An efficient garden is a pleasure to work in and provides benefits of a harvest all season long. One way to maximize your garden’s results is through succession planting, a minimally intensive gardening method that ensures a continuous harvest of fast-growing crops.
Succession planting maximizes planting space and extends the harvest season. There are four common ways to succession plant:
- Same Vegetable, Staggered Plantings: Plant more seeds for the same crop every two to four weeks. This works best with fast-growing vegetables, like radishes and lettuce. As the first crop matures to harvest, the second crop will be nearly mature. You can continue to plant and harvest the same crop until unfavorable weather sets in.
- Same Vegetable, Different Varieties: Plant early-season, mid-season and late-season varieties of the same vegetable. Most veggies have varietals that mature at different rates, including carrots, tomatoes, lettuces and squash. Check the seed packet for “days to maturity” to determine which are the early, mid and late bloomers.
- Different Vegetables in Succession: Instead of planting a spring garden and waiting for plants to die before planting again in summer, try following an early-season vegetable with a late-season vegetable of a different variety. Peas, for example, grow quickly in early spring and their space in the garden can be replaced with zucchini in late spring.
- Interplanting Two Vegetables: This method falls between succession and companion planting. Sow seeds for vegetables that grow well together at the same time, in the same area. Carrots and radishes are often sown together, and the radishes mature quickly, loosening the soil for the later maturing carrots.
Try succession planting this spring to get the most you can out of your garden!
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