How to Grow Perennial Vegetables
Low-maintenance, low-impact vegetable gardening

By Martin Crawford

How to Grow Perennial Vegetables
Paperback, 224 pages £14.95
Published: 5th April 2012
ISBN: 9781900322843
Format: 234mm x 168mm

Click here to see ebook versions available
Published: 5th July 2012
ISBN: 9780857840936
Published: 5th July 2012
ISBN: 9780857840943

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Perennial vegetables are a joy to grow and require a lot less time and effort than annuals. In this book 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. This book 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.

This lovely book makes it clear that we are not just missing a trick, we are missing a feast. from the foreword by Hugh Fearnley-Whgittingstall

I admire tremendously the firsthand experience which informs Martin Crawford's writing. This book leads us down the path to a wealth of perennial vegetables and tells us how to combine them successfully. Anne Swithinbank

A really useful book...Let us free ourselves from the tyranny of the annual sowing, thinning and planting regime. Bob Flowerdew

Perennial vegetables are a joy to grow:

  • They require a lot less time and effort than annuals.
  • They extend the harvesting season, especially in early spring.
  • They are often better than annual vegetables for beneficial insects in the garden.
  • Many contain more mineral nutrients than annuals.

This book provides comprehensive advice on all types of perennial vegetable - from rhubarb to skirret, and Jerusalem artichoke to nodding onions. ( It also includes more unusual edible plants, such as coppiced trees, aquatic plants and woodland species)

The books explains why and how to grow these crops, and how to look after them for maximum health, with details of over 100 perennial edibles. With colour photographs and illustrations throughout, it offers inspiration for all gardeners and includes plenty of cooking tips.

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                                                             


“A lot of information is packed into a relatively short space… Lots of the plants listed were new to me entirely, or as an edible possibility. Now I’m not only thinking where edible perennials may fit on my allotment, but also in my garden too! This is an informative and detailed book, which I shall be returning to again and again.”

- vegplotting.blogspot

"This lovely book makes it clear that we are not just missing a trick, we are missing a feast."

- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

"I admire tremendously the first-hand experience which informs Martin Crawford's writing. This book leads us down the path to a wealth of perennial vegetables and tells us how to combine them successfully."

- Anne Swithinbank

"A really useful book... Let us start freeing ourselves from the tyranny of the annual sowing, thinning and planting regime."

- Bob Flowerdew

"At last an in-depth book on perennial vegetables combined with Martin Crawford's usual diligence of research - essential reading."

- Ben Law

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.

Martin 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 years – experience that led him to the concept of forest gardening as a sustainable system that can flourish in our changing climate conditions. This led to the founding of the Agroforestry Research Trust, a non-profit-making charity that researches temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops. At his forest garden in Dartington, Devon, Martin systematically researches plant interactions and unusual crops. He also runs a commercial tree nursery specialising in unusual trees and shrubs, and has a large trial site, researching fruit and nut trees.

Martin teaches courses on Forest Gardening and Growing Nut Crops, writes books and edits a quarterly journal, Agroforestry News.

Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781900322843
Format: 234mm x 168mm

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9780857840936
Format: PDF

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9780857840943
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:  GAR005000, GAR016000, GAR022000, GAR025000
Imprint: Green Books

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