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High Mowing Organic Seeds
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Continuous Harvest: A Succession Planting "How-To" - Holly Simpson, Sales Associate 

Succession planting can play a significant role in maximizing the usable space in your garden.  As soon as you harvest one crop, the next crop can be seeded or transplanted in that soil.  Using the succession planting method can also extend your growing season in either spring or fall.  Identifying appropriate cool season and warm season crops is the first step to planning for the season.       

Organic Crop Succession PlantingVegetables such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, peas (shell, snap, or snow), salad green mixes, beets and scallions can be direct seeded in early spring, as they mature quickly.  Seedlings of broccoli, early cabbages, mustard greens and even kales and collards can be transplanted at this time too. Onion sets and potatoes also require cooler temperatures to become established.  All of the crops listed above can withstand a light frost.  Using row cover fabrics, cloches or cold frames insulate the soil to maintain a temperature of 50-55 degrees.

As soon as the cool season crops have been harvested and the last frost date has passed, pull out the plants and have your warm season crops ready to go.  Starting warm season seedlings of melons, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, chard, celery, summer and winter squash etc. to transplant will give you a head start.  In the late summer, one to two months before serious frosts (July to mid August in our area of northern Vermont), plant another round of cool season crops.  The following items will be fine with light to harder frosts: Beets, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, endive, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, spinach, turnips and lettuce.

Also, for continuous harvests, another simple method of succession planting would be to make several plantings of the same crop.  For example, green beans can be planted every 2 weeks from mid-May thru mid-August or transplant broccoli and cauliflower starts every two to three weeks for sequential harvests. 

Make a chart with all the vegetables that you wish to produce more of.  Once you the chart is complete for the first season, you will find it easy to modify the following years.

Using either of these methods will feel very rewarding and allow you plenty of vegetables for fresh eating but also for canning and freezing to keep the harvest edible year round.


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