Perennial Vegetables

Plants can be annual, biennial or perennial.  They are classified this way because of how long they live:

  • Annuals – live one growing season, produce seeds then die
  • Biennials – live for two growing seasons, produce seeds then die
  • Perennials – live more than two years

Perennials are great.  You make the effort one year of planting the seeds and they come back for more than two years all on their own.   However, with mint you have to pay plenty of attention and provide some care for them because they are invasive like weeds.

Mint – A Perennial Herb

Mint belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family.

Mint is a perennial herb that smells great and can be used for flavouring and decorating many drinks, desserts and meat dishes.  I harvest plenty of mint each year which is great for making mohitos, other drinks, decorating desserts, making pesto and dips.

Benefits of Perennials Like Mint

Some of the benefits of perennial vegetables, as outlined in detail by Dawn Gifford on Small Footprint Family are that:

  • they do not require a lot of maintenance to start from seed and grow; plus they are not demanding for soil type
  • unlike many annuals who require the warmth of summer, mint is cold hardy so they extend the season before and after summer
    • the little bud in the featured image just sprouted now in early April and usually provides good leaves to harvest right into fall

Drawbacks of Perennials Like Mint

Like most things even perennials have some drawbacks.  For a full list and more details on drawbacks have a look at this website Small Footprint Family by Dawn Gifford.  This is the main drawback I’ve experienced over the years with my mint:

  • My mint acts like a weed and tries to take over the gardens they are in and other nearby gardens.  I actually have to dig them up when they go too far each year.  They have have strong underground rhizomes (web like roots) that spread fast – very sneaky.  I’m careful to dig up and pull out the long mint roots, as they have tried to sneak by me each year.

Do you have any perennials that have worked well for you, but are invasive?

 

National Gardening Association, https://garden.org/courseweb/perennials/Class1/c1p2.html, 2002.
thestar.com, https://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2016/05/14/top-5-garden-herbs-to-grow-and-how-to-grow-them.html, May 14, 2016.
Dawn Gifford, https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/20-perennial-vegetables, 2016.
Ferdzy, https://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.com/2013/05/growing-asparagus.html, May 2013.

 

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