It is wonderful when you can plant a few cut and come again crops and reap a bountiful harvest all season. They’re a great addition to the backyard garden, supplying companion plants in your garden and your friends and family with season-long nutrients.
24 vegetables and herbs that are cut and come again crops, providing a season-long harvest from your backyard garden.
If you’re going to plant a garden, it’s quite easy to plant crops that will provide you with vegetables all season long with little to no extra effort. For larger families, knowing what these crops are can the best penny pincher!
Cut and come again vegetables
Arugula: A staple in our garden every season, we grow arugula for our rabbits. I only enjoy young arugula leaves as their taste is less apparent at that point. Once arugula is fully mature, the rabbits reap the harvest. This cut and come again vegetable provides happiness for all members of the homestead.
Kale: Kale is a hardy plant, rapidly growing once the weather warms and lasting through low temperatures, making it a great cut and come again vegetable an option for your garden. When the weather warms up, your kale may take on a more bitter taste while cooler weather promotes a sweeter, crisper taste. If you hope to eat kale raw, you can start seeds indoors, transplant in the Spring and harvest until the weather warms up. Once it cools down again, start harvesting your kale!
Lettuce: Loose-leaf lettuces are the best for cut and come again options. Head lettuces are all at once, cutting off the head with a sharp knife. Loose-leaf lettuce will also come to a harvest-able age sooner than head lettuce, providing a steady supply of fresh salad greens all season.
Swiss Chard: Technically a cool-season crop similar to kale and arugula, this versatile crop is a great candidate for your backyard garden. There are varieties of swiss chard that are more heat-tolerant, such as Lucullus, for your southern garden.
Collard Greens: One of my most favorite crops, this stereotypically southern green is a dutch oven and crock pot favorite. Just as kale does, collards will grow more bitter the warmer is gets and sweeter the cooler is it. My favorite way to utilize them once they get bitter is to slow cook them with ground pork, bacon, garlic and onions in my dutch oven. Top with hot sauce and sour cream and enjoy!
Mustard Greens: Not as cold hardy as kale or collard greens, mustards still hold their ground on the cut and come again vegetable list. For the best steady supply of mustard greens, make sure the soil is consistently moist. Mustard greens are a great candidate for mulch for this reason!
Spinach: My favorite cold-weather spinach variety is Bloomsdale and for warmer-weather we grow New Zealand Spinach (NZS). Both these varieties are eligible for the cut and come again list. If you’re planting NZS in a raised bed, leave room to grow. NZS likes to spread out and take over, but can also be grown in containers.
Turnip Greens: This versatile cut and come again vegetable is grown for their roots and leafy tops. Don’t completely cut off their green tops as root growth will be stunted. Best planted in late summer for a fall/winter harvest.
Beans: Beans are a fun vegetables to grow because they produce these beautiful white flowers that eventually turn into pods. Whether your growing bush beans or pole beans, once you cut the pods off you’ll find new pods come and replace them.
Okra: These warm-weather pods are best when they’re smaller and more tender for a delicious dish. Okra pods start as beautiful flowers that quickly turn to edible pods. Naturally, I like to cut and fry my okra. For a low-carb version of fried okra, try using almond flour and parmesan cheese for the breading!
Peppers: I grew peppers for the first time in my Summer 2019 garden and had jalapenos for months. Actually, when we tour the plant from the ground in March they were still producing! Jalapeno plants take the cake for cut and come again status. For my 2020 Spring/Summer garden I’m growing mammoth peppers, jalapenos, poblano peppers and bell peppers. There might be a salsa garden in my feature!
Summer Squash: Another staple among our summer cut-and-come again crops, you’ll find yellow and green squash. Did you squash is botanically a fruit? Zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are best harvested young before their seeds completely form. Winter squash is meant to be harvested once fully matured, fully formed seeds and all. Once you see flowers, keep an eye out as yellow squash and zucchini grow rapidly. It’s not unusual to end up with a zucchini the size of your arm because you forgot about it for a couple of days.
Tomatoes: Also botanically a fruit, tomatoes are in the top 5 best-producing plants for cut and come again crops. I actually don’t love eating tomatoes, but folks who are really stoked about growing tomatoes make it look way too fun not to grow them. I have two varieties in my garden this year to accompany the peppers for my salsa garden!
Cucumbers: Cucumbers, like squash, grow rapidly once you see them start to flower. In my experience, cucumbers will also take over the garden so you’ll want a quality trellis to support them.
The majority of herbs are considered cut and come again, with some herbs even being perennials which I cover a little further down the page. Here are a few herbs to grow in your non-perennial garden this year.
Cut and come again herbs
Cilantro: We eat a lot of tacos in our family so cilantro is a staple in the garden. If you don’t steadily cut and harvest cilantro, it will surely come again and in full force! Cilantro is also a wonderful pollinator plant, attracting pollinators of all types to their beautiful small flowers once they go to seed.
Basil: I haven’t grown a lot of basil but it’s on my bucket list. My in-laws always have a steady basil plant for fresh pasta dishes and such. Another great candidate for a steady harvest.
Parsley: Often seen as a garnish for restaurant dishes, parsley needs moist, rich soil and cooler weather. If you plan to plant this cut and com again herb, keep in mind they’re slow to establish but worth it when they do.
Thyme: I use thyme mainly around the time of Thanksgiving. Our turkey dinner is prepared by being smother in butter and topped with thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Just like parsley, thyme likes moist, rich soil but actually loves the heat! Protip: Thyme is a pollinator AND drought-friendly herb so planting them in a container near your vegetable gardens is a great idea!
Marjoram: Plant marjoram in full sun with well draining soil and as companion plants for corn, onion, peas, potatoes, radishes to attract beneficial insects to the garden. This cut and come again herb will die in the frost but thrive in the heat.
Perennial herbs for a season-long harvest
Sorrel: Best grown in the warmer months, sorrel is a great cut and come again herb for your perennial bed. Sorrel is often grown and used to aid in reducing inflammation of the nasal passages and respiratory tract and treating bacterial infections.
Borage: This vine-ing perennial produces beautiful blue flowers, giving it an alternative name of “starflower”. Borage can be eaten raw in salads, added to soups, used in drinks and cocktails, or made into jellies, jams, and preserves. Additionally, this cut and come again herb is a wonderful pollinator attractor. Be sure to plant it by crops such as strawberries and blueberries to increase fruit production!
Rosemary: Rosemary is the mother of cut and come again crops and one of the hardiest herbs I know of. My mother actually has a rosemary bush around 15 years old at least. She’s brought it with her from house to house, in the same terra cotta pot, ever since I was a young girl. Following in her footsteps, I’ve started my own huge rosemary bush to keep through the years!
Oregano: Another drought-tolerant herb, you can grow oregano in pots or beds. In fact, you only have to water these plants in excessively dry periods. Low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and cut and come again.
Mint: An herb that smells and tastes wonderful, mint will absolutely take over your garden if you let it but it’s hard to kill making it the perfect crop for an extended harvest. One of my favorite ways to use mint is to put it in a gallon of water with some fresh, sliced cucumbers.
Summary on cut and come again crops
Do you make it a point to grow cut and come again crops in your gardens every year? Drop a comment below and let me know what you’re growing this season that you’ll be able to enjoy for months!
More on growing vegetables:
- The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow as a Beginning Gardener
- How to Plant a Vegetable Garden
- Different Gardening Methods