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Best Veggies for a Continuous Harvest

 
master gardener
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What are your best veggies that give a continuous harvest?

Green beans and cucumbers are my two biggest ones I think. They seem to just keep producing and producing. The more I pick, the more I get!
 
gardener
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Zucchini and squash. They produce and produce spring through fall.  In the fall and winter it's peas. If we aren't limiting to veggies I also have chives, parsley, and rosemary year round. Lemons produce year round.
 
pollinator
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My dreams of wild abundance when we first bought our property didn't include radish seed pods, but that's turned out to be my best producer. I've got radishes planting themselves all over so they come up at different times. They start going to seed in June and there's always some producing right up until killing frost.
 
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I would just like to throw a wrench in the works - yes, this is a decent interpretation of the question, but I think it's also good to consider that our ancestors ate "sequentially" based on how the weather and seasons changed the food that was available - stinging nettle was always a spring food, as there is a toxin that builds up in the leaves over time, for example. I just want to point out that having things which enter and then leave our diet can be a good thing!

So I would interpret the title more as, "how to plan it so that as a spring veggie (kohlrabi for example) finishes, we have ideas of what we should plant in its place (purple-topped turnip for me!)

(However, I do agree with Jan White, that radish seed pods are handy to have around - I ate some with dinner in with pod peas and a finely chopped garlic scape.)
 
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I pick chard/silverbeet continuously all year round. The one plant manages to live for years if I keep pinching out the going-to-seed spikes and harvesting the outermost leaves. My sorrel is five years old and never dormant. I have a sprouting broccoli that appears to have perennialised itself (now three years old, and keeps generating more sprouts each spring (and leaves all year round if you don't mind  your kale-substitute a bit leathery)). Full disclosure: I'm in South-Eastern Australia, and Winter is a pretty mild affair.
 
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Orka,squash, corn,cucumber, melons & beans in spring & summer.
Greens,cabbage, carrots, parsnips,turnips, onions & garlic in late fall & winter.
Sunchokes,Asparagus, figs,nut, apples, grapes to filling the holes.
 
pollinator
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Courgettes and later on tomatoes, everything leafy runs to seed.
 
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Brassica napus or Hannover salad if you are into kale..
 
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Location: Maine, USA zone 5a
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Not exactly year round, as I live in the snowy-during-winter part of the world, but my kale has turned into a weird jungle.  It survives the ever milder winters and re-seeds itself.  From early spring to a ways into  winter it is still edible.  And I've given away pounds of seed at this point!
 
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Where I live in 7B, arugula can be grown year round.  It will withstand frost and cold weather in the winter and actually grows better in cooler weather because it doesn't bolt as quickly.  In the summer it is prone to bolt, but if you start new seeds every few weeks there will be a new flush of baby arugula in the garden all summer.  

Also, it's really easy to save arugula seeds. Just wait until the seed pods are dried out, pull the plant, and whack the plants on a piece of cardboard on your patio.  Then you can make a crease in the cardboard and let the little seeds roll into a plastic bag at the cardboard's edge.  
 
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Location: West-Central Missouri
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Jan White wrote:My dreams of wild abundance when we first bought our property didn't include radish seed pods, but that's turned out to be my best producer. I've got radishes planting themselves all over so they come up at different times. They start going to seed in June and there's always some producing right up until killing frost.



I got to my PIAFI (Plant It And Forget It) garden late this year, and used old seed.  Still, I got me an excellent crop of lamb's quarter, flower-of-an-hour and purslane.  It thrives.  It comes up on its own and is almost self-caring.  Don't overlook those wilds and volunteers!
 
Posts: 27
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
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Sweet potatoes.

The plants don't grow fresh veggies all year but the harvest stores for a long time and you can eat the leaves as well as the tubers so almost year round.

They're almost bulletproof and a traditional survival food here in the south, a legacy from the past when almost everyone here was dirt poor and lived on fishing, hunting, their garden, and maybe a bag of grits.

I'll let the guy I get my slips from explain further:

https://martianpotatoes.com/what-are-martian-potatoes/

Thanks to everyone mentioning radish seed pods, I had no idea.

I've got a lot of big Daikon type radishes coming on now as a cover crop and they'll set seed pods well before frost.

