Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Moderate-Climate Perennials

Now that I no longer live in Tucson, I am able to really enjoy an opportunity to grow vegetable varieties that I have never grown before. Perrenials that my father grows such as Yacon, Oca, Rasberries and Strawberries are now within my reach. Alas, the problem of unlimited wants and limited resources is not just consigned to the discipline of economics. My little 10x20’ garden bed has a large Cyprus tree on the South side and is still lacking in sufficient amounts bacteria that establish the foundation of a healthy garden. However, the temperatures are perfect for perennial veggies.

Garlic and Onions border my garden as a slight deterrent for slugs
I will probably limit my perennial vegetable beds to mainly veggies such as perennial leeks, potato onions and garlic along with lemongrass and perennial kale or tree chard. The first three require yearly digging while the last two, not so much. I have yet to try potato onions and I am just starting on seedlings of perennial leeks - but my garlic, lemongrass and kale are doing very well.

Morning Dew on Perennial Kale or Tree Chardy

One of the real benefits of perennials is either not having to replant every year or having the plants adjust to your climate. Not having to purchase new seed or plants each year can also save a lot of money. Even when leafing and fruiting perennials do not require replanting each year, they can suffer from disease or nutrient deficiencies if left in the same place for too long, without adequate care. Meanwhile, rooting perennials must be kept clean and disease free - but by keeping the healthiest roots year after year the gardener is selecting the strongest most well-adapted varieties.

Lemon Grass in my garden

In gardening, I have quickly learned that it helps to get to know people. I purchased my garlic and lemongrass from a friend who runs a nursery in American Canyon called Midcities Nursery. A friend from the Solano County Master Gardeners provided me with the tree chard and I happened to find a place online that sells perennial leeks (I will definitely write more about this later).

Sprouting Perennial Leeks

The Kale/Chard is really good in soups, though I don’t think my body has adjusted to eating it raw yet. There is apparently a lot of information out there about how to care for Tree Kale, though it does seem to do really well in my garden so far.

As a gardener, I must decide what is most important to me, and focus on what I need to do in order to achieve that in my garden. Though perennial vegetables are fun, interesting, do not require purchasing new seed or plants, they are heavily outweighed by my Carosello cucumber varieties. However, it is nice to have a few plants that can grow most of the year when little else in my garden is green.

Perennial Kale or Tree Chard grow quickly

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