Skip to main content

The low-maintenance vegetable garden: 5 unique perennial vegetable plants that produce year after year

Amazing perennial veggies to plant in your vegetable garden

Person holding produce in a bowl over a vegetable garden
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re looking to plant a vegetable garden that’s low maintenance and sustainable, incorporating perennial vegetable plants is a great idea. Many of them are packed with nutrients and can offer visual interest and other benefits to your garden. Let’s explore the upside of growing perennial vs. annual vegetables, discuss which ones to plant, and the delicious recipes you can make with each of them.

Benefits of perennial vs. annual vegetable plants

Perennial vegetable plants are plants that live for more than two growing seasons and continue to produce edible parts year after year. There are a ton of benefits when it comes to perennial vs. annual vegetable gardens:

  1. Low maintenance: Perennial vegetable plants don’t need to be replanted every year. This saves time, effort, and money in the long run.
  2. Sustainability: These plants are more sustainable because they require less water, fertilizer, and other resources over their lifetime. They also help to build healthy soil and reduce erosion.
  3. Longevity: Perennials can live for many years, which means you can enjoy a consistent harvest without the need for replanting. This also reduces the risk of crop failure due to weather or other environmental factors.
  4. Nutritional value: Did you know that perennials often have higher levels of nutrients and minerals than their annual counterparts? This is because they have more time to establish strong roots and absorb nutrients from the soil.
  5. Multifunctional: Want more diversity in your garden? Perennials come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and you can use them in a range of recipes. They also serve multiple purposes in your garden, as they can improve your soil, keep pests at bay, and even provide hedging in some cases.

Overall, perennial vegetable plants offer several benefits over annual vegetable plants, making them a great choice for a sustainable, low-maintenance garden.

A basket of fresh asparagus
DUSAN ZIDAR / Shutterstock

5 perennial vegetables your garden needs

So, which perennial veggies should you start with in your garden? We’ve got five amazing options, and we’ll also discuss which delicious recipes you can make with them.


Asparagus is a nutrient-rich perennial vegetable that produces a harvest year after year with low maintenance. It usually takes around two to three years before you can harvest this veggie, as it needs time to establish strong roots before it can produce a good harvest. But once it gets going, you’ll have a delicious side dish for your steak or a nutritious addition to your fresco pasta.


Rhubarb also takes a couple of growing seasons to be ready for harvest, but it’s packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s also a versatile ingredient that’s great in deserts, such as rhubarb pie, and can be used to make jams, jellies, and even glazes for savory meat dishes.


Great in dips, pasta, pizza, and even as a tasty side dish, artichokes are extremely versatile. Growing them is simple, and they’re a great addition to your vegetable garden. Artichokes are great companion plants, they’re drought tolerant, and they have a unique, ornamental appearance.


With its unique, spicy flavor, horseradish can up your culinary game in sauces, dips, and even homemade condiments. Growing this perennial root vegetable is simple, and it even serves as a pest deterrent in your garden.

Berry bushes

What’s not to love about fresh, homegrown berries? Eat them raw, add them to your waffles or oatmeal, or make sweet homemade jams. Berry bushes are low maintenance, provide the benefit of hedging your garden, and some varieties even deter pests.

Incorporating perennial vegetables into your garden can offer a wide range of benefits. They require less maintenance, are more sustainable, and can give you a reliable source of food year after year. By planting perennial vegetables, you can create a sustainable and enjoyable garden that provides beauty and nutrition — without all the work.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
Grow these 6 unique companion plants for raspberries in your garden
These plants will grow happily with your raspberries
Several ripe red raspberries on a vine

Like many plants, raspberry bushes can benefit from their neighbors. When planning the space next to a raspberry bush in your garden, consider plants that bring in pollinators, repel pests, and add soil nutrients. Keep in mind the environment each plant prefers when planning your garden -- a plant that loves water and a plant that prefers drought aren't going to make good neighbors.

Spacing is important as well. Raspberry bushes need space to grow, but they will welcome companion plants, whether they’re flowers, evergreens, or other fruits and vegetables, as long as they aren't too close. These six raspberry companion plants are our recommendations to you!

Read more
The best (and worst) pepper companion plants
Situate these plants to grow near your peppers
A person harvesting a yellow bell pepper

Peppers are a delicious and nutritious fruit and vegetable, and it is a popular choice for many gardeners. When planning your garden, you may wonder what plants to plant next to your peppers. This guide to pepper companion plants has the answers. We’ll give you all the information you need to decide which plants to grow with your peppers and which to plant elsewhere.

No matter the kind of garden you’re looking to grow, one of these plants is sure to be a good fit. From fruits and veggies to herbs and flowers, this is the guide for you.

Read more
The best (and worst) cucumber companion plants
Add these plants to your garden to make your cucumbers happy
Cucumbers and tomatoes growing together

Companion planting is the technique of pairing plants based on their similar needs and preferences, as well as potential benefits or aesthetic preferences. You might plant pest-repelling herbs next to your tomatoes, for example, or grow shade-loving plants in the shadow of a tree or shrub.

Every plant has companion plants that work well with it, as well as plants that should be avoided, and cucumbers are no exception. This is your guide to cucumber companion plants, so that you can plan a successful garden.

Read more