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Introduction on 5 perennials you can grow once and for years
Here in Europe, most growers have the tendency to grow annuals unless it concerns fruits and nuts.
Most professional growers don’t even know all that much about perennial plants and don’t really want to invest too much time into it. They want fast-growing vegetables they can harvest at once and sell.
If you want one part of your garden to be easily maintainable, think about a couple of perennials to grow. They will grow loyally and truly without too much hassle.
What are perennials you can grow once and for years?
Perennials are plants that will grow for more than one year.
We do grow a lot of biennials as annuals, but that’s not what I mean with perennials. Plants like carrots, onions, and leeks are two-year plants. We mostly grow them as an annual and harvest them in fall or winter. If we were to grow them for two years, we would get the seed out of them and we would have to sow the seeds again the next year.
When I’m talking about perennials, I’m talking about plants that stay green over the winter or die back in winter but keep on coming back, year after year.
If there is one perennial that is very well known in hobby gardens as it is in professional fields, it’s the asparagus. This is one of the well-known perennials that is known by everyone who likes vegetables.
Positives about perennials you can grow once and for years
People who already tend perennial vegetables know what the pros are about gardening with perennials. They know that the maintenance for perennials can’t be compared to annuals.
Many perennials can live off neglect. There’s no need to cultivate the soil. There’s no need for annual sowing, planting and/or transplanting.
In fact, some perennials will take over the garden if you don’t keep them at bay.
Perennials have so many advantages. You can get more harvest during the growing period due to the longer growing period. While you are tending and starting up your seedlings of annual vegetables, your perennials are already growing strong and will give you food early in the year.
The plants don’t have as many diseases and pests killing the plants off and destroying the harvest.
Once the perennial vegetables have settled they will thrive for years to come.
Perennials will also give a lot of green material to mulch or compost. The plants are already rooted firmly and grow an abundance of fibrous materials you can recycle in and around the garden.
The plants that grow for many years can even be beautiful plants filling up your flower borders giving form and/or color to your garden.
Perennial vegetables also have quite a sold building capacity. They will keep growing year after year without the need for tilling or turning the soil. The roots will keep the soil in place and let a whole bunch of small soil critters live in that soil. By keeping the soil in place without tilling, the soil will have more chance to grow healthy. And this will help the other plants growing around the perennials.
Some negatives about perennials
Several perennials take a long time to settle. Plants like Asparagus will take several years before you can start harvesting from the plants.
Perennial vegetables can have the same drawbacks as annuals. Just like lettuce becomes bitter when it starts to bolt, perennials can turn bitter as well, so they are only harvestable for human consumption before flowering.
As already mentioned, the perennial plants can feel so good that you have to check the size and the growth rate. Some perennials will try to take over the garden if you don’t control them.
Once you use a patch for perennials, you won’t be able to use that patch for many years to follow unless you transplant the perennials. You will also have to make certain the patch is in a good place. Because certain perennials can grow really tall. and they will disturb the lighting that annuals need by casting a shadow over other patches in spring or fall.
Certain specific diseases and pests can hurt you perennials and infect the plants for the rest of their life. It’s even possible that you will have to remove the plants and plant new ones in another spot. Specifically, if you found a soil-borne virus or fungus in the plant, you’ll have to take the right measures.
Growing perennials in your garden
We already talked a bit about the place to grow perennials. But there are many ways to integrate perennials in the garden.
One of the best-known systems up to date to grow perennials is the permaculture garden. I’m not going to expand on this type of growing system. I must say, it’s a system that is easily adaptable to your growing zone. Many people are starting to embrace this method. Especially because it is really eco-friendly and it gives a lot in return for the work that has to be done once the system is set up.
But even if you want a tidy garden, you can use perennials in between ornamental plants. Some perennials can really add to an ornamental border. They can also fit between shrubs. There is some experimenting involved and you’ll have to control for the basic needs of the plants to be in check. But everything is possible with perennials, just be creative.
Perennials you can grow once and for years.
So let’s see what perennials can be grown in the garden. I must say, I’m only showing 5 perennials you can grow in the garden once and for years. But the reality is that there are hundreds of perennials you can grow according to your climate zone. I won’t stop you from surfing the internet and looking for plants you want in the garden.
I’m describing fruits, herbs, and vegetables as there are perennials in any kind of plant we can imagine. Let your imagination roam free and look for what pleases you more.
Rhubarb is a tough perennial. They will grow in almost any circumstance. The plant comes with beautiful big leaves and a tall stalk once it starts to flower.
This perennial will attract many views by people visiting your garden.
The best way to start this plant is by the division of the root. Taking a root cutting will give a copy of the mother plant. It will also grow a lot faster than rhubarb growing from seed.
It does love nutrition, so make sure to mulch it with fertile compost a couple of times through the season.
If you want to grow rhubarb at home, click through to this article.
Lovage is a lovable plant. It has a bit of the taste of celery but is much stronger.
With lovage you have two chances, it will grow in the spot you plant it, or it will die. I have found out, there’s no real in between. Once the plant starts to wilt, it’s already too late to transplant it.
Something I should mention as well about lovage is the age of the seeds. The seeds will only sprout if the seeds are reasonably young. Seeds older than a year lose a lot of their vigor. So try to get new seeds. Someone who has lovage can also give you a root cutting. Lovage should be split up ever 3 to 4 years so why not take advantage of a nice neighbor.
Lovage is an easy plant to grow, you can read all about it in this article.
Not many people know you can grow kale as a perennial. In lower temperature zones from zone 8 down, you may need some help of some kind of crop cover during the coldest period of the winter. But kale will grow for a reasonable time when taken care of.
Kale can be easily grown from seed so don’t bother if the plant gets ill. Just start over. It’s a really prolific grower and seed germination is really high so just give it a try and keep on growing.
Do you already grow kale in your garden? You can learn how to in this article.
Yes, we have the chance to grow perennial onions. And there is a reason why these onions are called “walking onions. They have the tendency to “walk” around the garden.
These onions can form new onions next to where the onion is growing. It also grows small onion bulbs instead of seeds. Once the stalks are old enough and carry a bunch of these small onions, the plant will fall over. This will start the new bulbs next to the patch where you first grew them. That way these onions “walk around” in the garden.
You can, of course, remove the small bulbs and plant them where you want. So you always have control of the space they take and where they grow.
Jerusalem Artichoke is in the same family as the sunflower. It’s the plant I love the most out of the 5 perennials you can grow once and for years. They grow delicious roots or tubers. These tubers can be eaten raw or cooked. The yellow flowers will lighten up your garden.
These plants will spread through rhizomes and will take over your garden if you don’t keep them in check. This might be a good point but you’d be growing a monoculture after a couple of years.
Closing on 5 perennials you can grow once and for years.
This is surely not a conclusive list, as I already mentioned. There are many other perennials to grow in your garden. Look for perennials on the internet and you’ll find dozens of possibilities and plants to grow.
Whatever your choice is, keep growing your own vegetables and love your garden.
So this is it for this article on 5 perennials you can grow once and for years. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.
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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.