Globe artichokes are speedy and statuesque. Sow seed now and your plants will produce their first edible thistle-like buds in late summer. Sow indoors in trays and transplant when seedlings are big enough (in 8 to 10 weeks). Globe artichokes are deep-rooted. They like a deep, humus-rich, free-draining soil, so dig over well and add plenty of compost. A general fertiliser added to the soil a couple of weeks before planting is also beneficial. They need space in the garden – these mighty plants are vigorous growers that can cover 2m-square per plant. After planting, apply blood and bone or a liquid fertiliser high in nitrogen. Do so again a fortnight later to get plants growing well. Watch for aphids, two spotted spider mites and slugs and snails, which all love to gobble globe artichokes.