Your Cart

Biennial Vegetables

When I started gardening there were so many words thrown at me. I did not know what any of it meant and I felt very overwhelmed. How on earth did a simple idea of gardening turn into so many unknown details. 

Plant seasons I found most interesting. I never considered plants had ideal growing conditions and they get planted at different times of our Alberta summer. Our summer is so short, I started by planting everything by seed all at once hoping for the best. First two growing seasons were a bust. 

The most fascinating vegetable I learnt about within plant seasons is called biennial vegetables. This was my type of plant and I am here to share why. 

Definition of a Biennial?

Biennial plants have a life cycle of two years. They germinate, produce roots, stem and leaves the first growing season whereas the second growing season they produce flowers, fruit, go to seed and die. 

Some of the most popular Biennials?

Some of the most popular biennials you will find in your raised kitchen garden are:













My current biennial plants were left in my garden this winter and when spring comes, they will wake up and begin their second growing season. 

The plants I left planted this winter were: onions, garlic, asparagus, strawberries, chives. 

Difference between Annual, Perennial and Biennial plants?

The difference is based on how many years each lives for. Annuals live for one year, biennials live for two years and perennials live for many years - up to hundreds of years.  

How to grow and tend to Biennial Vegetables

  1. Research your location's last frost date. 
  • Edmonton, Alberta 2023 last frost date is May 15th. 

     2. Come the last day of frost, it's time to plant. Knowing your plant size is important because you do not want to plant them too close together. For every square foot of garden space:

1 - XL plant

4 - Large plants

9 - Medium plants

16 - Small plants 

    3. Pick your location.

  • It is important to pick a location your biennials will receive 6-8 hours of light. Like most vegetables your biennials grow best in full sun. If you are unsure, read the seed packaging. It will let you know “full sun”, “partial sun”.

    4. Have your garden soil in ready tip top shape. Your soil needs to be full of nutrients, proper water drainage as well proper water retention. For more information on best garden soil, download my free ebook

    5. Watering. 

  • When you see the soil is dry, water your biennial seedlings softly until the soil is moist. Once your plants grow becoming hardier, you can use a harder water stream to help remove any bugs or dirt. Biennial plants do not require a lot of attention but make sure your seedlings are getting enough water. 

    6. Harvesting. Use pruners and cut your leaves off from bottom allowing the top leaves to keep growing and producing. Use right away or freeze for later use. 

I hope this information helps you as much as it did myself when I started out gardening. 

Most important factor is to have fun, learn something new every season and enjoy the harvests. 

To stay connected for more raised kitchen gardening tips, resources and connect, join me on my mailing list today.

Thanks for joining me and welcome. 

Cheers, Tessa