GUIDE TO ARTICHOKE TROUBLES
Remember that aphids and earwigs occasionally get between the bracts of the developing flower heads. There are no visible symptoms until the heads are in the kitchen, so always wash globe artichokes very thoroughly before cooking.
Become weakened, and variousborne fungi attack them. The first sign that something is amiss is in early to mid-spring, when new growth would normally be appearing. If you wait a few weeks and there is still no sign of new growth, then the plants are most likely dead, killed by root rot. The best precaution is to correct any drainage problems before planting the artichokes. Once they become infected, little can be done to correct matters, and the plants should be dug up and destroyed.
Earwigs: these pests occasionally work their way into the developing flower heads, where they make ragged holes at the base of the bracts. Because the bracts fold over each other, this damage is not usually seen until the artichokes have been cut and are being prepared for the table. The best precaution is to ensure that the earwigs have no hiding places in your garden, such as piles of debris or weed infested hedgerows. Gamma HCH or trichlorphon sprayed around the plants is a useful measure if earwig infestation is particularly severe. Normally, all that is required is thorough cleaning of the heads before cooking.
Aphids: like earwigs, blackfly or greenfly occasionally find their way into the flowcrbuds. Protected by the bud scales, they cannot be dealt with by sprays of insecticides. If your garden is well cultivated and weed free, and there are no other vegetables in your garden infested with aphids, then they should not be too troublesome. Again, clean the heads thoroughly before cooking.
Slugs: this pest rarely attacks the flower heads, which are carried well above ground level. Occasionally they will attack the lower leaves, nearer the soil. Ragged, irregular holes are the main symptoms, together with slime trails nearby. Slugs are particularly fond of the succulent, blanched shoots grown under straw or, and the young leaves produced in spring. Control slugs with proprietary baits based on metaldehyde or methiocarb. Alternatively, trap them in piles of decaying placed at the base of the artichoke plants; inspect the traps daily and destroy any slugs found.