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Veggie Life Cycles

Some veggies live many years, some live for two years, some live for one season, and some live much less than that. Some veggies we let run their full lifecycle before we harvest them. Many, we don't.

In this section, we'll trace the different life cycles of the plants in our garden, then discuss the different stages at which they are harvested.

Annuals, Biennials and Perennials

Most garden vegetables start as seed and grow to maturity in a single year. These plants are called Annuals. However, some common garden plants have life cycles longer than one year.

Biennials complete their life cycle in two years. They grow from seed the first year, building up stores of energy. But they wait until their second year to flower, to pollinate, and to produce seeds. However, when we grow these plants for food, not for seed, we harvest them in their first year, as if they were annuals.

Perennials live for three or more years. They do not need to be replanted each year, as do annuals and biennials. Most berries and many herbs are perennials.

Here are lists of some common annual, biennial and perennial garden vegetables. It's important to note that most of these vegetables are harvested in the garden each year, as if they were all annuals.

Annuals, Biennials, and Perennials