First Crops of the Season: Biennial, Perennial, and Helpers AKA Gardening the Lazy Way

By Julie Sews - 6:44:00 PM

I haven't planted a seed yet and just finally finished our garden plans (I'm so behind this year), but we have had some perennials, biennials, and helpers.  Our kale survived!  Apparently it's biennial.  I had no idea. I just didn't cut it down in fall.  I'm even more in love with kale now.   Our strawberries, raspberries, catnip, green onions, and rhubarb (all are growing and we found a couple helpers from last season.  I had tried so hard to grow cilantro (it barely grew and bolted fast), spinach, and chives, but nothing worked, or did it?  Apparently the seeds survived the winter and became helpers.  I think if we hadn't had such a warm spring the helpers would have been unknowingly weeded.
  I'm so excited I just harvested our first asparagus spears ( a tad bit late).  It's taken 2 years (we planted one year old crowns). Turns out I waited to long to harvest it, though it was pretty woody like and the spears were starting to grow into separate spears.  But hey that's how you learn huh?  You can see our asparagus and kale in the picture above along with one of the two pizza boxes someone threw on to our garden.  How does that happen?  Who throws pizza boxes on someones garden?  Was someone cleaning out the car?  People are weird!  Anyways.... I won't bore you with my rants.

I'm so happy that we had cilantro helpers.  Ironically I never would have planted cilantro this early but I guess nature knows best!  I've always loved the taste of cilantro, but I also recently learned that cilantro is amazing at cleansing heavy metals out of your body.  If you eat seafood or have metal fillings you'll want to eat a lot of cilantro!  We actually have cilantro growing in between our paver bricks and in our main garden.  I still plan to plant more, but it's nice to know some are already started.

Cilantro growing in between our pavers in our walkway
our raspberries bushes are starting to grow
  It's nice to have veggies early in spring from your garden without having to do anything.  This time of year always has me thinking how can I make gardening less work?  I'm always excited to start a new season, but feel overwhelmed and afraid to start planting to early.  That's what's so great with perennials, biennials, and helpers.  My new best friends. I can't help but think, what more automatic lazy gardener's best friends have I not included in our garden yet? Or what should I plant more of? Here's some that grow in zone 4 I will consider adding to my garden or already have in my garden:

  • Fruit: raspberries, strawberries, blue berries, black berries, grapes, apples, cherries
  • Veggies: rhubarb, asparagus, radicchio
  • Herbs: chives, catnip, thyme, oregano, mint and lemon balm (only in containers)
  • Veggies: beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collard, endive, kale, kohlrabi, leek, onion, parsley, parsnip, rutabaga, salsify, and turnip. 
  • herbs: parsley
If you know of any I haven't listed I should try let me know!

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  1. You have garden plans! That puts you way ahead of me. I'm just now getting around to thinking about it...

    1. Nice to know I'm not the only procrastinator! :)

  2. I like your blog and can't wait to look around a bit more! We too are attempting to do more for ourselves living in suburbia, we have started our first garden this year and last year we got a flock of 7 backyard chickens.

    1. So glad you found my blog helpful. It helps to know others are learning from my successes and failures and makes hosting this blog worthwhile.

      That's great that your starting a garden. I would suggest starting small with the easiest to grow veggies that you buy most often, and keep expanding a little every year. And make sure to have adequate supports for veggies that need it. That's probably been my biggest mistake that I've made since gardening. Last year I was kicking myself that I didn't put large cages for each tomato plant. I ended up having to trim my tomato plants every few weeks and the trellis I made started to collapse under the weight. Lot's of work and headache that could have been avoided....

      Just don't overwhelm yourself, and keep it fun. You'll be amazed and addicted once you realize all the produce you can grow. I also love that not only do I know everything about how my veggies are grown, but I also know that my veggies are the freshest my can get and therefore the highest in nutrition. You can also feed you chicks some stuff from the garden!


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