Most of our favorite vegetables such as peppers or tomatoes (technically fruits!) – are annuals. They complete their life cycles in a single growing season so we have to plant them year after year. While there aren’t many true perennial vegetables, there are some that behave that way and can return each year.
- Asparagus. Once planted, a good asparagus bed can last for decades, with weeds being their only real enemy. Keep your bed weed-free by adding a layer of compost on top each year. Asparagus “crowns” can take about three years to fully mature so be patient, as they are well worth the wait for a bountiful spring harvest.
- Chives. The slender leaves can grow up to a foot long and are very popular throughout the world. They are easy to grow and can form clumps fairly rapidly.
- Garlic. Break the head of garlic apart into individual cloves and plant them in a sunny, well drained bed with the root side down. The soil should cover them so that the cloves barely stick up above the ground. When it’s time to harvest, leave some of the smaller plants to die – they will come up again the following year and will provide a new crop.
- Peppers. Although they are planted as annuals, pepper plants can be brought inside and cared for over the winter, and returned to the garden in the spring.
- Wild Leeks. Relative of the onion, Wild Leeks are also known as “Ramps”. These plants are tender early in the spring and produce edible bulbs in the fall, winter and spring.