Perennial or not?

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Perennial or not?

Post: #153530 bodrighy
Tue May 12, 2009 10:20 pm

Apparently a good number of the things that we grow as annuals are in fact perennials. I was wondering if anyone has tried growing tomatoes, runner beans etc as perennials? If so where and how?

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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #153534 DeneciePie
Wed May 13, 2009 4:51 am

Tomatoes have wintered over where the temperature doesn't dip blow freezing for too long. Actually I think its the chill thing like for fruit trees. I have had the odd tomatoe last for a second year here in California, but usually they were not star performers either year.

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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #153537 Millymollymandy
Wed May 13, 2009 5:34 am

I tried overwintering a chilli plant in the same unheated room as my geraniums. It died. :(

For anyone who is into flower gardening as well as veggies I have found a lot of seeds marked hardy or half hardy annual to be in fact perennial, and this is after a harsh winter. :roll: Why the people who produce these seeds don't tell you I really don't know other than maybe to get you to buy more seeds by ripping out the plants in the autumn and resowing in the spring..... :scratch: Though why would you do that - I have some Rudbeckias (half hardy, ha ha ha survived minus 8 for two weeks in a row) which produced about 1 flower the first year but flowered amazingly for months the 2nd year, so they are pretty crap as an annual plant and are totally hardy!
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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #153580 Peggy Sue
Wed May 13, 2009 11:34 am

I had a go at keeping peppers & chillis in teh house this winter. I have one rather poorly looking specimen that has survived, but I don't hold out much hope for it. :(
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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #153587 Cheezy
Wed May 13, 2009 11:52 am

I keep chillies into the second year, they are perennial, in S.America in the the ground, over here in pots they tend to not produce a lot of flowers the second year and this is on a south facing window at work, with the heating on....however they do provide an early crop as they usually reflower December/Jan so 3 months later you get chillies. Albeit small .

However if your going to the trouble of keeping chillies inside on windows, you might as well set off a new crop late September, and you'll get the flowers at the same time and a bigger better crop.

Other crops, well think about potatoes, Jerusalem atrichoke,salisify, carrots etc all root storage devices for the next year. Also broad beans can be stripped and cut back, they will come back and either give you a second crop/ early crop.

Cabbages can be cut off the root and it will sprout again
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So you know how great Salsify is as a veg, what about Cavero Nero,great leaves all through the winter , then in Spring sprouting broccolli like flowers! Takes up half as much room as broccolli

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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #153590 Millymollymandy
Wed May 13, 2009 11:58 am

Yes come to think of it my dad had birds eye chilli bushes in Fiji, and they were perennial. And huge compared to the little plants we grow! But we don't have the right climate - hot wet and humid for things like that!
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)


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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #153602 Peggy Sue
Wed May 13, 2009 1:15 pm

Cheezy wrote:I keep chillies into the second year, they are perennial, in S.America in the the ground, over here in pots they tend to not produce a lot of flowers the second year and this is on a south facing window at work, with the heating on....however they do provide an early crop as they usually reflower December/Jan so 3 months later you get chillies. Albeit small .

However if your going to the trouble of keeping chillies inside on windows, you might as well set off a new crop late September, and you'll get the flowers at the same time and a bigger better crop.



I had no idea you could start chillis off sept, it's so hard to give them a long enough growing season...I must try that....I must also think about living in a shelved greenhouse the same size as my house to get enough shelf space for all my pots! :lol:
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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #153665 marshlander
Wed May 13, 2009 11:42 pm

Tomatoes could be kept going but we tend to stop the plants at 6 trusses so the fruits have time, warmth and light enough to ripen before the frosts.

Commercial growers have huge tomato plants but they have artificial heat and light.
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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #154105 Cheezy
Mon May 18, 2009 11:31 am

Peggy Sue wrote:
Cheezy wrote:I keep chillies into the second year, they are perennial, in S.America in the the ground, over here in pots they tend to not produce a lot of flowers the second year and this is on a south facing window at work, with the heating on....however they do provide an early crop as they usually reflower December/Jan so 3 months later you get chillies. Albeit small .

However if your going to the trouble of keeping chillies inside on windows, you might as well set off a new crop late September, and you'll get the flowers at the same time and a bigger better crop.



I had no idea you could start chillis off sept, it's so hard to give them a long enough growing season...I must try that....I must also think about living in a shelved greenhouse the same size as my house to get enough shelf space for all my pots! :lol:


If you can put plants in a heated environment with enough light , you can vertually grow anything at any time. You only have to look at all the competition growers thats how they come up with prized veg's when you haven't even sown your crop!.
I have a heated propagator which I start off my Chillies in Feb. I only have enough room on the kitchen window sill for about 4 plants, which has one of each variety of chillie I'm growing this year, the rest are outside and are about 4 weeks behind the ones inside.. This is useful as I will get early crop then later ones, if they haven't ripend in time I take them to work to sit on a S facing window, above an electic heater which is perminently on, you can grow just about anything in those conditions!. Only thing to watch out is that they can still die in our kitchen if the night time temp drops very cold, as we DON'T have the heating on during the night!.
It's not easy being Cheezy
So you know how great Salsify is as a veg, what about Cavero Nero,great leaves all through the winter , then in Spring sprouting broccolli like flowers! Takes up half as much room as broccolli

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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #154111 Peggy Sue
Mon May 18, 2009 11:57 am

Cheezy I think this is why only one of my Chillie plants made it though winter (and doesn't look good) as we don't have the heating on much at all. I did think about the window at work, its North facing (the only one in building!) and the overnight temperatures in the winter (and even the daytime temperatures with the heating on...) are pretty frightening (wear a coat at my desk til June!).
Got to say I've not really got on well with the heated propogator, I was thrilled to have one for Christmas but didn't realise it wasn't self controlling with temperature and seems to go from cold to 40 deg C in a few hours, but when switched off goes cold again quickly which makes me wonder what to do overnight/whilst I'm at work. So many other people have such success with them I must be missing something?
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Re: Perennial or not?

Post: #154209 Millymollymandy
Tue May 19, 2009 5:17 am

I think mine's a bit too hot too, especially when the sun shines on it!

I can't get on with this sowing stuff indoors, even on my big sunny windowsills everything just goes so leggy. My courgettes came up 5" tall, yes really, all within about 12 hours from starting to peep out of the soil! :shock: and are now just floppy and pathetic. I've sown again outside in the coldframe. :roll: And I'm sick to death of turning things round umpteen times a day as they grow towards the light. :(
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