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Perennial food producers

(42 Posts)
ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 09:56:38

In line with my delvings into permaculture,can anyone suggest perennial food plants,please?

I have several fruit trees,a fruit cage,elder, and herbs.(Also nettles if we're being earth mother about this)

I so far have wild garlic,would like to get a couple of globe artichoke,have rhubarb,and assume the jerusalem artichokes I have kind of deserve a space in this category.

LBOCS Sun 16-Aug-15 10:47:15

Asparagus? They take up quite a lot of room and you don't get much back from them for the first couple of years though...

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 10:55:01

God,I love asparagus!

Blackpuddingbertha Sun 16-Aug-15 20:56:36

I have wild rocket that grows as a perennial. Dies back in winter and pops back up in spring. Mine go back to ground level but my mother has one that grows like a small woody shrub.

Horse radish also could be included. Can't get rid of mine!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sun 16-Aug-15 21:45:40

Sorrel. V easy to grow, too.

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 21:48:06

I grow comfrey too -not to eat but to cut and compost.

penny13610 Sun 16-Aug-15 21:52:23

Good king henry and perpetual (new zealand) spinach.
Wild mustard, not perennial, but self seeds and is the first green thing to pop up in the spring.

A mulberry tree, they are sooooo good.

wild strawberries, we are down south and I have had them for breakfast in mild winters.

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 21:54:11

Is perpetual spinach,chard,do you know?

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 21:54:59

And is good king henry used as a herb or vegetable,and does it spread?

penny13610 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:07:13

Perpetual spinach is chard, I have always used it as a bedding plant and the kids love it. We make lasagna, using the leaves in place of half the pasta sheets and the stems as a major part of the filling.
However, (DH and I have been arguing over this) we have some type of new zealand spinach that has been going for years and looks more sorrel like.
Welsh onions is another one to go for, just cut and come again.

penny13610 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:10:38

We use good king henry as a vegetable.
I does not spread too far. The three cornered leeks beat everything else into submission.

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 22:13:51

I'm growing chard and the kids love it!

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 16-Aug-15 22:18:16

I have raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus, chives, fennel, mint, sage, rosemary and thyme.

All pretty much do their own thing, largely just mixed in with the flowerbeds, (strawberries, raspberries and asparagus excepted). I used to grow lots of veg, now just the perennial stuff.

MollyAir Sun 16-Aug-15 22:22:42

I have some perennial onions, which just puzzle me, cos I'm not sure what I'm meant to do with them. confused

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 22:24:10

I have a fledgling fruit cage with raspberries,gooseberries and blackcurrants and plan to put a blackberry in.
Also grow strawberries and rhubarb,have a fig,and have put in 4 apples a plum a pear and a cherry.All new,so very exciting smile

penny13610 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:24:59

Underplant your roses with oregano, looks good, protects the soil and gives an endless supply.
Don't forget dandelions, they taste nice. I seem to feed my family a lot of weeds hmm

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 22:25:39

Are perennial onions,and welsh onions the same as wild garlic?
I have my 2nd lot (foolishly planted the first lot where the chooks could get to them....)

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 16-Aug-15 22:30:45

Ooooh yes, I have a fig. Easy to forget because I have only once got any figs off it. I also have a tea plant, a gift from a friend. I haven't harvested any tea from it yet though.

DoreenLethal Sun 16-Aug-15 22:31:17

Perennial onions can be a variety of different things. Bunching, topsetting, potato etc. Welsh onions are bunching onions. Wild garlic is - well - wild garlic and different to welsh onions, it propagates by setting seed madly. Bunching onions propagate by splitting the bulb regularly. And don't forget garlic chives.

You can harvest leeks above the basal plate [root] and it will regrow. Same as celery. I have raspberries, underplanted with chives and strawberries.

I'd steer clear of good king henry after nearly breaking my neck digging one out [digging and pulling and digging and pulling]. Don't forget horseradish, but grow it in deep pots or somewhere that it doesn't matter if it spreads. Which it will.

And lots will set seed and give you free plants. I leave parsnips, beetroot, mustard to go to seed and have hardly had to sow these in years. [I am a seed guardian for beetroot and only ever sowed it the first year].

penny13610 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:31:43

Treat the perennial onions like giant chives. Chop some of the tops off when needed. If they love where they are growing and spread or get a bit strangulated, thin them out and cook with the whole plant.

Blackberries can be a bit thuggish, might be best out of the fruit cage and in a hedgerow or over a fence.

penny13610 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:37:46

Tinkly DH is jealous, he has been trying to get some tea seeds to germinate.

Our fig goes bonkers, we make chutney, jam and mead from it. It has a very sunny sheltered corner and severely restricted roots, which seems to work.

Our good king hernry only just seems to survive on our soil.

ThatBloodyWoman Sun 16-Aug-15 22:39:36

This is brill.
Learning loads!

MollyAir Sun 16-Aug-15 23:01:17

Thanks, penny, for the perennial onion tips. They are spreading, and have also produced seed, which I hope will take. The tops are quite strong to be used as chives, but I do use the tops instead of onions in some dishes.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 16-Aug-15 23:03:56

Very envious of your fig Penny, ours is in a big pot adjacent to a south facing brick wall but I suspect it suffers too much in the winter. We are at the bottom of a valley and suffer with frost. We bought one for friends at the same time as ours, (BOGOF) theirs is in a poly tunnel and rampant, even with unrestricted roots.

penny13610 Sun 16-Aug-15 23:05:44

Aim to grow what you can't easily buy.

We grow mostly perennial, but also peas (they taste best fresh), yellow and white beetroot (almost impossible to buy except at occasional farmers markets) and squashes/small pumpkins (just for fun).

Have you thought about nut trees?

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