Farmers here are starting to use the big radishes to drill/loosen the soil and bring up nutrients.

I'm experimenting with cover crops to cut back on the labor of compost hauling and digging/cultivating.

I was thinking  the radish seeds might be an issue...or...should I just let them reseed themselves...or, now, a much better option...food!

Almost forgot, I'm using cowpeas, Red Rippers specifically, as part of the cover crop seed mix.

Cowpeas are another old timey survival food here, as they keep all year if kept dry and cool after shelling and will grow with minimum inputs.

Shelling the peas was a much anticipated social event in the past.

One more...

I have two tropical trees in big containers that I cut back every year and keep in the greenhouse because I dearly love the taste of the cherry-like fruit  and it outputs a number of them daily with the exception of the 4 - 5 cold/frost months.

In a tropical setting they would just pour out fruit daily all year round.

It's  Muntingia calabura L., also called Jamaican Cherry, Cotton Candy Tree (for the taste), Strawberry tree (the flowers look like strawberry flowers ) , and a few others.

Here's links with more details:

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/jamaica_cherry.html

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Muntingia+calabura



 
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I have to agree with arugula. I'm in NJ, 7a, and is easy to grow year round. I use it like a cover crop in my annual beds over winter and just cut down most of it to soil level when I'm ready to plant something else. I leave a couple of plants to set seed for the next round. Excellent stuff.
 
Paul Landkamer
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Location: West-Central Missouri
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AND if you like a heavy faintly sweet green tea or coffee (sorry, no caffeine), Okra can be enjoyed year round!  Use the leaf stems, old pods, main stems if they can be cut easily.  Chop (I like an anvil-style hand pruner) into about 1/2 inch lengths --or smaller if you've got that patience.  Dehydrate.  Roast at low oven temp 'til they smell like they might be scorching.  Grind in blender/food processor.  Brew like tea or coffee.  Good stuff, and loaded with dietary fiber!
 
Dave Bross
Posts: 27
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
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Three more...

Brazilian Lettuce, called Sissoo in Brazil, and Okinawa Spinach.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissoo_spinach

https://www.permaculturenews.org/2020/06/29/%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8Bokinawa-spinach/

The Sissoo likes shade, the Okinawa spinach likes sun.

Both have to go in the greenhouse in the winter, or use cuttings inside  to get past the frost season.

One of their more endearing features (other than being delicious greens) is that cuttings are almost bulletproof to get growing.

I've stuck cuttings right in the ground with no special care and they took easily.

When I strip the leaves off a cutting for salad I stick what's left in a pot full of potting soil and soon have another plant.

Egyptian Walking Onions

Shallot like bulbs to harvest and use or store and leaves taken year round  (I have a lot of the plants, you can only take one or two per plant ) used cut up in cooking things like Pho.

They taste like shallots (which I love, but won't grow here, day length too short) with a bit more spicy bite.

More detail:
https://www.egyptianwalkingonion.com


 
Posts: 6
Location: Central Texas zone 8b, blackland prairie thick clay soil
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Joe, this sounds very much like what we can do at our location.  What's your gardening zone and what's your annual rainfall?  
 
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So how do you cook the sun chokes ?  The gas just about killed my stomach.
 
pollinator
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Jay Angler wrote:

So I would interpret the title more as, "how to plan it so that as a spring veggie (kohlrabi for example) finishes, we have ideas of what we should plant in its place (purple-topped turnip for me!)



Me too, planting sequentially to make the most out of my limited garden space.  There are two combos that I am testing: garlics with pepper/tomato and potato with squash.

I planted garlics in late summer, by winter they already have five leaves and help trapping fall leaves to mulch the garden beds. By early June they are ready for harvesting, making room for interplanted tomatoes and peppers.

I planted some sprouted spuds (russet and red) last winter in my new bed made of half finished compost. New growths came up in early April and survived last snow storm under deep mulch. Leaves grew like crazy the whole May and I started harvesting new potatoes later in the month. Just 7 weeks past last frost day (april 26), I was pulling dying plants that got in the way of squash vines. Average yield is 2.5 lbs per spud planted (russet).   The red one behaves differently, it produces a few buds then stops when weather gets hot. I will have to wait longer so it's not the best choice for sequential planting compared to russet.

