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High Mowing Organic Seeds
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The Seed Bin - May 2011

 

Succession Planting - Megen Hall, High Mowing Sales Associate


Why plant a whole bunch of spinach – or lettuce for that matter – all at once when you can stagger your plantings for a continuous harvest?  This is a fairly simple concept, but it will require a bit of planning and some specific knowledge about varieties.  The following strategies will help you plan for a whole season of succession plantings, allowing you to spread out your harvest longer.  Please note that much of the information about seasonally slotted varieties is geared toward growing in Northern regions and may not apply to regions with unusually warm or long growing seasons.

Staggering the planting dates of the same cultivar may be enough for some crops, while other crops require planting different varieties that are best slotted for particular parts of the growing season.  For instance, beans are best grown during the summer and do not have varieties for suited for spring or fall plantings.  Rather than sowing all your beans at once, plant a portion of your seed and continue to sow more of the same every 2-3 weeks so that a new crop will be ready as the earlier one begins to wane.  In contrast, some crops are particularly finicky about temperature or light requirements, etc.  While one type of lettuce may do fine in the fall, the same variety might be quick to bolt in the summer.  For example, green leaf lettuce can be sown every three weeks for a continual harvest, but it is best to change varieties as the characteristics of the seasons change. Begin your season with Waldmann’s, as it is best suited for spring production because it requires cooler temperatures for germination and has only moderate bolt resistance.  As the temperatures begin to rise, switch to Two Star, which is a similar variety, but will withstand the summer heat with more resistance to bolting.  And wrap up your season with Lettony because it excels in the fall due to it’s resistance to Downy Mildew. 

When planning out your garden, allow for enough space in your rows to plant all the seed that you plan to sow.  Using beans as an example again, if you plan to sow 15 row feet of beans, begin by planting 5 ft.  In 2-3 weeks, sow another 5 ft, and repeat again after 2-3 weeks.  You will be able to harvest your first planting about 3 times and just when the harvest begins to diminish, you next crop should be ready to pick and so on.  You can till in or remove your first crop and bring to a compost pile.  If tilling in, you will want to wait a few weeks before replanting anything into that same location.  If you are clearing the plants for a future planting, add some compost to replenish your soil and plant your next crop.  This same rule can be applied to all the crops in the following table, being sure to switch varieties as you go for seasonally slotted crop types.

The following table will help you to plot out your garden for continual harvests of multiple crops throughout the growing season.  The crop types and varieties listed are particularly well suited for succession planting.

Crop Type

Variety Name

Seasonal Slot

How Often  

Beans, snap

All Varieties

Summer

Every 2-3 weeks

Beets

Early Wonder

Spring - Summer

Every 2-3 weeks

Beets

All Varieties

Summer (Main season)

Every 2-3 weeks

Beet Greens

All Varieties

Spring - Fall

Every 2-3 weeks

Chard, baby leaf

All Varieties

Spring - Fall

Weekly

Arugula

All Varieties

Spring - Fall

Every 3 weeks

Flowering Brassica

Hon Tsai Tai

Mid-summer - Fall

Every 2-3 weeks

Flowering Brassica

Spring Raab

Early Spring - Mid summer

Every 2-3 weeks

Flowering Brassica

Te You

Late Spring - Early Fall

Every 2-3 weeks

Garden Cress

All Varieties

Spring, Late Summer

Every 2-3 weeks

Mustard Greens

All Varieties

Early Spring - Mid summer

Every 2-3 weeks

Radish Greens

Hong Vit

Mid spring, Late Summer

Every 4 weeks

Kale, baby leaf

All Varieties

Spring - Fall

Every 4-5 weeks

Spinach

Corvair

Spring, Fall

Every week

Spinach

Renegade F1

Spring, Summer, Fall

Every week

Spinach

Regiment F1

Spring, Summer, Fall

Every week

Spinach

Giant Winter

Fall

Every week

Spinach

Samish F1

Spring, Fall

Every week

Spinach

Tyee F1

Spring, Summer

Every week

Spinach

Bloomsdale Longstanding

Spring, Fall

Every week

Spinach

Winter Bloomsdale

Early Spring, Fall

Every week


The following table is specific to growing lettuce due to its varying seasonal characteristics.  All lettuce varieties can be sown every 3 weeks for continual harvest.


Lettuce Type

Variety Name

Seasonal Slot

Comments

Red Leaf

Magenta

Spring, Summer

 

Red Leaf

Lovelock

Spring, Summer, Fall

Heat tolerant

Red Leaf

New Red Fire

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Red Leaf

Red Sails

Spring, Summer

Does not bitter in summer heat

Red Leaf

Galactic

Spring, Summer, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Red Leaf

Antago

Spring, Fall

Suited to low light conditions

Red Leaf

Dark Lollo Rossa

Spring, Fall

 

Red Leaf

Red Tide

Spring, Fall

 

Green Leaf

Black Seeded Simpson

Spring, Summer, Fall

Withstands heat, drought, and frost

Green Leaf

Waldmann’s

Spring

 

Green Leaf

Two Star

Spring, Summer, Fall

Heat Tolerant

Green Leaf

Lettony

Fall

 

Green Leaf

Bergam’s Green

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Green Leaf

Nevada

Summer

Bolt resistant

Oak Leaf

Bolsachica

Fall

Best for baby leaf

Oak Leaf

Tango

Spring, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Oak Leaf

Sulu

Fall

Best for baby leaf

Oak Leaf

Blade

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Best for baby leaf

Oak Leaf

Flint

Fall

Best for baby leaf

Oak Leaf

Salad Bowl

Spring, summer, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Oak Leaf

Red Salad Bowl

Spring, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Oak Leaf

Oscarde

Spring, Fall

 

Oak Leaf

Emerald Oak

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Oak Leaf

Red Oak Leaf

Spring, Summer, Fall

Does not bitter in summer heat

Romaine Cos

Defender

Spring, Summer, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Romaine Cos

Spock

Spring, Summer, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Romaine Cos

Spretnak

Spring, Summer, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Romaine Cos

Breen

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Romaine Cos

Tin Tin

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Maintains flavor and texture in winter temps

Romaine Cos

Aerostar

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Romaine Cos

Freckles

Spring, Summer, Fall

Best for baby leaf

Romaine Cos

Outredgeous

Spring, Summer

Best for baby leaf

Romaine Cos

Parris Island Cos

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Romaine Cos

Winter Density

Spring, Summer, Fall

Heat and frost tolerant

Romaine Cos

Jericho

Spring, Summer, Fall

Heat tolerant

Romaine Cos

Cimarron

Spring

 

Romaine Cos

Green Towers

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Romaine Cos

Rouge d’ Hiver

Fall

Frost tolerant

Romaine Cos

Coastal Star

Spring, Late Summer

Heat Tolerant

Butterhead/Bibb

Kweik

Spring, Fall, Winter

Cool season production only

Butterhead/Bibb

Optima

Spring

 

Butterhead/Bibb

Pirat

Spring, Fall, Winter

Heat tolerant

Butterhead/Bibb

Forlina

Spring, Fall, Winter

 

Butterhead/Bibb

Roxy

Spring

 

Butterhead/Bibb

Sylvesta

Spring, Fall, Winter

 

Iceberg

Boulder

Spring

 

Lettuce Mixes

Gourmet Mix

Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Lettuce Mixes

High Mowing DMR Mix

Fall

Suitable for indoor production

Lettuce Mixes

Yankee Hardy Mix

Fall

 

Lettuce Mixes

Red Planet Mix

Spring, Summer

 



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