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Old August 1, 2011   #1
Jeannine Anne
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Default Perennial Veggies

Hi, I started to work on a perennial veggie plot this year and an curious if anyone else is doing it.

Some things planted are Tops set onions ( walking onions) poato onions, Skirret, Rhubarb,Sorrel,

Things almost ready to go out, Daubenton Kale,Delaway Cabbage,

I have other things waiting to be sown next Spring, Jerusalem atichokes and Asparagus, Nine Star Broccolli,Cut and Come Again cabbage.

Waiting to recieve Babbington leeks.

Looking for Rampions.

It would be great to connect woth other folks who are growing pernnial veggies

XX Jeannine
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Old August 1, 2011   #2
habitat_gardener
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I've grown artichokes, perennial kale (=tree collards), and yacon (= Bolivian sunroot) for >5 years. I grow rhubarb but haven't grown to like it. The garden came with green onions, but I don't use them much. I've kept one purple peacock broccoli/kale going for at least 3 years.

I'd love to try more (and more obscure) perennial vegs.
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Old August 2, 2011   #3
Jeannine Anne
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Oh good, a like minded soul, stay in touch as it would be good to swap ideas, I have one yacon that a friend sent me, it grew a shoot prettyyt quickly in a pot and I planted it out, it is growing quite slowly though.

I can't find tree collards apart from walking stick kale , which I have seeds for,but I understand tree collards can only be propogated by cuttings

Purple Peacock broc is a new one on me.I shall have to look that up'

The skirret is an interesting one, a root sort of in between a carrot and a parsnip. I have Salsify and Schorzona seeds to go in too. Also have seeds for Good King Henry. You may like the Nine Star Perennial.. maybe we can trade.

XX Jeannine
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Old August 2, 2011   #4
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I got my original perennial kale as a cutting, but the second one was a 4-inch seedling from a plant exchange labeled walking stick kale! It's exactly the same as the first one. However, a neighbor at the community garden planted a seed of walking stick kale and it was a totally different plant. I don't know the seed source for either one.

The purple peacock wasn't meant to be perennial, but in my climate, with a bit of coddling, I like to see how long I can keep small brassicas going.

I have old seed for scorzonera and my interest was piqued recently by someone from Germany who talked about black root -- said it was delicious but hadn't seen it in the US. I did some research and figured out it's scorzonera.

I'll have to try skirret -- sounds so medieval.
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Old August 2, 2011   #5
salix
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Hello Jeannine and HG - another one here who likes to see what will carry on from year to year. The rhubarb, sorrel, asparagus and Egyptian walking onions are easy and flourish. The herbs are also very hardy: oregano, thyme, chives, tarragon, hyssop, sage and of course, mint. Lemon balm is usually OK, in a bad year I need to start it again. Quite often a parsley will winter over and provide seed for the following year. I usually leave in a couple of kale, late lettuce and swiss chard - if the winter conditions are just right (and I still haven't figured out what they are) they will continue growing on for an early spring harvest. Do you count volunteer and self-seeded plants such as potatoes, Aunt Molly's ground cherries, dill, spinach? Lots of small fruits; raspberries, strawberries, currants and blueberries. Jeannine, I posted a question about skirret in another thread, have wanted to try that for several years.
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Old August 2, 2011   #6
Elizabeth
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My goal is to have more perennial veggies. I have grown various ones at past houses, but haven't got many in where we are now (yet).

I have runner beans that should come back year after year and am trying rhubarb from seed this year.

I have grown chayote for a few years - wow! I have never seen a vine grow so high - it climbed the fence, the neighbor's tree and then up it went to the tippy top of the phone pole just outside the fence each year LOL! It would die back during the winter and with spring warmth would restart and start climbing again. I tried transplanting it, but it's not happy. I have to start a new one. Hopefully I will get better production in a new spot, so far harvests have fallen way short of the possible 150/vine capability.

I tried walking onions when I lived in the hot/cold San Diego foothills with limited success, I'm keen to try them in my more moderate locale. I also grew sorrel, Jerusalem artichokes, apios (didn't work out well in the heat), Malabar spinach, and purple hyacinth beans there. I still have seeds from the hyacinth beans, but I'm a bit skittery - some sources say they have toxins, others say they are widely grown and eaten (after proper cooking) and are fine. They sure are pretty though. I don't know if my seeds are still viable since I haven't grown them for 10 years, but if you are interested in a few (I have less than 200 left) let me know in a PM.

I have a book that has given me some additional ideas of things to try - it has info on 100 perennial veggies and what zones they do best in. "Perennial Vegetables" by Eric Toensmeir.

Tomatoes can be short lived perennials here - I had an Early Girl live for 18 months once when I lived in the foothills. It was in a half barrel next to the house under the eaves. The first frost killed off the outer vines and leaves. I let it be since the interior was still green. In the spring I took off the dead bits that had insulated the core. The darn thing started up again and gave me more tomatoes. It died after its second summer.
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Old August 2, 2011   #7
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I have been expanding my perennial edibles sections every year. Started off with Rhubarb, Oregano, black currants, a pear tree and an apple tree.

