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GAILRUU's Photo GAILRUU Posts: 10,210
4/30/16 10:14 P

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I have lots of perennial food crops. I have Egyptian Walking Onions, 3 kinds of asparagus, Mary Washington in a bed about 40 years old and still productive, Jersey Knight and Purple Prince. I also have rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries, honey berries, raspberries, apples, plums, Nanking bush cherries and last year I planted sour cherry trees. I even have a hops vine although I give the hops away since I don't make beer. I have grapes too but they have had black rot for several years so they turn into mummies before I can harvest them. I have been switching from mainly annual vegetables to more perennial food crops. I also planted garlic and shallots last fall although technically they are not perennial. I was crossing my fingers the shallots would survive our cold winters but they seem to be doing fine.

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IMREITE's Photo IMREITE SparkPoints: (430,646)
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4/3/16 9:04 P

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i do a lot of herbs. evenbt hough chives are not perennieal, if yoy leave some to seed you get new plants for a 2nd harvest in the fall or if you mulch they will sleep in the winter and then you get a crop in the early spring.

i have also had luck with cherry tomato plants seeing and then coming up on their own. in wisconsin, they dont always do well, but i stil had fresh tomatoes last year and i did no new seeds or plants.

at my old house iu had horrible luck with rhubarb. could not get it to do well at all. my new locataion has 2 plants already. looking forward to planting again.

Tammy, Scarlet Dragons, Time to Bloom
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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 34,084
3/28/16 6:22 P

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I recently finished reading a book called Paradise Lot by Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates about perennial food gardening. The authors know a lot about perennial food crops and layering the garden and have many excellent ideas. I found them lacking some in information on preparing soil ahead of time and a couple of other things, but overall the book is well worth reading.

CANNINGNANNY's Photo CANNINGNANNY SparkPoints: (558,501)
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3/28/16 12:43 P

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So True on All Accounts...

When I pick my onions and garlic, I leave some to go to seed...Then I leave the original bulb and plant the seeds in the fall.
I get the original bulb larger and new plants from the seed the following season...



Patti / NE Ohio Zone 5
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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain. Vivian Greene
Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.



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JACKIEPEN's Photo JACKIEPEN SparkPoints: (191,138)
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3/28/16 12:21 P

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This is a nice list of perennial foods. Thank you.

Another benefit for me - is that we live in a summer cabin from June to Sept and annual foods usually need a longer season to mature and get left for the wildlife....when we leave in fall.

I've almost stopped growing annual foods and concentrate on perennials...you didn't mention the perennial herbs which I add to the perennial garden...I have chives on each corner of garden which is one of my favorite...lots of others that overwinter too...

Jackie I'm a Halloween baby but many years ago.

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CANNINGNANNY's Photo CANNINGNANNY SparkPoints: (558,501)
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3/28/16 11:11 A

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I'm not sure where to post some great information (new thread) so I put it here...:}

Perennial food gardening: The garden that keeps on giving

Growing perennial food crops in your garden provides delicious fruit, vegetables and edible flowers year after year. The majority of food plants are annuals that produce for a single season. Perennial plants are unique because they produce several seasons of crops over many years.

Benefits of growing perennial food crops
•Once established, perennials are very easy to maintain. Perennial food plants are not susceptible to diseases or pests like tomato, squash or bean plants.
•Perennial food crops adapt well to less-than-ideal growing conditions. Violets are edible flowers that grow well in shade. Artichokes and horseradish require minimal irrigation.

rhubarb
Rhubarb (Ivory Harlow photo)
•Perennial crops improve soil quality. Beds are not tilled, allowing natural decomposition and microbial life to thrive. Many perennials have deep roots that penetrate soil to improve aeration, texture and water absorption.
•Perennial foods are season extenders. Asparagus and rhubarb are the earliest edibles in my garden. I dig and harvest Jerusalem artichokes long after fall frost.
•Although perennial stock is more expensive than annual seed or seedlings, several years of perennial harvests result in cost effective food crops.

Tips to grow a perennial food garden

asparagus
Asparagus (Ivory Harlow photo)

Carefully consider where to plant perennials. Perennials should be planted and then allowed to grow in that location for several years. Avoid disturbing stock by dedicating a permanent space for a perennial food garden or planting perennial food crops at the edge of your garden.

Give rootstalk a strong start. Remove weeds from area you wish to plant. Till or dig deeply to prepare soil. Amend soil as required. Add compost to give new rootstock a nutritional boost. Plant at recommended depth. Backfill with soil and water deeply.

Don’t harvest completely. Leave some artichoke tubers in the ground and allow some Egyptian walking onion bulbs to fall and replant themselves. Above-ground crowns of rhubarb and alpine strawberries should be left intact, and benefit from an insulating layer of mulch over winter. Leaving some stock encourages perennials to return and expand each year.

8 great perennial foods
1.Horseradish
2.Asparagus
3.Rhubarb
4.Jerusalem (tuber) artichokes
5.Alpine strawberries
6.Elephant garlic
7.Egyptian walking onions
8.Violets (edible flowers)
www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/per
en
nial-food-gardening-the-garden-that-R>keeps-on-giving/323887.html?utm_sour
ce
=Farm+and+Dairy&utm_campaign
=c6f12
5e3b9-E_newsletter_3_28_16&a
mp;utm_med
ium=email&utm_term=0
_23b488519b-c6f125e3b9-80608469


Edited by: CANNINGNANNY at: 3/28/2016 (11:12)
Patti / NE Ohio Zone 5
Leader Putting Foods Up www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=13192

Leader Home & Garden & DIY - On A Budget www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain. Vivian Greene
Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.



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