Now my kabocha and kakai squashes are maturing fast, time to plant daikon radishes underneath.
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My chaotic productive garden
My chaotic productive garden
 
pollinator
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Dee Dee Medjugorje wrote:So how do you cook the sun chokes ?  The gas just about killed my stomach.



If you eat small amounts at first, and slowly add, your body seems to learn how to digest them.  We just roast them, but I'm still looking for other good ways to cook them.
 
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Perpetual Spinach, a type of chard (leafbeet) that is both milder and more perennial than regular Swiss Chard (silverbeet), produces more meals per year than anything I know of.

Here in the mountains of Northern California, our summers are very hot and dry (daytime temps in the 90-110 range) winters are cold and wet (frost most nights it isn't raining.) Perpetual spinach requires less water and fertility than other greens, while producing a greater volume of greens over a longer period than kale, collards, endive, or any other greens I've grown. It is tap-rooted, searching deep for water and minerals on its own.

Also, the flavor is mild and spinach-like even in summer, making it easy to use as a basis for a main dish, cooked and cooled as a salad, or as an addtition to soups, pasta sauces, and the like.  To keep it perennial, cut off incipient flower stalks. For some reason, most American seed houses only have the wide-stalked Swiss chard types. Here is a source for it, as well as other perennial veg, tree collard cuttings, etc: https://www.quailseeds.com/#/
 
Joshua LeDuc
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That sounds great!  Thanks for the source Jamie.

Do you know if this is a perennial in zone 7?
 
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There is a website  honest-food.net that has many recipes for wild game and foraged plant based  foods.  It includes a recipe for pickled Jerusalem Artichokes.  They are pickled in a vinagre based brine that helps convert the indigestable inolin to fructose.  This helps with the gas problem.
 
master pollinator
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Joshua, the seed source Jamie linked to says this chard is hardy to zone 7, and possibly even to zone 5 with the right conditions.
 
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Yes radish seed pods can be yummy. Also am I the only one who feels like radish seed pods are like nature's bubble wrap? Popping them to get the seeds is very fun!

My continuous producer is kale. It self seeds so I have baby kale popping up everywhere especially in the spring. The plants stay nice and edible even when there is snow on the ground. When they go to seed in the fall and spring, the tender seed pods are like delicious broccoli flavored tiny green beans.
 
Jenny Wright
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Alexis, I have a perpetual broccoli plant too! It's going on 5 years old now. I've trimmed it back a couple of times because it was getting so top heavy that it uprooted itself but just shoved it back into the dirt and it keeps growing. It puts out tiny broccoli buds year-round, even in snow. It has so many branches to it that if one part of It is flowering, another section will be budding. It is next to our house in a sheltered corner so I think that has helped keep it going.

I also have a perennial artichoke living near the broccoli. It is the same age as the broccoli. It doesn't grow artichokes in the winter but produces them from spring to fall. We cut a couple off every couple of weeks.

Neither the broccoli nor the artichoke seem to make viable seed which is sad because they both are such good producers for me.
 
Jenny Wright
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Here's my broccoli before I trimmed It back last year right after it had toppled over and I replanted it. The two stalks I trimmed off were so woody. You can see baby broccoli at it's base- those are sprouting from it's roots.

The artichoke is way too close to our walkway but I'm afraid I might kill It if I move it. It also seems to be multiplying from the base because it's definitely not from seed since I haven't let it flower since its second year.

(Both pictures are from Spring 2020... I should take some new pictures.)
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Cucumbers and Summer squash work for me. Tomatoes, Green beans and field peas too!
 
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Kale grown in a polytunel fed us all through last winter and into spring. We are in the north of the UK. This year's kale is outside so we will have to see how well it does.
 
Jenny Wright
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I took some updated pictures of my never-ending broccoli and artichokes.
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Chop your sunchoke into small slices. Then cook them very thoroughly. I cook them with some pork or beef or chicken to add flavor to them or they will be pretty bland in taste. Cook them very well before you add your pork cause it takes a while to cook the sliced sunchokes. You can also add some leek or green onion to it to add more flavor.
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