Perennial edibles (zone 5) – Garden Journal

The edible landscape trend is growing in popularity. With the onset of food security issues brought on by recent event the trend is even more so. If your like me I try hard to grow and can through out the summer. My husband recently suggested with our up coming kitchen renovation that we add more edible landscaping to our patios.

We live in a northern area where most vegetables are grown annually, and many started indoors to help the get a head start of a short growing season. Zone 5. To get the most of the edible landscaping and easy the work, perennially based plants are ideal.

Here is a short list of editable the will come back fuller and hardier each year for abundance of food. This video by OYR frugal & sustainable organic gardening shows 30 diff eat options.


Here are few more options for Zone 5 gardens that may not have been mentioned in the above video. Or visit practical self reliance for even more zone 5 edibles

Asparagus – although takes years to establish a good crop it is well worth the wait for self sufficient edible landscaping. Also if left turns into a beautiful ferns.

Rhubarb- sturdy and reliable, best grown in partial shade. But will tolerate full shade.

Bulbs, Garlic and onions – many are fall planting and arrive in spring, they multiply and can grow back each year.

Herbs: mint, parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, sorrel all will over winter well in our cold climates.

Berries, easily one of the fastest hardiest crops for the north. Raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry, blueberry, blackberry, currents, Saskatoon berries

Fruit trees, depending on your hardiness zone level how far south you live you can easily grow many verities outdoors. Although they do take time to establish will provide for up to 30 years, Apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, persimmons.

Nut trees: Walnuts and chestnuts both grow well in zone 5

Hardy kiwi is an unusual one – unlike its brown furry cousin these fruit are green and quiet handle our colder winters. you may want to add some added protection my wrapping them before the cold really sets in.

Grapes- cropping grapes can be temperamental in our zone depending on location, but can be very successful with coverings for winter. Full sun required for good crops.

Edible flowers, there are many edible flowers including sunflowers, pansy, nasturtium, lavender etc. not only do they add beauty during the blooming season but can be harvested and used.

Maple syrup – ok so maybe you have a wooded area, how do I create an edible landscape – tap your trees! With the abnormally short season this year maple shortages are occurring. Driving the prices through the roof. Whether it’s just a hobby, self sufficiency or more mature maple trees are a great source of free food.

Fiddle heads – are great for those hard to grow areas or shady forested locations. The baby sprigs of ostrich fern – Taste similar to baby spinach or asparagus this perennial is a spring treat.

Mushrooms- another interesting perennial for shady or dark locations. Many hobby farmers inoculate logs with edible verities and setup their own micro biomes right in their own yard. Do not over harvest and they will return year after year.

Honey hives – not quiet a perennial – beekeeping may not be the first thing you think when edible landscaping is thought about – but it is a great addition if you have the space and no restrictions. (Check bylaws) Not only do they pollentate your crops but the honey is a sweet bonus. Their may need to be purchases if first year but once hive is established a good colony will provide a healthy harvest!

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