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How to Grow Perennial Vegetables: Low-maintenance, Low-impact Vegetable Gardening

Handbook / Manual

By: Martin Crawford (Author), Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Foreword By)

224 pages, colour illustrations

Green Books

Paperback | Apr 2012 | #204257 | ISBN-13: 9781900322843
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £14.95 $18/€17 approx

About this book

Perennial vegetables are a joy to grow and require a lot less time and effort than annuals. In How to Grow Perennial Vegetables Martin Crawford gives comprehensive advice on all types of perennial vegetable (edible plants that live longer than three years), from ground-cover plants and coppiced trees to plants for bog gardens and edible woodland plants.

There are many advantages to growing perennial vegetables, for example:
- they need less tillage than conventional vegetables and so help retain carbon in the soil
- the soil structure is not disturbed in their cultivation
- they extend the harvesting season, especially in early spring
- and, of course, they are much less work.

Part One looks at why and how to grow these crops, and how to look after them for maximum health. Part Two features over 100 perennial edibles in detail, both common and unusual – from rhubarb to skirret; Jerusalem artichoke to nodding onions.

How to Grow Perennial Vegetables offers inspiration and information for all gardeners, whether experienced or beginner, and also includes plenty of cooking tips. It includes beautiful colour photographs and illustrations throughout.

"Martin is a true pioneer and his work deserves respect and celebration."
- Permaculture Magazine

"Martin Crawford is a frontiersman, a pioneering teacher and an inspiration. Both his work and his garden are national treasures."
- Chris Nichols, Director of the Ashridge MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility


Foreword by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall                                                        

Part 1  An introduction to perennial vegetables

Why grow perennial vegetables?                                                               
What is a perennial vegetable?                                                                                                  
The case for growing perennials                                                                                               
2.   Growing perennial vegetables                                                                    
Types of perennial plant                                                                                                               
Perennial beds                                                                                                                              
Planting patterns                                                                                                                           
Perennial polycultures                                                                                                                  
Perennial grains                                                                                                                            
Perennial tuber and root crops                                                                                                   
Perennial vegetables and ground-cover plants                                                                      
Growing perennial vegetables under existing trees                                                               
Growing aquatic perennial vegetables                                                                                     
Native and non-native plants                                                                                                       
3.   Maintenance of perennial vegetables                                                         
Soil pH                                                                                                                                             
Disease management                                                                                                                 
Harvesting and yields                                                                                                                   

Part 2 Perennial vegetables A–Z

Appendix: Common and Latin names                                                             

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Martin Crawford started his working life a computer programmer but his passion for organic gardening quickly led to a change in career. He has had broad and varied horticultural/agricultural experience over the last 25 years. He is a director of 'Gaia', a Trust formed by James Lovelock to further his work.  See for more information.

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