Friday, May 8, 2009

Finding Space for Perennial Vegetables in Your Garden

There are many wonderful perennial vegetables that gardeners can grow, but perennial vegetables also require quite a bit of forethought and planning before putting them in the ground. Since most perennial vegetables will occupy a space for ten or fifteen years (and perhaps even longer), there are several factors to consider, and preparations that should be done, before planting them in their new home:

Location - Since perennial vegetables will be occupying the same garden space for years to come, you should seriously consider how they fit into your garden plan.

Many gardeners prefer to locate perennial vegetables such as asparagus towards the back of their garden, where they will be somewhat out of the way after their harvest is over, and their plots less likely to be trod during the growing season. However, I personally enjoy putting the prettier perennial vegetables, like rhubarb, front and center. If the perennial vegetable is a variety you need to harvest over a long period of time, you may want to put it in a location that is easy to access as well.

Future Propagation and Transplants - Perennials such as rhubarb can be divided and the divisions can then be transplanted, so that one plant over the years will yield many other. When selecting a location you should also decide if you want to keep these transplants (or gift them to others) and if so, where you will put them. Although one rhubarb plant does not take up much space, half a dozen will need a considerable garden block designated for your future rhubarb garden.

Soil Preparation - Since you will not be rotating a perennial vegetable crop, it is very important that the soil in the area you are planting is well prepared. The soil should be rich, well drained, and not lacking in any needed nutrients. Be sure to dig in plenty of compost and any other needed soil amendments in before you set your perennial vegetable transplants into the ground.

By taking the time to carefully plan your perennial vegetable garden, you should literally reap the benefits for years to come.