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ATP Podcast #8: Perennial Vegetables

By dave
March 6, 2013

This week Dave and Trish give their usual reports: Dave's favorite idea, Trish's report from around the forums and some stories about our gardening adventures this week. Our main feature is a discussion about perennial vegetables you can grow.

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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Mar 5, 2013 10:03 PM CST
Hi guys, I've been enjoying your podcasts, entertaining and informative, especially in terms of whats happening in other parts of ATP, I tend to stay in my own little forums Smiling
One veggie you didn't mention that I was waiting for is Brussel sprouts!! In Seattle anyway it is a perennial and even though I don't have any, I've seen many many people that do, one plant that I saw through the years reached about 5 feet tall and had a main stalk that was 4 to 5 inches across, very impressive!
(I love Brussel sprouts, that's why I had to speak up for it!! Thumbs up )
Cheers
Greg
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 6, 2013 8:21 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thanks for adding that, Greg. I've never grown them and am surprised o learn that it is a perennial! I always put it in the same book as cabbage and broccoli.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Mar 6, 2013 10:48 AM CST
Yep so did I, because in Michigan with our intense winters, they were. Living here in Seattle the milder temps allow the plant to live from year to year.
When I first moved here and I'd see these giant plants I always wondered what the heck it was...finally figured it out! Sure wish I had a photo of one of the large plants! Good show though!
Thank you! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Mar 6, 2013 10:49 AM CST
Great Podcast - thank you so much Thumbs up

I can't grow rhubarb here either and I love it. Dave, the stalk looks like celery but is pinkish/rose. You can stew it, make pies, jams, jellies, etc. I "think" the leaves are poisonous. You have to wait two years on harvesting them as well.

In addition to the YUM of asparagus, I love the fronds. It's a beautiful plant as well as delicious.

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Mar 7, 2013 11:32 AM CST
Another fun podcast.

I agree, itunes is irritating at best. I've used it because I have an iPad. But, I've always listened to your podcasts on my iPad, using the direct MP3 download and it works well. I just take the iPad with me from room to room as I clean or do other things and it works well.

Some Wintersowing troubleshooting tips for Trish.
Re: containers drying
Use a minimum of 3" of soil depth
Always use a container with a "roof", i.e. humidity dome
When you water, water thoroughly from the bottom. Let them suck up as much water as they want.
Keep in morning sun only, or even full shade if your weather is hot.

I often see that green algae type goo growing on top of containers. Most of the time it doesn't seem to have a negative effect on seedlings. Covering the soil with fine vermiculite often either prevents it or hides it, I'm not sure which!

Expect your tomato seedlings to stay much smaller than their indoor counterparts at first. Plant them in your garden anyway, noting their nice root development. Those seedlings catch up quickly.

Karen



Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Mar 7, 2013 7:11 PM CST
Thanks y'all for another great podcast. Thumbs up and I'm another big fan of low maintenance plants of all kinds, but especially love it when they are edible too.



I've been growing one (1) artichoke plant for three years now and it has yet to make an artichoke. It comes back every year but has never made an artichoke! Shrug! Did I mention it has never made an artichoke? Just like every year, I hope this is the year it does.

Brussel's sprouts: I am a big fan. We love them pan seared with olive oil and pine nuts, yum. I've planted seeds a couple of times but nothing ever sprouted... maybe I'm doing something wrong. I'm going to check into that and it is back at the top of my "want list."
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Mar 7, 2013 9:27 PM CST
Christine, I have only watched artichokes grow in friends yards!! (same with the brussel sprouts :lol:)
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Mar 8, 2013 8:20 AM CST
Lol, Greg. I have read that artichokes may take a couple of years to grow the flower, so I've been waiting patiently. They usually like cooler weather, and we have had some hot summers but it survives. I've also read that they can be heavy feeders, so maybe I should give them a good dose of fish or kelp and see what happens.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Mar 8, 2013 11:28 PM CST
Christine that sounds like a great idea, and now while its developing! I know that my friends have their patch near some trees that until they leaf out, in late spring, its full sun, but then its filtered sun, and they seem to love that!! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Mar 9, 2013 8:44 AM CST
Thumbs up Thank you Greg. Mine is growing in a similar position. I'll go feed it today.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Mar 9, 2013 11:20 AM CST
Thumbs up By the way I just "really looked" at your avatar, wow is that nice! Dutch iris? Cool photo! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Mar 10, 2013 9:21 AM CST
Yes, Dutch iris from a pack of six bulbs, just this one is unique with the yellow tips, it's my favorite of the bunch.

