Using Artichokes as wind screen

Growing an ornamental sunflower-like screen around vegetable patch that yields masses of edible tubers sounds great but there are many problems with it.

The stems will not make an effective screen until June, and they could easily exceed an embarrassing height by September. Some supĀ­port will be necessary, and their hungry roots and the shade they cast might make it difficult to grow vegetables alongside.

The dead stems also need to be cut down close to the ground in October, otherwise the wind will loosen the roots. So, from then until June the following year, your vegetable area wouldn’t be hidden from view.

The other main consideration is how many artichokes you want. Since the plant is a prolific cropper, a screen longer than, say, 12ft might well produce far more tubers than you want to eat and the excess will spread rapidly unless you dig them all up each year.