Succession Planting Vegetable Seeds and Produce

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Succession Planting Vegetable Seeds and Produce

How to Maintain a Consistent Supply of Harvestable Produce Throughout the Growing Season

Looking for more production in your vegetable garden? Try succession planting. You’ll enjoy multiple harvests from a single garden patch in the same growing season by sowing seeds again after a set time has elapsed depending on what you're growing. More on that below.

Merriam-Webster defines succession planting as:

1 :sustained seasonal production of a particular crop either by repeated sowings or by selecting varieties maturing at different times.

2 :the culture of two or more short-life crops planted in turn

How do you plant a succession garden?

Begin with seed crops that are ideal for succession planting. These include quick growing and cool season vegetables (list below).

To have a consistent supply of harvestable produce throughout a season use these rough intervals of one to six weeks to sow seeds again in spaces from which you have harvested.

Sow every 1-2 weeks

Salad mix (leaf lettuces), radishes, spinach, baby lettuce, bok choy, peas, bush beans, scallions

Sow every 2 weeks

Head lettuce, arugula, determinate tomatoes, turnips, beets, corn, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower

Sow every 3 weeks

Carrots, cucumbers, mustard greens, melon, kale

Sow every 4-6 weeks

Summer squash, Swiss chard, zucchini

Different Succession Planting Methods

There are a variety of terms you may see that are slight variations on successive planting: staggered planting, second planting, and companion planting are all practices that allow you to simplify growing food to produce a continual supply over a season or to take advantage of plants that support each other’s growth and health.

Same crop, staggered planting

Ideal for quick crops like lettuce and spinach, root crops and cool season veggies like carrots and beets, and strawberries and raspberries to ensure a sustained supply through the growing season.

Different plants, same space

The charts below from our friends at the University of Illinois Extension show seasonal rotations of vegetables to maximize harvests by planting during seasons/times when the produce will thrive. The chart shows a few suggested plant layouts by harvesting season.

Same plants, different varieties

Plant different cultivars of the same crop type that mature at different rates. Broccoli and peppers offer many types with different days to maturity.

Companion Planting

This planting custom puts non-competitive, complementary plants in the same space. Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash) is a well-known companion combination. Planting basil and marigolds near your tomatoes can ward off pests, another benefit of companion planting.

What Can Be Planted in Succession?

Arugula, peppers, basil, bush beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, cilantro, corn salad, dill, endive, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, Bok choi, radish, rutabaga, spinach, potatoes, Swiss chard, and turnips.

Do You Succession Plant Tomatoes?

If you plant determinate tomatoes, you can succession plant them approximately every 14 days. Determinate tomatoes will ripen at the same time (whereas indeterminate tomatoes will ripen over weeks). By succession planting a few weeks apart, you’ll ensure fresh tomatoes over a longer growing season.

 

 

“Succession of crops.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/successionofcrops. Accessed 18 Jan. 2023.

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