Perennial Edibles: Part 2

May 18, 2018

If an edible garden seems too daunting for you or too much work, perennial fruits and vegetables may be a good option for you. These plants will come back every year without having to re-do everything every year. You can read our previous post for more perennial fruits and veggies here.

Figs- With their tropical look and sweet fruit, fig trees are great in the garden or in large containers for fruit production or just for ornamental value in the landscape. Fruit ranges in color from light green to deep purple-red. They like to be placed in full sun and protected from harsh winds and moist soils, especially in summer when the fruit is growing. Once they begin to drop at the neck of the fruit, they are ready to harvest. Fig trees produce fruit both in the spring and in the fall but it’s unlikely in our climate that they will fully ripen in the fall before our rains and cold return. Fig trees should be pruned in late spring/early summer by getting rid of any dead or diseased wood or any branches that cross. This will help fruit production.

Fig Tree (Photo Courtesy of The Italian Garden Project)

Fig Tree (Photo Courtesy of The Italian Garden Project)

Fruit trees- apples, peaches, pears, apricots, plums, nectarines, etc are all great for fresh fruit throughout later summer and into fall. You’ll want to make sure to leave plenty of space for the roots to grow and for the branches to spread so don’t overcrowd them. They prefer full sun and well-draining soils and will need more water throughout the hot summer months.

Apricot

Apricot

Hardy Kiwi- these kiwis are fuzz-less and are smaller in size than fuzzy kiwis (about the size of a large grape). They are still just as sweet and are ready for harvest in September after 2-4 years from time of planting. You’ll need to have at least one male plant for every 8 female plants but the male and female plants do not need to be the exact same variety of hardy kiwi. They need well-draining soils so that the soil is not constantly wet, and they do best with at least a half day of sun up to a full day of sun. You’ll need to have a strong trellis for them to grow on and plenty of space as each plant can reach 10-12 feet wide.

Hardy Kiwi (Photo Courtesy of Monrovia)

Hardy Kiwi (Photo Courtesy of Monrovia)

Nut trees- Chestnuts, almonds, monkey puzzle, walnuts, filberts, and ginkgo’s are all nut producing trees that will grow in the pacific northwest. Depending on the variety some nut trees require a pollinizer and some varieties are self-fertile so a male and female are not necessary for nut production. Ginkgo’s do need a male and female plant in order to be able to harvest the nuts.

Ginkgo biloba 'Mariken'

Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’

Are you growing any perennial fruits and vegetables in your edible garden? What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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