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Top 18 Perennial Vegetables You Can Grow Once and Harvest Forever

Nature is a kaleidoscope of diversity and richness. It’s there, even if we can’t see it.
Despite this, humans tend to stick to a few familiar fruits and vegetables.

If you don’t want to grow, you’ll have to learn how to grow more.
Foraging is one approach to appreciating diversity; planting perennials is another.

The former can be a wild card, as you never know where or when a mushroom hunting chance will present itself. The latter is more stable and predictable. Investing in perennials ensures that you will always have something to harvest.

4 reasons why you should grow perennials in your vegetable garden

4 reasons why you should grow perennials in your vegetable garden

Your options for a reliable harvest multiply as soon as you decide to go beyond the essentials in your garden.

Despite the importance of annuals in today’s modern diet, it would be a mistake to overlook all the perennials that helped us get here.

We have relied on nettle for both food and fiber in times of need.

Dandelions, chickweed, red clover, sheep sorrel, yarrow, henbit, and plantain are among the many edible wild plants that can be harvested if you know what to look for, where to look, and when to pick them.

With perennials, you won’t have to travel far to reap the nutritious benefits of possibly unfamiliar veggies.

First, let’s take a look at the health benefits of eating perennials:

1. Perennials increase the size of your garden harvest

Most annuals are harvested in the summer and fall, but how about some early spring greens to kick off the season right?

While some of your perennials are ripe for the picking, your annuals are just getting started. Others, such as those having edible roots, can be harvested at any time of year, according to your schedule rather than the schedule of the plant.

2. Low-maintenance

Perennial crops don’t require much attention after they’ve been established.
Because they have a more substantial root system than annuals, they are more drought-resistant. As it occurs, perennials are more resistant to pests, disease, and the competition they face from other plants in their environment.

3. Perennials aid in the formation of soil

The no-dig zone is home to hardy perennials. A seed is permanently planted (or voluntarily emerges) (for the most part). Perennials allow the soil to remain undisturbed because they don’t need to be tilled.

In addition, because of their deep roots, they are able to absorb and store far more trace minerals in their tissues and organs than the more widely recognized mushy garden vegetable species.

The good soil structure that results from this encourages the growth of beneficial organisms such as worms, fungi, and bacteria.

As the plants shed their leaves, they continue to add organic materials to the soil. Perennials, as well as a wide range of other plants, benefit from the addition of organic matter to the soil.

That said, your topsoil will happily assimilate the perennial plant parts you are not eating into its nutrient wealth, now having an even larger choice of options.

4. Landscape decoration

Perennials can be more than simply a sweet treat for the garden; some of them can grow to be very huge and create a gorgeous backdrop for everything else. Sometimes, they can be planted on slopes for erosion management as an edging plant.
Bees will be drawn to it even if there is no other pollen around.

Top 10 Edible Perennials

1. Rhubarb – Rheum rhabarbarum

Rhubarb – Rheum rhabarbarum

You can’t pick rhubarb in its first year since it needs time to grow roots before you can do so. As the seasons pass, you’ll have to wait and watch how big this plant gets.

Rhubarb plants have a 20-year lifespan before they need to be replaced. You can eat as much of the tart stalks as you like while keeping an eye out for the leaves, which are poisonous but can be useful in the garden.

It’s a great match for strawberries, which are also perennial fruiting plants!
If you want to make delicious jams, jellies and sauces for years to come, make sure you plant enough of both.

2. Sorrel – Rumex acetosa

Sorrel – Rumex acetosa

Sorrel is one among the first spring greens to emerge from the earth. Sorrel has an unusual flavor that takes some getting used to, whether you call it zingy, acidic, or lemony. And yet, as we emerge from the cold season, it gives us with a wealth of necessary nutrients.

Till June, sorrel has a good yield; after that, it begins to bloom. For the best sorrel sauce, pluck the leaves when they are young and tender.

Because supermarkets don’t carry sorrel, you’ll need to dig up some seeds and start your own garden.

3. Chives – Allium schoenoprasum

Chives – Allium schoenoprasum

Sorrel is one among the first spring greens to emerge from the earth. Sorrel has an unusual flavor that takes some getting used to, whether you call it zingy, acidic, or lemony. And yet, as we emerge from the cold season, it gives us with a wealth of necessary nutrients.

Till June, sorrel has a good yield; after that, it begins to bloom. For the best sorrel sauce, pluck the leaves when they are young and tender.

Because supermarkets don’t carry sorrel, you’ll need to dig up some seeds and start your own garden.

4. Asparagus – Asparagus officinalis

Asparagus – Asparagus officinalis

Asparagus will gladly take over any unused space in your garden if you let it. For the time and attention it receives, it will reward you with asparagus spears for several decades.

The problem is that it can be picky about where it settles down. They prefer full light and well-draining soil. They’re there to stay once they’ve been planted.

