Succession gardens are created by staggering the plantings. This allows a non-stop continuous crop that maximizes crop yields. You can grow more food for your family when you practice succession plantings.
How Succession Gardening Works
It takes a little planning, but when done correctly, succession crops take over as soon as the previous crop is through producing.
Select Crops for Succession Plantings
You can divide your crops into two groups. Single production crops and continuous productions. Before you rush to buy seeds, check the number of days it takes before you can harvest the crop. This information is on seed packets as well as the listings on website. You’ll find it simply listed, such as 90 days. This is from the time you plant the seed to the time you harvest the crop.
Selecting More than One Variety
You can experiment to see which variety you and your family like best by planting two or three different varieties. Next year, you can either add another variety or replace one you didn’t necessarily like or perhaps it was a poor performer for your region.
One-Time Producer Crops
One-time producers often referred to as single-producers are crops that give you just one harvest. This type of crop usually is included in a second garden or is incorporated into a succession cycle if you wish a larger crop yield.
Plant Every Two Weeks
If you have ample gardening space, you can plant succession crops every two weeks. This is a popular technique for one-time producing crops, such as radishes, beets, carrots, lettuce, and onions.
The average corn stalk will yield two ears of corn. A field of corn can be harvested, and a second round of corn planted as long as the first crop was planted early in the spring.
Planting More than One Corn Variety
If you wish to plant several varieties of corn, you will need to plant these in 2-week intervals to avoid cross-pollination. If you’re only planting one variety, you can still plant in succession every two weeks. Corn is a nitrogen hog so be sure you supply with a good nitrogen fertilizer during growth.
Rotate Crops to Avoid Nutrient Depletion
If you need to plant your succession crop in the same garden area, consider rotating these crops so the soil nutrients aren’t depleted. You’ll want to add rich mulch and may need to also fertilize to keep the production rate for the succession crops.
Short Growing Seasons
Some crops have a short growing season due to temperature intolerance. This includes cool weather crops, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage. With these one-time producers, you can plant closer succession times of a week apart if you have extra gardening space. Otherwise, you’ll want to sow seeds or transplant seedlings when you harvest.
Continuous Producing Plants
You can do succession plantings for plants that are long-producing, many will continue until the first frost. Plants like zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants will continue to produce until the first frost. These are prolific producers, so not everyone laments when the plants slow down their production. However, some growers prefer to continue growing these vegetables for as long as possible and enjoy a couple of succession plantings.
Pepper Plants Slow Starters
Peppers are slow starters, so you will want your succession planting to take place no more than a couple of weeks apart. Once peppers start producing, they will continue right up until the first frost.
Counter Slowing Down of Production
You can counter the natural slowing down of production by staging a second or third planting. Cucumbers often fizzle out toward the end of summer, so you could easily plant other vines to travel up a trellis or along the ground depending on the amount of gardening space you have available.
Using Easy Gardening Succession Techniques
You can use easy gardening succession techniques to increase your summer vegetable yield. Once you begin using succession plantings, you’ll never want to go back to one-time gardening sowing.