.
Artichokes grow slowly and usually take more than a year to get to cropping stage. As they grow, thin out the shoots to leave only the three or four of the strongest. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with a myriad of weak, small heads.