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wellington womble

Perennial vegetables

I have an odd space between my two greenhouses which I'd like to plant with something perennial. It's a bit awkward, so I don't really want to be doing much in it. It gets full sun (although I suppose it's shaded by greenhouse to the south) and obviously fairly sheltered. At the moment it's full of brambles. It's about 6x8 feet.

I suppose strawberries would go nicely. Or rhubarb. But I was mainly thinking of asparagus. I'm assuming it's airy enough not to shade the greenhouse to north very much (not a lot of point having a glasshouse if you pack round it with foliage) and dies down in the winter so I can get to the glass for cleaning and maintenance, and shouldn't make it go all green. I don't want anything shrubby for the same reason.

Anything else I should consider? Or problems I haven't thought of? I'd need to mulch heavily for weeds, but I have plenty of stuff to do that with.
sean

Jerusalem artichokes? Not technically perennial but practically so.
dpack

cardoons ? i seem to see them all year and flowering in the same places every year so i assume the spineless cultivars are perennial same as the wilder types.

they prefer a well drained soil .

you definitely want a spineless sort, the sharp ones are well nasty.

quite tasty though ( as are some thistles if you can be bothered whittling the spikes off.)
Mistress Rose

I think asparagus is a good idea as it is fairly light and does die down. Jerusalem artichokes are fairly leafy and might cast shade, as would cardoons, or ordinary artichokes. Strawberries have the advantage of being low, so not shading anything, and if you grew alpines, they wouldn't need so much attention I don't think.

You could also think about a long period growing cabbage; perhaps something like purple sprouting broccoli or kale. They are still there in the winter, but are discreet plants so you would get a few in there but still be able to get in to clean the glass. Raspberries are another possibility if you grow a line up the centre, but a bit uncomfortable to back onto when cleaning the glass.
Shan

+ 1 for asparagus.
OtleyLad

Japanese wine berries?
They're delicious little fruit produced in quantity but the bushy growth is not as vigorous as Blackberry nor as dense. Oh and they're not nearly as prickly.
Fruit grows on the previous year's canes - cut them back to the ground after picking (September) leaving the new growth to fruit next year.[/img]
So ther than the picking and pruning they can be left alone. I've got black weed suppressing membrane around them so no weeding to do either.
Slim

Another vote for asparagus
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Otleylad, where did you get your wineberries? Mine are hilariously spikey (though not as sneaky as goji spines). Very pretty though.

I haven't managed to kill currant bushes yet Smile cardoons and artichokes would shade the greenhouse and it seems a shame to waste a nice sheltered corridor of land. Is it light enough for any herbs?
OtleyLad

Otleylad, where did you get your wineberries? Mine are hilariously spikey (though not as sneaky as goji spines). Very pretty though.


I think from the local garden centre (but not 100% sure about that-it was 2 years ago since I bought it). They are not thornless but the spikes are more like thistles than brambles.
wellington womble

I hadn't thought of artichokes. Will definitely have to find a spot for those (more likely globe artichokes though. I can probably live without Jerusalem ones. Unless the apocalypse hits) they would make a nice edible screen for my solar panels, I think.

I will have separate space for cane fruit (although I haven't yet decided where) and will certainly consider wineberries. It has herbs in at the moment (under the brambles) but it's miles from the kitchen and I like them in the actual garden, as they are so pretty.

I had a tonne of horticultural grit delivered last year. Drainage is not an issue (I thought the soil was solid clay, but so far it has not turned out to be not nearly so bad as I was led to believe, although there certainly are some very boggy bits. I thought I might put rhubarb in them)
dpack

too wet and not "open" can rot rhubarb crowms, unless it is a "pond" lots of manure and grit should make a damp bit habitable
Treacodactyl

Asparagus does need a weed free bed to establish itself and to be kept weed free otherwise it'll get eaten by slugs. If it establishes itself the foliage can be very thick so it will cast shade as well.

