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Perennial vegetables
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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14821
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 16 9:09 pm    Post subject: Perennial vegetables  Reply with quote    

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
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41720
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 16 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jerusalem artichokes? Not technically perennial but practically so.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33018
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 16 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8900

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 16 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7121
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 16 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

+ 1 for asparagus.

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 16 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4721
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 16 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Another vote for asparagus

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4287
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 16 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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 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



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 16 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

NorthernMonkeyGirl wrote:
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



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14821
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 16 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33018
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 16 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 16 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4287
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 16 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14821
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 16 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33018
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 16 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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.

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