How to Grow Perennial Vegetables

How to Grow Perennial Vegetables – $26.95

Retail Price: $36.95
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from: Chelsea Green Publishing

Perennial vegetables are a joy to grow and require a lot less time and effort than annuals. In this book Martin Crawford gives comprehensive advice on all types of perennial vegetable (edible plants that live longer than three years), from ground-cover plants and coppiced trees to plants for bog gardens and edible woodland plants.

There are many advantages to growing perennial vegetables, for example:

• they need less tillage than conventional vegetables and so help retain carbon in the soil
• the soil structure is not disturbed in their cultivation
• they extend the harvesting season, especially in early spring
• and, of course, they are much less work.

Part One looks at why and how to grow these crops, and how to look after them for maximum health.

Part Two features over 100 perennial edibles in detail, both common and unusual – from rhubarb to skirret; Jerusalem artichoke to nodding onions. This book offers inspiration and information for all gardeners, whether experienced or beginner, and also includes plenty of cooking tips with beautiful color photographs and illustrations throughout.

(Description from Chelsea Green Publishing)

My Take: I own this book and, once again, Martin Crawford does not disappoint. This book is chock-full of information. Particularly useful to me is that our climate on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State is very similar to that of the UK. We are zone 8 (8b to be precise); our summers tend to be cool, our springs wet, and our winters relatively mild with frequent fluctuations into freezing.  We do not get the heat units many vegetables, particularly annuals, require. Crawford addresses these challenges. He includes several tables that organize information, such as plants that do well in wet environments, poor soil, shade, etc. He talks about mulches, groundcovers, patterns, pests, how to propagate various plants, and lots of ideas related to permaculture. This is indeed a HOW to GROW book.

But that’s not all – he also includes ideas on how to prepare and EAT the vegetables – so, if you, like me, find yourself with a heaping basket full of oca and mashua roots, and you’re scratching your head wondering what to do with them other than put them back in the ground, this book will give you some tantalizing ideas.

Oh – and I am also growing yacon and a couple of varieties of sunchokes as a result of this book. I would like another book about fruits. If you are reading this, Martin – please take note – and also know that I am a huge fan of yours. 🙂

Purchase How to Grow Perennial Vegetables
from: Chelsea Green Publishing