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Perpetual vegetables

Yesterday I picked what may be my last harvest of runner beans this season.  I have read posters accounts of when they made their first harvest, and thought it would be interesting to know when they make their last. 

Farmers grow vast fields of peas that are all harvested mechanically at the same time, and then de-podded and frozen immediately. Gardeners grow taller peas up a structure; they harvest over a long period as they ripen, and as they need them. 

And then I thought:  Why stop at runner beans and peas?  Spinach beet,  lettuce , tomatoes and cucmbers are other vegetables that come to mind quickly. 

What others do you recommend?  When did you get your first and last crops?


 location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
"Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,130
    I grew chard about 5-6 years ago. Some went to seed and one plant comes back every year since in the corner of my veg patch.
    I saw it yesterday in all its glory - looking very fine with bright red stems and big glossy leaves.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,004
    There are perennial vegetables - kale, brocolli and leeks all have perennial versions that are quite easy to find.
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,070
    I'll probably pick what's left of the tomatoes (in pots outside) soon and put them on the windowsill to ripen up. There are a few courgettes and cucumbers on the plants (also outside) but unless we get a late warm spell I don't think they'll get to picking size. I'll leave them a few more weeks and see what happens. I'm still picking beet leaves for baby-leaf salad (I don't like the beetroots, I just grow them for the leaves).
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • izzy8izzy8 Posts: 147
    I tried Siberian kale  early in the season and it's still sprouting
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,110
    I grow curly kale. One of last year's plants is still going strong. Spinach beet lasts nearly a year. I once had some great French beans. I picked them all summer into the autumn, just one sowing. Can't find them for sale anymore. I plant Charlotte potatoes and dig them as I need them. They last until late autumn in the ground.

    My first crop was lettuces, then radishes and red onions. Should have had broad beans but I was away. I still have spinach beet, curly kale, cucumbers, courgettes, potatoes, butternut squash. The sweet red peppers were planted late because I was away and are only just changing colour. I don't know if anything will come of my last carrot sowing, they are still tiny. Didn't plant tomatoes as last year they got blight and I don't have a greenhouse since I moved house. My veg garden is in Dordogne, France.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,012
    Thank you everybody so far.
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,110
    Forgot the leeks  :)
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Much of my veg is still in the ground, i'm hoping it keeps ok and I don't know what will or won't really. 
    I think celery is ok until the first frost.
    Swede and beetroot are huge and i'm hoping will keep in the ground and that the size hasn't ruined them.
    Winter carrots sown in August are looking good, I think they'll be ok.
    Have had Brussels ready for a month now.
    Kale I know is Winter hardy.
    Spring sown Beet Spinach has gone to seed, but still has loads of leaves to pick and the taste hasn't gone bitter. My tip there is to freeze it in a bag then pull it out, scrunch it up and all the leaves shatter like glass, so it takes up much less room in the freezer.

    I've got some small beetroot, more beet spinach and broccoli to plant out in the PT for a late Spring harvest. I should have had them in there weeks ago, but haven't the space nor the time yet. Sadly the vast amount of caterpillars have played havoc with the broccoli.
     I'm also going to plant Winter onions, lettuce, garlic spinach (I think!) and some other over Winter stuff in there too. Garlic too when they decide to send it to me.
    Autumn has crept up all too quickly, we were scraping ice off the windscreen the other day. We've had to buy a new freezer to store all the veg, but haven't had the time to process it all yet.
    We don't know whether to blanch or not so it'll all be a bit of a test really.

    Another plan is to take the heat from a hot compost pile and make a heated bed in the PT, again, if I get the time!
    Not only will we be able to grow winter veg, but hopefully it'll increase the tomato growing season because they've just stopped and I believe it's down to the cold nights. 
    I can see lots of green tom chutney being made soon.
  • I've just bought some Babington leeks, which are perennial and similar to Egyptian walking onions.
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,012
    Babington leek.  I must research that.

    I have some Allium triquetrum fom wild Cornish seed.  (In April, I thought they were white bluebells.). In Surrey they grow like weeds.  As part of the weeding process, I cook them - a lot less flavour than proper leeks, but good as an extender.

    I also have a large expanse of wild garlic/ransoms spreading nicely.  They are also good, cooked or raw, leaf or bulb.

     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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