I'd suggest herbs as well, sorrel is useful as an early leafy veg for example.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

If you're in to compost brewing, what about comfrey?
wellington womble

Got lots of that around the other sides of the greenhouses. It makes a brilliant mowing edge, I must dig some up and plant some around other problem edges. Should I do that now or when they're in leaf?!
dpack

now is better but roots with or without tops will usually take any time of year

when planting you can go for big clumps or little bits . the first gives a quick result but the latter gives more crop long term. i usually go for about 100gm bits 250mm centres.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

What abooooooooooooout..... wildflower mix for pollinators? Will be beneficial overall but no hassle to you.
wellington womble

Will put that sort of thing round the beehives and in the Real Garden (the one that is for drinking-gin-and-looking-serene in). This is the fenced-off-from-animals bit to put vegetables in.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Speaking of gin, it seems to be a booming industry in the north - I thought of you as we sauntered round the alcoholic haze of Harrogate xmas market Laughing

In all honesty, my normal approach is to pick something weird from realseeds.co.uk Mr. Green exploding cucumbers? Sure why not!
dpack

thinking of gin, juniper is perennial,low maintenance and could be clipped to avoid shading (clippings ace on a bbq or in a smoker mix) ,the berries are good for gin type things and a few in strong meat stews is very nice.
wellington womble

Speaking of gin, it seems to be a booming industry in the north - I thought of you as we sauntered round the alcoholic haze of Harrogate xmas market Laughing

In all honesty, my normal approach is to pick something weird from realseeds.co.uk Mr. Green exploding cucumbers? Sure why not!


I'm not a complete alcoholic, you know! (actually, I think I did bring a selection of several gins and two tonics last time I saw you, so perhaps I can forgive the assumption)

Gin is an In Thing right now. That means that even if I hadn't corrupted all my friends to the Good Gins, lots of people are buying it. This is great - there are gin festivals and gin menus in restaurants.

Unlike other people, I don't feel that that gin goes with everything. Gin chocolate sounds vile to me. Pity it's been such a rubbish year for sloes.
Mistress Rose

I think I still have enough sloes in the freezer for sloe gin. That is the only way I like gin; definitely not to my taste. wellington womble

If it's Gordon's and Schweppes (which is many people's experience) then mine neither. But it's still worth trying Good Gin and even better Good Tonic, as its totally different experience. (I have many friends who will confirm this, and am known as a bad influence!) OtleyLad

Speaking of gin, it seems to be a booming industry in the north - I thought of you as we sauntered round the alcoholic haze of Harrogate xmas market Laughing

We were going to go to the Harrogate market but got so cold walking the dog on Ilkley Moor (through a bit of a blizzard too) that decided to stay at home in front of the fire. Was it good? Should I be more adventurous next year?
NorthernMonkeyGirl

It was! Your choice of alcohol-based stalls, I didn't go into the craft / gift marquees as I had the dog with me, lots of food stalls. Mulled wine a bit too pricey though.
The main thing was it seemed to be genuine - unlike the "German" christmas market in Leeds that mainly has recruited students flogging ebay's finest trinkets.
Shan

If it's Gordon's and Schweppes (which is many people's experience) then mine neither. But it's still worth trying Good Gin and even better Good Tonic, as its totally different experience. (I have many friends who will confirm this, and am known as a bad influence!)

It has to be Fever Tree tonic & I am happy to couple it with various good gins. I enjoy Hendrick's with a slice of cucumber. I am partial to Sipsmith and I find that Tanqueray & Bombay are good every day gins.
wellington womble

Fever tree here too. Copper House and Williams Chase are my house gins, with Bloom, Monkey 47 and The Botanist guesting at present. An absolute word away from Gordon's and Schweppes. Shan

I have been wanting to try The Botanist.... mainly because I like the bottle. Laughing wellington womble

'Tis very nice. I had it in a restaurant with basil and black pepper (I know it sounds awful, but it was lovely) and bought a bottle to be my summer tipple. Shan

I will have to suggest it to Mr Shan as my Christmas present. wellington womble

Tell him it comes highly recommended. Shan

Will do! Wink
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