Succession Planting Vegetables: How To Use Succession Planting In The Garden

lettuce-bed
Image by stevendepolo

By Heather Rhoades

Have you ever planted a vegetable in your garden and found that it was feast or famine with that vegetable? Or have you ever planted a vegetable and found that it petered out before the end of the season and left you with a bare and unproducing spot in your garden? If this has ever happened to you, you would benefit from succession planting vegetables. Succession planting your garden will help keep your garden in harvest and producing all through the growing seasons.

Relay Succession Planting in the Garden

Relay planting is a kind of succession planting where you plant seeds for any given crop on a time spaced schedule. This kind of planting is commonly used with vegetables that may be ready for harvest only at one time. Relay planting in succession is often done with:

To do relay planting, simply plan on planting a new set of seeds about once every 2-3 weeks. For example, if you were planting lettuce, you would plant a few seeds one week and then 2-3 weeks later you will plant a few more seeds. Continue in this way for the whole season. When the first batch of lettuce you planted is ready for harvest, you can reuse that area you just harvested to continue planting more lettuce seeds.

Crop Rotation Vegetable Garden Succession Planting

For the gardener with limited space, succession planting vegetables can double or even triple a garden’s production. This style of succession gardening needs a little planning but is worth it for the results you get.

Basically, crop rotation succession planting takes advantage of the different needs of a wide variety of vegetables and your own seasonal cycle.

For example, in an area where you get a temperate spring, summer and fall, you would plant a short season cool crop in spring – harvest that, plant a longer season warm weather crop in summer – harvest that then plant another short season cool crop in fall and all of these plantings would take place in the same small area of the vegetable garden. An example of this kind of succession planting in the garden might be lettuce (spring), followed by tomatoes (summer) followed by cabbage (fall).

Someone in a more tropical area, where winter does not get as cold and summer can often be too hot for many vegetables, they may plant a short season, cool crop in winter – harvest that, plant a long season warm crop in spring – harvest that, plant a heat tolerant crop in mid-summer – harvest that and then plant another long season, warm weather crop in fall. An example of succession planting your garden this way may be spinach (winter), squash (spring), okra (summer) and tomatoes (fall).

This style of vegetable garden succession planting takes full advantage of all of your garden space at all times during the growing season.

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