1. Low maintenance
Once the garden bed is prepared by cultivating and adding a thick layer of compost, most of the work is done. Perennial vegetables can live three to 15 years and maybe beyond. Once the PV’s are established, a yearly addition of more compost is all that is required to keep the plants healthy. Pull out a few weeds while you’re adding compost and your work for the year is done.
2. Extend the harvest season
Established plants will come into season throughout the year and provide food during periods where there are few annuals. There will be food every month and plenty during the hottest and coldest parts of the year.
3. “Foodmentals” instead of ornamentals
Foodmentals are plants used as edible ornamentals. Consider planting “fedges” (food hedges) that double as an aesthetically addition to your landscape. There are PV’s that take the form of trees, bushes, and groundcovers. When your neighbor thinks you’re crazy for snacking on your shrubs, just remember that the Little Red Hen got the same kind of grief.
4. Perennials vegetables are soil builders
Many gardeners tend their annual vegetable garden once or twice a year. The gaps between growing seasons contribute to a plot that is usually bare if no cover crops are planted. Mother Natures loves bare ground and quickly covers it with a fine layer of weeds if you’ve left enough moisture. And dry soil is usually tilled to bring it back to life. No tilling is required with perennial vegetables, so the soil can build into a healthy fertile structure that will host beneficial mycorrhizae.
5. PV’s have some of the highest protein content, lowest sugar, and tons of minerals
Tuber crops from Groundnuts have over 17% protein, Sun chokes produce inulin which is a prebiotic that maintains healthy gut flora, and the spinach/kale crops are high in iron and calcium. Plant a few perennial vegetables in your garden and taste what you’ve been missing—for the next decade.