Thinking free food and little work? Sound nice? Then you’re talking perennials.
Photo courtesy of psd at Flickr.com.
Perennial vegetables range from asparagus and certain beans to melons to spinaches to roots and rhubarb…many of them such as oca, lovage or nettles you may never have heard of. But don’t let that stop you.
Perennial garden crops hold many advantages. First, they can provide year-round food and they are also easier to manage than the annuals. There is no need to till for perennials and less tillage means healthier soil and less erosion. And they are tasty.
A little planning up front will go a long way in getting your perennials off and running. As with annuals, consider plant placement. Remember that many perennials, such as artichokes, can grow quite large and will need to be accommodated. Asparagus is picky in how acidic its soil is. Other perennials such as nettles and mint can spread like wildfire so consider how you might want to contain them up front.
Photo courtesy of Sassy Gardener at Flickr.com.
One option is to consider planting your perennials along the edges of the annual beds. Another thing to consider when planting a perennial garden is harvest. Look for plants that harvest at different times of the year so you are not stuck with too much food all at once and then none at all!