Perennial Vegetables To Plant Once For Years Of Food
Asparagus is one of the easiest, most commonly grown permanent crops. It can be planted on the edge of a small garden, along a fence or among flower beds. Asparagus can be dehydrated and canned, and it makes for a healthy side dish! By planting one-year-old roots, you can usually begin harvesting in about three years. It’s an investment that will pay off with a little patience. Asparagus requires a lot of nutrients to grow, so make sure you’re taking care of your soil!
Another benefit of asparagus is that it blooms with dainty flowers in summer. These flowers attract many bees to your garden. Asparagus is hardy to zone 3.
Green leafy vegetables rank high on the list of quick growers, providing harvestable produce in a short amount of time with little effort. Sow seeds directly into well-amended garden soil or high-quality soil if using containers; harvest when leaves reach the desired size. Avoid growing spinach in the hottest part of summer because it will bolt and go to seed.
A love-it or hate-it root veggie, beets are grown for both their leafy green tops and the tender resulting beet. Grow beets when the weather is cooler for best growth. If harvesting the tops, take only one or two leaves at a time to avoid impeding root growth.
With its ever-growing popularity, kale is becoming a staple vegetable grown in many gardens and even windowsills. Baby greens are ready to pick when they are about 2 inches tall; avoid harvesting the central growing point of the plant to maintain continuous growth throughout the growing season.
Unlike other green leafy vegetables, mustard greens thrive in warmer temps. Mustard greens are easy to grow and can be used in salad mixes to add variety and flavor.
Green onions are a smart choice for anyone who wants fast-growing vegetables. The bottoms (“bulbs”) that are normally tossed in the garbage can be put in water to start new plants. (Homesteading explains step by step how to start new plants from kitchen scraps.) After roots are developed, either keep them in the water until there are leaves to cut or plant them in soil.
Another two-in-one plant, turnips are grown for both their greens and root vegetables. Turnip greens are ready for harvest when they reach 2 inches tall. Smaller turnips are milder and sweeter tasting than those that grow larger.
This perennial plant adds a peppery twist to salads and comes back in the garden year after year. Plant seeds in two-week successions as soon as the garden soil is workable in the spring for a continuous harvest.
Gardeners love to plant radishes for their peppery flavor and rapid growth. They grow well in either containers or soil that has been worked well. Radishes thrive in ambient temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees, making them good spring and fall crops. They can be harvested in as quickly as three weeks.
Although rhubarb stems are prepared like a fruit in cakes and pies, it is actually a vegetable. Rhubarb can grow in gardens for years and gives a bountiful annual crop of tart red stems. Usually, it takes about three years for the edible stems to develop fully. After that, you can harvest the stalks and use them for baking rhubarb pie or other sweet dishes.
Grow rhubarb as a perennial edible plant in zones 3 and above.
Another root vegetable that grows as a perennial is horseradish. For horseradish to grow as a perennial vegetable, you have to dig up the root and then replant the offshoot.
Horseradish is extremely easy to grow in your vegetable garden. You can even just buy a fresh root from the store and plant it in the ground. Above the ground, the vegetable sprouts large green leaves and clusters of attractive flowers.
This spicy perennial vegetable is hardy in zones 2 to 9.
These greens are also perennials that you can eat fresh in salads or sandwiches. These tasty perennial herbs grow in clumps with slender green grass-like leaves that grow from bulbs. To enjoy these greens, just snip a few leaves off and chop to use in salads.