The plants are divided into two simple categories depending on their life cycle: annuals and perennials. Those belonging to the first category have a life cycle that lasts one year. They grow from seeds or bloom and die within one growing season, meaning that they should be replanted each spring. On the other hand, perennials have much longer life cycle and tend to pop up on their own year after year. While they do not have to be replanted every year, some gardeners tend to replace some perennials every couple of years in case they start to decline.
Most of the food items we grow belong to the group of annuals. This is the reason why we, at Best Healthy Guide, have decided to create a list of fruits and veggies that do have a longer life cycle, meaning that you can plant them once and enjoy them every year.
Note: Not all perennials below grow perennially in every possible area, so check for compatibility with the location before buying it.
The avocado tree best thrives at warm temperatures (60-80F) and moderate humidity, as it is native to humid tropics. Once well set, it can tolerate temperatures to 32-28 F. In case you are buying a tree, it is very likely that you will be able to pick up the first fruits within 3-4 years. In case you are growing it from seed, it may take 5-13 years for your tree to set fruit. Interestingly, there are some wild avocado trees in Mexico that are older than 400 years and are still largely producing fruits.
The artichoke is a perennial vegetable that can spread up to six feet across. It best thrives in areas with cool and moist summers and mild winters. It can be grown virtually everywhere in the U.S, with an exception of states where the summers are extremely hot, such as Texas and Florida. If you live in an area with mild winters, the artichokes will thrive as perennials. However, if you live in a climate colder than zone 8, it is recommended to plant new plants every year.
Asparagus plants are perennial, meaning that you can plant it once and it will keep popping up in your garden every year. In the first year, you will not harvest asparagus at all, and every year you are supposed to leave shoots behind, so that they flower and grow into the next year`s harvest. This plant is quite tolerant and it thrives in most parts of the country, with an exception of zones 8 and higher.
Fennel is a perennial plant that can be enjoyed as a delicious veggie. It is most popular in Mediterranean cuisine, and it can be eaten baked, grilled, or raw. If you choose to harvest its thick bulb, opt for Florence fennel. It has the ability to survive winters in areas between zones 5 and 10.
Lemon trees and citrus fruits in general best thrive in tropical and subtropical climates. Sour citrus fruits like lemons can also thrive in cooler coastal regions, while sweet citrus fruits like oranges require hotter climates. The best time to plant a lemon tree is in the spring, allowing the tree to establish itself prior the cooler temperatures hit. Keep the tree in a sunny location and fertilize it every month with a citrus tree fertilizer containing nitrogen.
- Onion and Garlic
Both onion and garlic can withstand cold, winter temperatures. If you plant onion and garlic cloves or seeds in the fall, they will develop green shoots in the springs. Leaving a few of them behind every year allows you to enjoy them every year. To create the next year`s crop, divide their own bulbs every year.
Not only it adds a nice touch to your garden, but this plant also works great on your dinner table. It grows best during spring and fall, meaning during the cooler seasons. It thrives best in full sun during cooler temperatures, while well established plants have the ability to withstand frost.
Its leaves contain oxalic acid, which means that they should not be eaten. When growing it, remove the leaves and add them to the compost and harvest the stems only. This plant thrives best in zones whose ground freezes in winter. It can be grown as far south as Zone 7. In order to produce a crop of stems, the plants need chilling period with temperatures below 40 degrees.
Being perennials, they die in winter and pop up as the soil warms when the spring hits. Many types of strawberries produce runner with baby plants after bearing fruit. These runners often root themselves near the plant, but still remain bound to it. Removing most of the runners allows larger production.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are extremely easy to grow. As a matter of fact, dropping a few plants on the ground is enough for them to grow if the soil is moist warm. When planting sweet potatoes, plant them 12-18 inches apart, allowing at least 3 feet between the rows.