Continuous Harvest: A Succession
Planting "How-To" - Holly
Simpson, Sales Associate
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
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
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
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.