Added a plum, cherry & hardy peach, blueberries, raspberries, 2 grapes, blackberries, a large strawberry patch (renew it every spring with runners & pull out the oldest plants), an asparagus patch - in its 1st year, so it will be another year before I can harvest. In my area parlsley, cilantro, dill, rosemary, thyme,mint &sage are all perennial (some more tender than others).

I also have a section for overwintering things that need to go to 2nd year for seed or size - parsnips, garlic etc. I often have accidental perennials (potatoes, tomatoes etc.) which get moved to wherever the main crop has been rotated to in the garden! I found last year that my brussels sprouts overwintered and if I cut them down, they go again! I pulled them because I had already started new plants - but this year may leave a couple to see what kind of a crop i can get!

From what I hear tomatillos will reseed easily if you give them a spot of their own.
I just wish I had more room! And a new digger (husband is tired)!!!
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Old August 2, 2011   #8
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Oh yes, scarlet runner beans! I'm growing them for the first time this year, and ate my first bean yesterday. Someone local said the roots get huge and the beans can start growing much earlier in spring than other beans, so I'm looking forward to future crops as well. I cut back a huge part of my thornless blackberry, which was hogging the arbor, to make room for the beans.
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Old August 2, 2011   #9
Jeannine Anne
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I grow a a few varieties of runners, some red , some pink, some white and some red and white but I have never had them self seed due to climate. I have not heard of them being earlier , I only thought the English Broad Bean was earlier as it can be fall sown or spring sown in February.

I too have heard mixed comments about Hyacinth beans but many folks do eat them and they are very pretty.

I have suceeded to grow Chayote and it was huge and practically took over.

I found some Ramsons and Rampions today which I am pleased about.

I have been toying witht the idea if Eric Ts book bit after reading a review I changed my mind. I do know many of the veggies mentioned won;t grow here.

salix, I answered in the other thread, I can let you have some Skirret seeds, I have more en route from Germany so may be a couple of weeks, but Amishland does have them.

It is a very interesting thread, and is great to hear other folks are going perennial.

XX Jeannine
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Old August 2, 2011   #10
biscgolf
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parsley is a biennial... cilantro and dill may reseed but they are not perennials either...

perennial anything is a good thing- less work!

asparagus, various berries, herbs and rhubarb are pretty much it for perennial edibles for me although i do keep some peppers alive in the greenhouse each year and have a couple of basil plants that are a number of years old (african blue and greek columnar- not regular italian).
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Old August 3, 2011   #11
Jeannine Anne
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Oh yes I overwintered 4 Pepperdews from year and they are doing very well

XX Jeannine
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Old August 4, 2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine Anne View Post
I grow a a few varieties of runners, some red , some pink, some white and some red and white but I have never had them self seed due to climate. I have not heard of them being earlier , I only thought the English Broad Bean was earlier as it can be fall sown or spring sown in February.
...
I have been toying witht the idea if Eric Ts book bit after reading a review I changed my mind. I do know many of the veggies mentioned won;t grow here.
...
The person who told me about the runner beans said they have a huge solid root, like a tuber, which allows them to store a lot of energy, which is why they start growing early in the season.

I borrowed T's book from the library and came to the same conclusion! But vegetables from the Andes such as acocha sound interesting and would grow here.
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Old August 4, 2011   #13
Jeannine Anne
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I have never heard of that, nor have I seen it, They do have small nodules on the roots which are high in nitrogen, this is why the roots are best left in even in cold areas as they give so much to the soil.

Runners beans were one of the first veggies I grew when I was a child and have done so now for 60 years. I collect heirloom varieties.

They definatley will self seed if conditions are right but they do not grow in cold soil anymore that French beans do, and don't form huge tubers.

I have often grown two varieties of Achocha, it grows very easily as an annual but have never grown it as a perennial. It is an interesting veggie ti grow and rambles like crazy, tasty too. I think I still have seeds.

XX Jeannine
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Old August 4, 2011   #14
Elizabeth
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I grew Runners many times in a hotter/colder climate here in So Cal where it would regularly go over 100 in the summer and drop into the 20's in winter. I don't remember any tubers on my runners there, and they certainly didn't come back each year. When I grew them here, in a much more moderate climate I got tubers. I didn't look it up until after I had ripped the plants out at the end of the season. The roots didn't look like any bean I had seen before - I thought they were diseased LOL

Now that I know they can come back year after year here I am planting them in more permanent locations.
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Old August 4, 2011   #15
Jeannine Anne
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Hi again, I guess the roots could be called a tuber but the ones I have seen over the years were very spindly . Of course weather conditions could make a difference, I have only grown them in the UK and Canada.. interesting point though. I have heard of folks lifting the roots and regrowing them a long time ago with mixed results but I don't see the point as seeds are easy to start and readily available, however I could see leaving them in the ground and letting them re grow if it gave as good a crop and quicker.

I would be very interested to har more about this.

XX Jeannine
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