For those who consume asparagus frequently, understanding how to grow it becomes second nature.

Planting bare-root crowns of asparagus directly into the ground is considerably easier than starting from seed.

5. Jerusalem Artichoke – Helianthus tuberosus

Jerusalem Artichoke – Helianthus tuberosus

If you are looking for a perennial plant that can handle dry conditions, this is it.
Just a word of warning if you’ve never grown or eaten Jerusalem artichokes before: don’t overdo it! They are not a replacement for potatoes.

6. Globe Artichoke – Cynara scolymus

Globe Artichoke – Cynara scolymus

Artichokes are the tallest vegetables, reaching a height of nearly 5 feet. It has a long growing season, but the taste is well worth the wait.

As an annual or a perennial crop, artichokes are a versatile vegetable. When it comes to the latter, they need to be covered up during the winter months.

To get the best results, do your research on the best types to plant in your area and then wait at least two years before harvesting your first crop.

You may have noticed that perennials all have one thing in common: you’ll have to wait for a while before you get your hands on the tastiest eats.

7. Horseradish – Armoracia rusticana

Horseradish – Armoracia rusticana

In winter, a little grated horseradish goes a long way toward warming up your dishes. A fresh root can be harvested as long as you can dig into the soil.

It’s a member of the same family as broccoli, cabbages, and Brussels sprouts, but it’s tougher than all three put together.

You may jazz up your potato salad by sprinkling in some flavorful root vegetables or by serving up a spicy bloody Mary, depending on the time of day and your guests.

8. Watercress – Nasturtium officinale

Watercress – Nasturtium officinale

If you’re a fan of arugula/somewhat rocket’s peppery leaves, then watercress from your own backyard is for you.

What’s the secret to growing watercress?

Snails, white flies, and spider mites are attracted to it, therefore it’s not the easiest plant to maintain.

However, the best things in life take time and effort to achieve. Watercress is a year-round source of vitamins A and C if you have the correct setup. You can get more vitamin C and iron from watercress than you can from an ordinary leafy salad!

9. Garlic – Allium sativum

Garlic – Allium sativum

So long as you don’t disturb the soil, you can leave the bulbs in the ground and watch them grow. You’ll get a lot of garlic scapes, but not a whole head of garlic at the conclusion of the process.

You can now separate the individual bulbs and plant them like individual cloves in order to keep harvesting as long as you like.

10. Kale – Brassica oleracea var. sabellica

Kale – Brassica oleracea var. sabellica

Kale is a hardy annual that can be harvested in a short period of time.
Harvesting leaves till the first frosts and snowflakes fall is the genuine beauty of this season.

It’s true that kale is a biennial, yet it’s grown like an annual. However, if you’re willing to expand your reality, it can be a constant.

Leaving it in the garden throughout winter under mulch will let it to re-grow in the spring, producing new shoots and leafs. It’s important to remember that this method is no-dig, so plan your garden accordingly.

More vegetables you can grow over and over again in your garden

In addition to the basic perennials, there are a few others you should meet and eat. Some of them you might find at a farmers’ market, but you’ll have to grow the rest yourself.

11. Bunching Onions (Egyptian onions) – Allium proliferum

Bunching Onions (Egyptian onions) – Allium proliferum

At the top of each plant, walking onions grow bulbs that can be planted or eaten. They taste more like shallots than onions, and they’re really beautiful vegetables.

You might be curious about how they “walk.”

Well, when the mature bulbs on top get too heavy, they fall over gracefully and plant themselves wherever they land. It’s all about how things change over time.

They can move up to 24 inches each year, which keeps things interesting and natural in the garden.

12. Good King Henry – Chenopodium bonus-henricus

Good King Henry – Chenopodium bonus-henricus

This is the cheaper version of asparagus that nobody talks about, but maybe they should.
It grows well in a garden or food forest because it can grow in either full sun or partial shade.

All parts of goosefoot, like spinach and sorrel, are high in oxalic acids, just like other plants in the Chenopodiaceae family. This means that you should only eat it in small amounts.

13. Lovage – Levisticum officinale

Lovage – Levisticum officinale

Lovage is a herb that has been grown since the Middle Ages and is very popular. But why does it seem like so few people know it now?

It does taste stronger than celery, but that’s something to be proud of!

Since they grow to be 6-7 feet tall, you only need a few plants in your garden to feed the whole family. If you haven’t tried it in soups and stews yet, buy some seeds and get ready for spring planting.

If you can’t eat it all fresh, you can hang the leaves in big bunches to dry. Then you can use them all winter long.

14. Ramps – Allium ursinum

Ramps – Allium ursinum

These leafy greens are among the first to grow from the forest floor. They are also called ramsons, bear garlic, or wild leeks.

