I don’t have a lot of regrets related to gardening, but occasionally I do think “if only I’d planted those perennials a few years ago!” Think how much asparagus we’d have by now if I’d planted it the first year I put in a garden! Why didn’t I put in more strawberries last summer?
Although I sometimes wish I’d been more aggressive about adding perennials, I have put in a few over the past years. I started by planting strawberries three years ago, then added a few perennial herbs, and finally planted asparagus last year. This year, my plan is to plant rhubarb, and if I can just decide where to put them, sunchokes.
The great thing about all these crops is that once they’re established, they’re easy! The strawberries and herbs have been incredibly low maintenance, and I think the asparagus will be too.
The difficulty is getting excited about planting something that you won’t harvest for a year or more. Also, committing to where you want to have a plant for the next several years. (Once your long-lived plants are established, you don’t really want to dig them up and start over if they’re in a bad spot– say, too much shade, or in a spot that’s really tricky to get around with a mower.)
Incidentally, committing to perennials has not been a problem for my husband who started planting apple trees almost immediately after we moved in. I’m glad he did– if all goes well, this summer we’ll harvest apples for the first time. (And if I’m lucky, a small amount of asparagus!)