How to Plant a Perennial Food Garden – 20 Fruits & Veggies That Will Keep Coming Back Year After Year

There’s nothing too challenging about gardening, but some people just don’t have the skills or the ideas to do that. Many people are into growing their own fruits and veggies, but they don’t have enough time for their backyard activities.

That’s why you should focus on growing perennial plants. Once you plant them, you won’t have to worry too much, except for the topdressing, weeding and pruning part.

The only thing you should focus on is the planning part.

1. Opt for plants that grow in your USDA zone and fit in your microclimate.

2. Plant your plants interspersed with your annuals to keep your garden filled out all the time.

3. Pick the best planting spot because the plant will spend a lot of time there.

4. Leave enough space between perennial plants, because they will multiply really fast

5. Plant a few plants at a time to control them.

Here are some of the plants you should try:

1. Asparagus

It comes year after year. Yes, it’s seasonal, but you can harvest it for 20 years. Grow Asparagus officinalis from seeds, but you will have to wait a couple of years before you get the right produce. It’s easier when you get one or two year old crowns of hybrid varieties or divisions.

Asparagus likes cool spots and, and is a plant hardy to USDA zone 4. Grow it in alkaline and well drained soil right near your tomatoes. They benefit each other.

2. Artichoke

Grow Globe Artichoke Cynara cardunculus in warm climates. If you live in USDA 7 and above, grow it as an annual plant and harvest the buds from spring to mid fall. If you grow it from seeds, it will release flower buds in second year, and 3-4 years after that. Find root cuttings and starters.

Artichoke likes enough room, sunny spot, regular watering and feeding.

3. Jerusalem artichoke

It’s also known as sun artichoke and sunchoke. The tubers don’t have much starch and are packed with fiber inulin, known for its ability to lower cholesterol. Inulin is great for the function of the GI tract and enhances the good bacteria in the stomach. Plant it anywhere and get a lot of tubers every year. Plant just a few of it.

4. Tree onions

These are a variety of regular onions that grow a bunch of bulbs on the flower stalk. Once the top grows bigger, the stalks bend to the ground, starting little plants away from the parent. That’s why it’s called a “walking onion.” You can eat the top set, the leaves and the underground bulb.

Use the topsets or divide a clump to plant tree onions. Plant them at any time of the year. This plant is a hybrid of the regular onion and perennial Welsh onion.

5. Watercress

It can be grown from seeds or started with a single clump. The leaves grow all the time, providing endless supply. Use it in salads, and are one of the most nutrient dense food you will grow in your garden.

6. Rhubarb

It’s the first to grow in spring. It grows well in cool areas as it doesn’t withstand heat above 90F. Rhubarb likes well-drained soil and rich manure. Plant sections of the roots in early spring and water the soil regularly. Plan the spacing. You can harvest it for 2-3 years, and the plant will need to be divided.

7. Daylilies

These flowers are edible, but Chinese use them as veggies. You can eat the flowers, flower buds, the roots and the base of the stalk.

Eat light roots raw and boil the larger pieces. You can stir fry the buds. Chop the stems, and add them to your stews. But first, check if you are allergic to this plant.

8. Ostrich fern

It grows well in USDA zones 3-7 and provides fiddleheads every spring. Grow it from plants and not spores.

9. Scarlet runner bean

Cook the young beans as snap beans, and shell them when they have seeds. The bright red flowers will brighten up your salads.

Start them from seeds. In winter, cut off the top, and mulch. The stems will grow in spring.

10. Potato bean

It grows wild in moist areas in USDA zones 4-9.

Both the beans and tubers are edible and rich in protein. Start them from seeds and tubers, and don’t be surprised if it is invasive in the garden.

11. Fennel

Use it as spice, herb and veggie. The seeds are sweet and spicy.

Add it to curries and bread. Use the leaves to add flavor to your food. Use the stalks like celery.

Grow it in poor soil to get better flavor, and use seeds. It grows well in USDA zones 5-10.

12. Sweet potato

If you grow it in warmer spots, it turns into a perennial plant. It spreads very easily. You can eat the tubers and leaves. Cook the shoots like spinach.

Sweet potatoes can be grown from rooted cuttings or let the tubers sprout. They also like loose and fertile soil.

13. Dandelion

Eat the young leaves raw and cook the older ones. Use the root to prepare tea and treat any health condition thanks to its anti-inflammatory and diuretic effect.

Grow them from seeds. Simple as that.

14. Sorrel

It’s a leafy veggie with a lemony zing. It grows well in USDA zones 4-9. It may withstand frost but not for too long. Don’t worry if it dies down. The plant will grow again in spring. Eat the leaves raw or add them to soups.

Plant the seedlings in spring. Start with a few plants as the sorrel patches spread quickly. Cut off any stalks when the plant bolts.

15. Strawberries

Mulch the plant and prevent overcrowding to eat strawberries for several years. Strawberries like sun and slightly acidic soil. Woodland strawberry grows well in partial shade.

16. Gooseberry

The plant is cold hardy to USDA zone 3, but doesn’t grow well in hot areas. Plant rooted cuttings 6-feet apart to give them enough space.

The bush likes rich and well-drained soil, regular watering, potassium fertilizers, and dolomite limestone topdressing. Prune them regularly to get neat bushes and large berries.

17. Currants

They grow well in sunny spots in cool areas and partial shade in warm areas. Grow them from cuttings in moist and slightly acidic soil.

Prune the plant every year, and use the fruits to make jams and jelly.

18. Jostaberry

It’s a mix of gooseberry and black currants. The plant is resistant to diseases that affect the parent species.

Plant the jostaberry cuttings in rich and moist soil. They will produce within 2-3 years. Give them enough space, and keep in mind that they are self-fertile.

19. Raspberries

They grow well in USDA zones 3-10. Plant the rooted cuttings in spring. Make sure they are planted 6-8 feet apart. They want rich soil and regular feeding.

20. Blueberries

Blueberries love acid and grow in soils with pH5 that are moist and well-drained. Prune the bush occasionally.

Source: Natural Living Ideas
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