Has anyone here had success with perennial vegetables? I found an interesting resource book (but haven't been able to look at a copy yet). On the website, there are lists of suggestions for different climates. http://perennialvegetables.org/
I've been trying to figure out how to landscape my relatively small yard (about 1/5 of an acre) and produce more of my own food. I'd love to do more edible landscaping, and perennial veggies seem like they could be fun... but I am a complete novice and seem to fail frequently (someday I'll tell you about my worm bin disaster...)!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
We have walking onions and sun chokes (both are essentially weedy in that I didn't need to do anything special to get them started and now I'm not sure I could get rid of them if I wanted to. We also have some of the more common plants he lists, asparagus and rhubarb but those are also pretty straightforward. I've also been really amazed at how many other plants will winter over in the yarden with little or no additional protection; kale, turnips and beets (the turnips and beets for greens, you don't get more tubers/roots the second year).
I'd really like to try more varieties, if anyone has suggestions for good candidates for this area or starts to share that would be wonderful.
I've certainly had leeks come back (I don't know if they divided, I pulled the big half, and then the nascent bulbs matured the next year?). Arugula was eaten by varmints (despite my efforts), I'd love to try globe artichokes, but haven't yet. I have had swiss chard, some spinach, ramps and garlic chives all come back with some success, depending on the winter conditions and how well I prepare. And I always think of Rhubarb as a "fruit", as that is how I treat it culinarily, but it also does quite well; and of course, asparagus. That book looks really interesting. Thank you for starting this discussion; it's something I've been wondering about, too. Cheers!
We're great fans of what we consider "motivated" plants that come back every year, early and vigorously. We have:
Sorrel (French sorrel is best, garden sorrel a close second; very tart, lemony taste, and fabulous in salads)
Chives (never buy scallions again; chives are highly motivated and constantly useful)
Mint (love the stuff; throw it in salads and Thai/Vietnamese dishes)
Kale (sometimes comes back, sometimes not - we love it when it does)
Lovage (vigorous grower, tastes like celery, fairly bitter but good in small quantities in salad)
Good King Henry (a little too fuzzy and bitter, but some might like it)
The easier ones that we put in are rhubarb-nearly indestructible, lovage, good king henry and sunchokes. We have also let be edible stuff that is there naturally-dandelions, coltsfoot, a small amount of burdock, wild roses, plantain.