The Backyard Larder

A place to explore and buy perennial vegetables and other food plants.

The Backyard Larder Blog

Exploring the possibilities of the perennial vegetable garden.

Many Ways to Feed the Garden

Perennial vegetables don’t necessarily need a lot of feeding. They are often less hungry than annual vegetables because their deeper, more extensive root systems can mine more soil for food. And because they are less likely to have been bred to grow as much as possible in a short time. But a bit of deliberate […]

Potentially Perennial Tubers

Mashua and oca tubers

To my mind, ‘replant perennials’, such as the potato, where the perennating tubers are generally replanted in spring because they might not survive the cold of a British winter, don’t quite cut it as perennial vegetables. They almost do, as planting tubers in spring is still a lot easier than sowing seeds and nurturing far more vulnerable […]

Skirret Update 3

It’s my fifth year growing skirret and my second year trying to improve the stock by sowing seeds from the best plants. Skirret I don’t have any stunning results to report this year but I did harvest plants with fairly fat roots grown from the seed collected last year. One-year-old skirret plant The roots were […]

Autumn Harvest

Harvested from the allotment today! Autumn harvest of perennial vegetables   In the basket:   (Top row from left) Portuguese kale Scorzonera roots Chicory greens Wild cabbage (Middle row from left) Ewiger kohl Daubenton kale Variegated wintercress Jerusalem artichokes – Dwarf Sunray Buck’s horn plantain (Bottom row from left) Sea beet Pink Jerusalem artichokes Variegated […]

Caught on the Hop

You can sow hops seeds now. This was brought to my attention by a recent post on What to sow in October by The Unconventional Gardener. Sown now and planted in a favourable spot, a hop plant could be giving a harvest of hop shoots in 2018. The young shoots of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus) are […]

Scorzonera and Skirret in September

It occurred to me the other day that as I’m growing some root crops (such as scorzonera and skirret) perennially, there isn’t really any need to wait until the end of their annual growing season to dig some up. In harvest terms I’d been thinking of them as annual root crops but there should be […]

Cut-and-come-again Perennial Vegetables.

The familiar sowing, planting, thinning, weeding and harvesting routines of the annual vegetable garden don’t all apply with perennial vegetables – but I’m discovering new routines that do! One of these is chopping the plants down to give a fresh harvest of tasty leaves. It’s very useful with plants such as Good King Henry, Turkish […]

Everlasting Cabbage

The plant in this photo came to me as ‘Ewiger kohl’. This is not exactly a variety name. It is German for ‘everlasting cabbage’ and was probably used in the past in the same way as ‘perennial kale’ is used now. Ewiger kohl, true to at least the spirit of its name, is a reliably […]

Summer Harvest

Harvested from the allotment today! Summer harvest of perennial vegetables In the basket: (Centre) Globe artichokes Horseradish greens (large leaves, top left) (moving clockwise) Welsh onions Buck’s horn plantain Day lily buds (in front of plantain) Garden sorrel Variegated Daubenton kale Wild cabbage (in front of wild cabbage, centre outwards…) Turkish rocket, bladder campion and […]

Weeding the Wintercress

I’ve had to do some heavy weeding on a couple of my perennial vegetable beds – those beds which I’ve neglected to either plant with a weed-suppressing ground-cover or to mulch with sufficient grass cuttings or compost or the like! Luckily things sometimes survive beneath the weeds and I was pleased to rescue some young […]