Artichokes require frequent irrigation during the growing season. Moisture deficiency will result in loose buds of inferior quality. On the other hand, artichokes won't tolerate standing in water, so plant the artichokes either on mounds or in rows with irrigation furrows. Irrigate the artichokes about once a week; irrigate more often in warm areas and less often in areas with heavy soil. Inexpensive Water Timers are available.
The Artichoke pre transplant seedlings require a lot of nutrients as they are developing, fish emulsion is what I've had success with in the past and most growers will concur.
Artichokes need to be grown and harvested quickly for best results. You will need a high quality compost and well rotted manure in abundance each season. Blood and Bone meal are also helpful, but on a monthly basis you should side dress each plant with a high nitrogen fertilizer. See Understanding Fertilizer Labels
There are several insects that make themselves a general nuisance around artichoke and some fungal and disease issues as well. Most are easily controlled when caught in time. See - Artichoke Trouble-Shooting
'Grande Beurre' produces large flattened spineless heads that are very consistent in size. They are fleshy and tasty. Growing to 2.4 meters tall, it has been selected for its ability to crop in its first year from seed and is sometimes grown as an annual
Good Luck finding seeds or root stock.
The Globe artichoke is actually an edible bud. It is harvested at an immature stage and selected for size and compactness. Overdeveloped Globe artichoke buds begin to open or spread; the bracts may have a brownish cast and are tough and stringy; the artichoke hearts have a fuzzy, pink to purple appearance.
As a perennial: For artichokes planted in the fall, harvest can begin as early as spring. Maturation and harvest will continue through the following spring unless interrupted by frost. Peak production occurs in spring.
As an annual: For artichokes planted in the spring, harvest in the fall.
Handle buds carefully during harvest to avoid bruising bud leaves. To harvest artichokes, cut the bud from the stem about 1" - 1.5" inches below the bud base. Buds allowed to become over mature will be loose, fibrous and inedible. Artichoke blossoms, however, are attractive as fresh or dried flowers.
After harvest, cut back old bearing stalks to ground level and mulch with rotted manure, or feed with a balanced fertilizer. New shoots, which grow from the base of the old stump, will develop their own stalks. Monthly applications of nitrogen fertilizer are beneficial for healthy growth.
Artichokes have a good shelf life. Put them in your refrigerator , they should also keep for a week or slightly more on a cool vegetable rack. Some blackening of the outer leaves can mean they were caught by a frost at the beginning or end of the season.