Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland

the network for communities building local resilience

Having been an "artist gardener"(ahem!) for years, I'm now venturing into permaculture ways..I've just had a digger build some terraces on my land, and a pond....very exciting! But daunting too....a whole new, huge learning curve.
Does anyone have experience/info on perennial vegetables we can grow in Ireland?
I'm in the process of mulching the bare earth, with a green manure on the raised bed where my canopy fruit and nut trees will go, with a light layer of straw on top, and a thicker mulch of straw on top of cardboard over the rest.
Anyone experienced at such mulching?, as I suspect that straw as a weed suppressant may be more successful in different climates than in ours! Charlie xxx

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Replies to This Discussion

Oops! Wrong pic of pond! And before the rains came...
Hi Charlie, Myself and my husband Mike are developing our land in Wicklow with Permaculture principals. The mulch works great for most weeds if thick enough and renewed. It will weaken perennials like dock and creeping butter cup significantly but never really get bind weed until you plant other things to try to out compete it- maybe comfrey or mint? So it depends on your weeds. As for perennial veg have a look at for ones being trialled in Devon. I grow Cardoons, Oca, Artichoke, Jerusalem Artichoke, perpetual cabbage and and trialling sea kale and hopefully some other brassicas next year. I have sheeps sorrel on site which is lovely in salads. I hope to try Yucon, and Machua root veg. Good luck with it and come visit if you are in the area some pics of our place at at Suzie
Thanks Suzie! Would love to come and see your place...must look at your site...the terraces with cardboard under straw are holding up well, and I'll replenish the straw and see what's reappearing in the spring. Wonderful frost this morning, but my fingers were dropping off with the cold...always a good reason to tackle the washing up! charlie x

Charlie and Suzie, Just came across the discussion you had a couple of years back. Am interested in forest gardening and have planted quite a few of the fruit and nut trees and  berry plants. Am now going to focus on the lower level elements including the perennial veg layer. Martin Crawford books - available at his website referred to by suzie - are excellent. Ive just purchased his new book on perennial vegetables. It would be great if we could grow and share some of the many perennial vegetables between us enthusiasts. I have a limited no but i plan to grow some from seed and source plants. Re mulching, I use various materials - black plastic and  mypex for clearance (artists or purists might not approve) and bark, cardboard, newspaper for maintenance. Ive not used straw but may try it but Ive been to Martin Crawfords forest garden - he is not a fan of straw  I would welcome a visit from you if you wish to see our early stage forest garden (in Castleblayney) and take away some seedlings,  rooted cuttings or divided plants. we have  a  reasonable range of herbs close to the house but somewhat low on the perennial veg.   Regards, Liam     




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