My yard is coming along nicely, but I have a whole lot of fruit and not very many perennial vegetables. I do have asparagus, walking onion, sea kale, sorrel, horseradish, groundnut, sunchoke, hostas. I'd love some to add any really great perennial vegetables. What do you have experience with that you would recommend? Thanks for your help!
I'd recommend salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) and upland cress (Barbarea verna). I had some of these planted last year, but being biennials, it wasn't until this year that they showed me how much they like my garden and want to take it over. When I planted them last year, I was wondering if this was going to be the usual run-around to save seed and then have to baby the seedlings for a while to get a crop established for the next season -- no. These are setting LOTS of seed right now, enough to threaten to take over the garden if I let them. After a few years of disappointments that things won't come back the next year, these two are a pleasant surprise. Why they are almost weed-like in their growth habits.
And these are not two "weeds" that are only for eating when all other crops have failed. The salsify greens have a delicate flavor, with a hint of asparagus, and the young flower buds can be cut and prepared in the same way as asparagus. There were flower buds before my asparagus were producing, and it looks like they will be putting out more flower buds long after the asparagus are done for the year. The upland cress has a nice bite to it. The cress is good in small doses raw, and you can cook it up in the same manner as turnip greens. I think I prefer the taste of the cooked cress to that of turnip greens.
If you want to try these two out, send me a PM with your address. In a couple more weeks, I am going to have quite a surplus of both seeds that I can share.
posted 5 years ago
Funny- every plant I talk to more traditional style gardeners about growing that self seeds makes their head spin and then they foam at the mouth as they tell me it will take over my whole yard. I always think - well, not if you EAT IT. I love self-seeding plants. Thanks for the offer and suggestion. I will PM you!
Have you had hosta sprouts? They taste very similar to asparagus too, only a different texture. And I found the Bishop's Weed in my yard and discovered it was edible, tastes kind of similar to cilantro. Apparently, that one will take over the planet (said my gardening friends). Well, it's obviously been growing in the yard forever and it didn't take it over, so I'm keeping it. (new yard, lots of pre-existing unknown plants, a good curse)