Friday, June 21, 2013

Perennial Veg

In a corner of the back garden, pretty useless for annual vegetable growing, I've started a perennial vegetable garden.  With any luck, these plants should establish themselves and, year after year, prosper and grow and provide some great staple vegetables to the table.  I planted the Jerusalem artichokes (pictured above) a couple weeks ago, and already they look quite happy with their warm spot against the fence.  I also planted some horseradish roots.  Actually, I was supposed to plant them last year.  They got lost in a drawer...and then I found them again, and soaked them for a couple of days, and then planted them.  So far, they haven't come up but I am holding out hope that they will.  Horseradish is fairly invincible, right?

 Last spring, I planted some Martha Washington asparagus crowns, which I managed to not kill over last season's crummy dry spell and which look quite happy and frond-like this year.  I was very surprised to see them, as they had vanished amongst the weeds late last July and I was sure they were gone for good.  But here they are, looking like fragile ferns.
In a couple more years, I should be able to harvest many spears of this delicious perennial delight.

In addition to the sunchokes and asparagus, I have sectioned off an area for a perpetual garlic bed that will be planted in the fall.  Right now, it is busily solarizing under a double thick sheet of black plastic held down with landscaping pins and dirt on the edges.

If the rain holds off another day or two, and the soil dries out enough to allow seed planting, I have plans to sow Good King Henry, an herb that tastes and cooks just like spinach, but is perennial and will establish itself nicely.  My other plans are to dig out the Egyptian walking onions and lovage from their too-crowded location in the herb bed, and relocate them to the more appropriate space in the perennial garden bed.  After that, I need to do a little more reading and see what other plants I might be able to add, that will work with the space and with this climate.  One resource I plan to check out is this one, from Chelsea Publishing:
Looks appropriate, doesn't it?

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