Opting for Perennial Plants in the Vegetable Garden

September 21, 2010

Ornamental gardeners swear by perennials because of the advantages of planting once to enjoy multiple seasons of growth without the additional expense or labor related to purchasing new plants and replanting.

Well there’s no need for the vegetable gardener to be jealous because there are many perennial plants that will offer the vegetable gardener the same types of benefits. One of my raised beds is devoted entirely to growing perennial plants in an assortment of fruits and veggies.

Dependable Perennial Plants in the Backyard Landscape

There are half a dozen blackberry plants, close to forty asparagus roots, and a patch of strawberry plants and rhubarb all coexisting in a bed that I’ll need to do little more than to keep weeded and apply a little organic fertilizer every now and then.

In return this perennial bed will offer generous yields of juicy berries and fresh asparagus spears for all the desserts and recipes that one can dream up. And the best part is that this production will continue every summer from these long lasting perennial plants!

Herbs and Other Plants that Return Year after Year

The herb garden is another place where perennials can congregate and simplify life for the gardener growing edible plants. Oregano, French Tarragon, chives, thyme, and peppermint are just a few of the perennial herbs that can be relied upon to return after even the coldest winter here in Pennsylvania.

Then there are those plants that are technically annuals but reseed themselves so reliably that they will also return each year just as if they were in fact perennial varieties. Why I’m half tempted to throw my mushroom logs into this category since they are so productive and have lasted over five years from a single inoculation.

Taking Advantage of Perennial Edibles in the Garden

Creating a separate bed or section of the garden for your perennial edibles means you don’t have to worry over remembering what was planted where and which areas need to be left undisturbed at the start of a new season.

If you’re not already taking advantage of all the benefits that perennials have to offer the backyard vegetable gardener then I want to encourage you to consider growing the following perennial edibles that could take up a long-term residency in your next garden.

Next time I’ll return with my short list of perennial edibles that make great additions to the garden or backyard landscape. They include fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even flowers that will reward you from one year to the next without the need for replanting, or the expense of new seeds and plants.

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