Gardeners have adopted many schools of thought to get the most out of their growing season. A popular approach is the use of succession planting. 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.
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Plants for Second Plantings
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.
- #1 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.
- #2 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.
- #3 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.
When considering a succession strategy like continuous planting, you'll want to choose crops that have a shorter maturity rate but can thrive throughout the season. Options for this type of planting include:
- Broccoli Raab
- Green Onions
- Swiss Chard
To employ a technique using same vegetable with various maturity dates, you'll want to consider planting:
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