All of them, including the leaves, stems, and flowers, can be eaten. This makes them a very useful perennial.

It has been hard to get them to grow from seeds. Even so, they will do well in the right setting, especially if the bulbs are moved and covered with mulch. You can eat them fresh or make a wild garlic pesto with them.

15. Daylilies – Hemerocallis

Daylilies – Hemerocallis

Nasturtiums are the first flowers that come to mind when we think of flowers that can be eaten. Still, there are so many flowers that you can eat that we haven’t tried yet. Some of them could be:

  • calendula
  • marigolds
  • pansies
  • hibiscus
  • honeysuckle
  • purslane
  • squash blossoms
  • rose petals

It turns out that decorative daylilies can also be eaten. Who knew that Dining on Daylilies could taste so good?

16. Ostrich Fern – Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich Fern – Matteuccia struthiopteris

The humble fiddlehead fern is a seasonal vegetable that you might not expect to see on this list, but rather on a fancy menu.

Before you get too excited about finding fiddleheads on your own, you should learn more about them because they can be a bit tricky.

17. Radicchio (typically grown as an annual) – Cichorium intybus

Radicchio (typically grown as an annual) – Cichorium intybus

Red chicory, also called radicchio, is a unique vegetable that looks like a small red cabbage. It is often eaten in Italy. But the farther away from Europe you are, the less people know about it.

Let’s give it the credit it deserves and say that it is not only resistant to frost but also a great food to add to your diet. It is very healthy because it is bitter.

Radicchio can be planted in the spring or in the late summer or early fall, and it can be picked twice a year.

18. Three-Cornered Leek – Allium triquetrum

Three-Cornered Leek – Allium triquetrum

Even though it comes from the Mediterranean, three-cornered leeks are a dream for anyone who likes to go foraging.

Like with ramsons, you can move some bulbs to your garden and then know where to “hunt” for them when they start to bloom in April and May. You can also pick leaves in late fall, when other crops are starting to run out.

At any level, gardening can be hard. Always start with the basics and build from there.

Start with annuals, like tomatoes. Grow as many buckets as you can eat. Find out how to can and store your food. Then, enjoy the variety of perennials and learn to like new tastes, textures, and ways to eat. Both your garden and your mind will grow if you plant perennials.

Perennial Fruits and Nuts to Try

You know in your heart that there is so much more to life than eating greens and vegetables. One can only eat so many lettuce leaves and broccoli florets.

As comforting as it is to go to the market and buy an unending supply of fruits, what if they grew just outside your door?

If you let them, they can. Here are some perennials you might want to grow in your yard:

Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries & Other Berry Bushes/Canes


Kids and adults will both like a good berry patch. Who can say no to a bucket of gooseberries or the ripest raspberries on the block?

One of life’s great pleasures is picking a raspberry right off the vine and popping it in your mouth. If you prune your raspberry plants correctly, they will come back year after year and produce more raspberries than ever.

Blueberries are also hard to pass up. They taste great in muffins, sauce, and jam. If you have enough space to plant a blueberry bush or ten, do it right away.



Did you know that one grape vine can produce a huge amount of fruit for more than 50 years? The harvest will be different from one season to the next, but there will always be a lot to gather.

Planting grapes is a long-term investment, so before you start digging and putting up a trellis, try out different kinds of grapes. All of that work in the beginning will pay off in the long run.

Fruits and Nuts in All Shapes and Sizes

Fruits and Nuts in All Shapes and Sizes

Cherries, apples, pears, apricots, plums, mulberries, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, etc. They all come back every year and taste good.

If you have room on your farm or in your yard for one tree or a whole orchard, the best time to plant is in the fall. Spring will also work, but you might need to water more often in the first few months.

Don’t forget about perennials that come back every year, like mushrooms and truffles. No, not the chocolate kind. I’m talking about the ones that are much more expensive and real.

Challenges of Growing Perennials in a Garden

Now that we’ve shown you how beautiful perennial vegetables can be, keep in mind that not every garden needs them.

Size is often the first limit, especially for bushes and trees that are bigger.

Sometimes, if the conditions are right, perennials can get out of hand and become “weeds.” This one makes me think of both daylilies and horseradish.

If time is important to you, there’s a good chance you’ll have to wait.

Some perennials, like asparagus, take a long time to grow. It may take a few years before you can harvest a lot of them.

When you have your own home and are settled in, perennials are always worth the wait. But if you rent or only live in one place for a short time, annuals and biennials are better because you can harvest them more often.

Perennials need a permanent spot in your yard or garden since they will stay in the same spot for several years.

If you can, build your garden around them. Just remember that perennials can get diseases that make them need to be taken out.

In that case, they need to be replaced with a different plant that is not related to them in order to stop the spread of disease or pests.

Even if you ignore the pros and cons, perennials are a great addition to any garden because they give you a reliable crop year after year.

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