If you want to keep fresh vegetables on your table all summer long, then succession planting is the answer!
Succession planting is the practice of spreading out crop plantings to ensure a longer harvesting season of fresh vegetables.
Succession Planting Crops – The Basics
Unfortunately, crops that are planted at the same time tend to ripen at the same time.
This can lead to a bountiful, but sometimes overwhelming harvest. It might be perfect if your intent is to can and preserve.
But for fresh eating, it can mean an extremely short season.
The answer is succession planting. By simply spreading out planting times, you can extend harvest season by weeks or even months.
In addition, with some cool-loving weather vegetables, you can plant a fall and spring crop to add even more productivity to your garden.
Here is a look at a few crops perfect for getting more production from your garden this year!
Leafy vegetable crops are among the easiest and most productive of crops for succession planting.
Lettuce, kale, and spinach begin to taste bitter after two or three cuttings. As plants re-grow, the foliage begins to become woody, and increasingly less desirable for consumption.
But by planting a new row or two of seed every week or two, you can keep a fresh crop coming on as the first starts to wane.
To keep a steady supply, sow a new row of seed every 10 to 14 days after seeding your first crop.
By the time the first row is aging, the next planting will be ready for fresh harvest.
If you rotate two to three rows, you can usually pull up and re-plant the oldest row to keep the fresh cycle producing all season long.
Radishes, Spring Onions
Radishes and spring onions are two crops that truly taste best in their tender, early stages of growth.
Many varieties can be ready for harvest in as little as 21 to 28 days. Instead of sowing the entire lot at once, sow a smaller portion of seed every 7 days. It will keep fresh produce at hand for months instead of weeks. Seed Link: Scarlet Radish Seed
Peas and Beans – An Added Benefit Of Succession Planting
Green beans are an excellent crop for doubling up production with a double planting. One in the spring, and one for fall.
Green beans are at their peak tenderness and flavor during the first few pickings. By having two separate plantings, you can have more of that fresh flavor all season.
After planting the traditional mid to late spring crop, follow up with a second full planting 45 days later.
As the first-planted crop finishes off production at the mid-summer point, the second crop will begin to mature by late summer and early fall.
Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas perform best in cooler weather, making them perfect for a spring and fall planting.
The first planting can go in the ground in early spring for a late spring harvest. As summer’s extreme heat begins to fade, plant a second crop for a mid to late fall harvest.
Both peas and beans are crops that actually improve the soil they are grown in. The roots of the plants help to fix nitrogen in the soil, making it available for future vegetable crops.
By moving your two plantings of these crops to different spaces, you can help rejuvenate multiple areas of your garden soil in the same growing season.
Succession planting is the key to keeping sweet corn at peak flavor!
Plant a new area every 14 days in the spring to keep a steady supply coming on through the summer.
One quick note on sweet corn, the crop relies heavily on proper pollination. By plantings in blocks instead of long rows, you ensure good pollination and production.
By planting in blocks 3 to 4 feet wide and long, you can keep a family of four in fresh sweet corn most of the summer.
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