I gave the artichoke a dose of kelp tea and I added a layer of compost over it. I bet it grows a flower this year! nodding
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Mar 10, 2013 8:26 PM CST
I bet it does! How exciting, there's nothing like fresh!! I tip my hat to you. Hurray!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

jtellerelsberg
Apr 22, 2013 2:40 PM CST
I liked the podcast as well -- the first ATP podcast I've listened to... in fact, I think this might be the first podcast of any kind I've ever listened to. It's a brave new world! :)

I wanted to comment on sorrel and also list a couple of other perennial vegetables that I like. I've heard people use the term "sorrel" both for the Rumex species Dave and Trish mentioned on the show and for Oxalis species. They both share a lemony, tangy flavor, which I am guessing is why the share a common name.

The Rumex acetosa version(s) of sorrel come in a variety of species and cultivars, some with a history of cultivation (French sorrel, garden sorrel) and others more of an edible weed (sheep sorrel, R. acetosella). Usually they can be weedy, but there are non-flowering types available (e.g., 'Profusion' sorrel from Richter's Herbs) that, well, don't flower, and so don't make seeds and spread around. They can be multiplied through division. We have a bunch of these at our place and like them very much. Our little kids and all their friends absolutely ADORE it and go much on the leaves on a regular basis. We like to add it to salads--not as the main ingredient (too tangy for our tastes) but more than just as a complement. I'd say a ratio of 1/3 sorrel to 2/3 lettuces is about how we like it. We've also used it in place of spinach in spinach-feta pie, and it is fantastic.

One note of caution that I will reproduce here from the Plants for a Future website: "Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition." (http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rumex+acetosa)

Another perennial veggie I like is violets. Depending on the variety, their leaves can be perfect substitutes for lettuce in a salad. They will spread and make a nice ground cover if you let them--and why not?! The photo shows where I've let some violets form a ground cover under our plum tree, alongside some purslane--another item some people call a weed and that I call delicious.



Finally, a word in support of sea kale, Crambe maritima. This is in the cabbage family and can get pretty big, spreading some 3 feet across. It has gorgeous, large, wavy, blue-green leaves that are a decent substitute for kale or collards, especially raw. It also produces modest sized, broccoli-like florets that taste exactly like true broccoli when raw. It's the same size as the side shoots that some types of true broccoli form. To my taste, they develop a slightly bitter, off flavor when cooked, something that also happens to the leaves. I'd like to experiment with different recipes to see how to get them to come out right. I got to tell you, it is a real treat here in Vermont to have fresh "broccoli" from the garden in early May, same time as asparagus. Bonus 1: in my experience, they are totally immune to cabbage moth caterpillars, which I find on all my other (annual) brassicas. Bonus 2: if you let some of the florets go to flower, they fill the garden with a honey scent. Photos show a small harvest of sea kale leaves and "broccolis" and the plant in later-season glory.


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 22, 2013 3:07 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Fantastic information, thank you for posting this! Smiling You certainly have a wealth of information.

We have the both Rumex and Oxalis on our land here and we enjoy eating them both. Violets, too, and we love eating those on our walks.

We'll actually be covering these and more in our next podcast on Wednesday, April 24th. We're going to talk all about those wild edibles you're likely to find when walking through your woods.
[Last edited by dave - Apr 22, 2013 3:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Apr 22, 2013 3:52 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I just want to add that you sure are right about the acid! We taught the children right away to just nibble on it. The first sign is a bit of heartburn. I know from experience Whistling

NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Apr 22, 2013 5:11 PM CST
Thank you, Jtell! All great info. We take advantage of our wild edibles too, just today we were out nibbling the Briar (Greenbriar Smilax Bona-nox). Grew up chewing on the oxalis (we called it sour grass) maybe that's why I was inclined to eat the dirt, I needed the minerals. Hilarious! I love how you have used violets and (delicious) purslane as a ground cover under your plum trees.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Kater
Northern Illinois (Zone 5a)
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kater
May 31, 2014 6:04 AM CST
Hurray! Thank You! This is an awesome topic. I was so proud with my first pollination attempt!
Thumb of 2014-05-31/kater/9ba6d1

Kater
[Last edited by kater - May 31, 2014 9:21 AM (+)]
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