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The greens that just keep growing

PUBLISHED: 16:39 06 May 2014

cardoon

cardoon

Archant

Belinda Gray sings the praises of undemanding perennial vegetables

Life has been busy recently and already I am trying to avoid the glare of seed packets begging to be sown.

Light relief from those impending garden tasks is the welcome sight of some of the sprouting perennial vegetables quietly getting on with growing and not putting any demands upon me.

Just to be clear, perennial vegetables are those that once planted are in the ground permanently. Generally growing in spring and bearing their harvest from late spring to autumn depending on type – then silently withering away under the snug of the soil to appear again the following year after year.

Most vegetables and herbs that we aspire to grow are annuals – snuffed out in a year, so back to the seed packets the following year.

Perennials are therefore winners in the gardens of the busy and certainly as I juggle a few too many balls this spring they are worth their absolute weight in gold. Here are some that I grow in the kitchen garden, often with several seasonal varieties of each to span a longer harvest period:

Asparagus, cardoon, Caucasian spinach, chicory, perennial leek, globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, horseradish, rhubarb, scorzonera, sea kale, sorrel, Turkish rocket, wild rocket, watercress.

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