Succession planting is defined as several planting methods that increase crop availability during a growing season by making efficient use of space and timing. With this strategy, knowledge and planning are powerful tools to attain successful plantings throughout the growing season.
Succession planting consists of 3 basic methods. These methods are general strategies for planting times and their success would vary depending on your gardening zone and weather.
Same vegetable in succession: Plantings of the same crop can be spaced out to avoid a “feast or famine” harvest of that crop. Initial yields of a crop tend to be heavy with following yields tapering off. By planting your seeds or seedlings about 2-4 weeks after one another, you will end up having a larger yield over an extended period of time.
Different vegetable in succession: Seeds with short growing periods can be harvested and then cleared to allow for a new crop to utilize the space. For example, you may choose to grow a plot of peas which have a short growing season, and after their harvest use that space to grow a completely different vegetable.
Same vegetable, different maturity rates: One crop can offer multiple varieties (i.e. tomatoes offer 7,500!) and therefore can be used to harvest at various times. Varieties will have differing maturity dates; information which can be found online or on the seed packet. Choose a few varieties and space out their harvests so that you can enjoy them throughout the summer and fall seasons. Plants that can be used include corn, tomatoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and more!
The method you choose is largely dependent on personal preference. If you’d like to have a certain vegetable all season, you’ll choose a method that supports that. But if you’re looking to plant all sorts of vegetables in a limited space you’ll choose a method promoting variety. Once you decide which school of thought you’ll adopt, you can get started!