Last year I harvested about 30 artichokes, small but delicious. I processed them for the freezer and twice in the dead of winter I made hot artichoke and spinach dip as an appy. I don't know if you noticed but in Canada canned artichokes are very expensive so I was thrilled to have them in the freezer and I was looking forward to more of the same this year. Well...maybe not.
Of my 6 artichoke plants I have two small artichokes. So what's the problem? A fellow gardener I just met a few weeks ago told me that artichokes don't last very long, maybe five years and to extend their life I should separate them or sever the babies from the mother plant by a deep cut with a long shovel. I have not been able to confirm this method but I'll try it on one plant.
I noticed my next door neighbour's plants were in worst shape than mine and they are literally 20 feet apart, so I think it might have been our colder than usual winter.