Vanisle_BC
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Succession planting strategies

Do you practice succession planting? By which I mean:
- Stretching the harvest by planting more of the same later, or when you lift something,
- Following one crop with a different one in the same place (maybe including green manures/ground covers.)

We eat from the garden so few crops are harvested "all at once." I struggle a bit trying to decide what successions will work well in the local climate. One fly in the ointment is the fact that in many cases mature plants still standing in the bed would completely overshadow any seedlings intended to replace the one(s) just harvested.

As an example of a harvested crop followed by a different one, Cauliflower, set out mid-April here, could be followed by Kohlrabi that can be started up to mid-July. However coming up with a big plan that will make the best use of all my space is quite a puzzle.

I'm interested in hearing what follows what in your garden; bearing in mind that what works in one zone may not work in another. How do others among you achieve "successful successions?"
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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Gary350
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Vanisle_BC wrote:Do you practice succession planting? By which I mean:
- Stretching the harvest by planting more of the same later, or when you lift something,
- Following one crop with a different one in the same place (maybe including green manures/ground covers.)

We eat from the garden so few crops are harvested "all at once." I struggle a bit trying to decide what successions will work well in the local climate. One fly in the ointment is the fact that in many cases mature plants still standing in the bed would completely overshadow any seedlings intended to replace the one(s) just harvested.

As an example of a harvested crop followed by a different one, Cauliflower, set out mid-April here, could be followed by Kohlrabi that can be started up to mid-July. However coming up with a big plan that will make the best use of all my space is quite a puzzle.

I'm interested in hearing what follows what in your garden; bearing in mind that what works in one zone may not work in another. How do others among you achieve "successful successions?"
We eat from the garden too and fill the kitchen pantry with 1 years worth of food by July. Spring is easy to get plants started here in Tennessee we have lots of rain, rain almost every day for 3 months. Plants are much harder to start in August in 98 degree weather with not much rain. There are fewer bugs in spring they have not been born yet that makes gardening easier too. I know from 40 years of gardening Tomatoes do good until it gets HOT about July they starting suffering very bad in the hot sun so I plant 20 tomato plants so we have 100 mason jar pints in the pantry for winter before plants stop making tomatoes. I like to plant 500 corn seeds so we get 500 ears of corn from our garden I planted 72 day corn this year. I planted 350 bean seeds we had more beans than we needed so I saved some for next years seed. I usually save 3 or 4 ears of corn for next years seed too. I save tomato seeds too but I buy tomato plants in trays at the garden store to plant in April but I plant seeds in the garden for replacement plants just in case a few plants die they can be replaced from seed plants. Next year i will have a 3 ft wide row of potatoes 35 ft long, a 3 ft wide row of onions and garlic 35 ft long. My pepper plants never make anything until late Sept they were planted in May it is too hot here so they make nothing until cooler weather. Each pepper plant will make 30 to 45 peppers before frost kills them about Nov 1st. Years ago I tried to plant a succession garden it is just too hot in August seeds will not germinate in 95 degree heat, if I plant seeds in trays inside the house I have to water plants every day for 3 months to keep them alive that is too much work. I do dry gardening I never water my plants that forces them to grow deep roots in search of water in preparation for hot summer weather. Your in Canada you will probably have a much easier time than me doing succession gardening except your growing season is about 3 months shorter than mine. Our last frost is usually about April 15 to 20 and first freeze about Nov 1 to 7. We have different bugs and more bugs in Fall than spring. My goal every year is to see how much I can grow by July 15. I want 1 year supply of food in the pantry by July 15. If the garden continues to produce we eat from the garden not the pantry. My garden is 35ft x 60 ft. I never see many bugs until July, I have 12 bird houses that is very helpful for getting rid of bugs.

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Gary, thanks for a very full reply - even if your response to my query about succession planting is more or less "Don't bother!"

The amount you produce has me in awe.

Our frost free season is certainly shorter than yours and our growing season even shorter than you might expect because of sudden hot summers following cold wet springs. Early peas for example are liable to rot rather than germinate. I once took great pains to nurse a row of them into life in mid February ("as soon as the ground can be worked.") They grew very slowly and matured at exactly the same time as an identical row planted a full month later :(.

I'm not familiar with dry land gardening. Can you enlighten me a bit, or point me to some good information?

Do you take vacations? We don't do winter holidays and it's tough to reconcile 2 weeks absence in summertime with harvesting and, to some extent, planting. Those peas won't wait 2 weeks to get picked!
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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Gary350
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Vanisle_BC wrote:Gary, thanks for a very full reply - even if your response to my query about succession planting is more or less "Don't bother!"

The amount you produce has me in awe.

Our frost free season is certainly shorter than yours and our growing season even shorter than you might expect because of sudden hot summers following cold wet springs. Early peas for example are liable to rot rather than germinate. I once took great pains to nurse a row of them into life in mid February ("as soon as the ground can be worked.") They grew very slowly and matured at exactly the same time as an identical row planted a full month later :(.

I'm not familiar with dry land gardening. Can you enlighten me a bit, or point me to some good information?

Do you take vacations? We don't do winter holidays and it's tough to reconcile 2 weeks absence in summertime with harvesting and, to some extent, planting. Those peas won't wait 2 weeks to get picked!
I know exactly what your talking about plant 2 crops of peas and have both crops harvest about the same time. I planted 75 onion bulbs this year 3 different times starting about April 15, May 1st and about May 15. The May 15 crop was better than the other 2 crops combined. LOL.

We are retired, we go camping every Tuesday to Friday or Monday to Thursday of every week from mid March to mid July. It is too hot in July it is not fun to be camping in 100 degree heat. We are going to start camping again this Thursday and return home Monday evening. I rarely have grass or weeds in the garden so I don't need to be here until harvest day. I don't do mulch and don't do plastic or any other type ground cover. Many years go I decided if there are no seeds in the garden then no weeds or grass will grow. I start tilling soon as I can and usually till maybe every other day the objective is to kill every seed that germinated and stir more seeds to the surface so they will germinate so the tiller can kill them. I look at the soil if plants are starting to grow I till again. Soon as i see nothing trying to grow it is about time to plant the garden.

DRY FARMING is something my Grandfather taught me 50 years ago. Watch the weather when it gets right no more frost and forecast says rain tomorrow, plant your garden 2 hours before sun dark. If it rains for 3 days all the seeds germinate and plants grow. Spring brings more rain that slowly goes away by the time 80 degree weather is here plants already have a good root system. When 90 degree weather is here plant roots are much deeper. When 98 degree weather is here and no more rain plant roots are deep enough they have their own water supply hot weather will not hurt them at all even if there is no rain for 3 months. The worse thing you can do to your plants is water them it makes them grow surface roots that become dependent on your water.

I grow some greens in spring, Kale, chard, broccoli, bok choy. I plant tomatoes very deep April 15 the whole plant turns into a big wad of roots in about 5 days the plants start growing about 10" taller every week. I plant corn, beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, water melons, cantaloupe, peppers, squash, okra, sweet potatoes and maybe a few other things. I don't plant seeds until my thermometer shows soil temperature is 65 degrees. We have crazy weather here I planted seed this year 3 times, first time I planted next day we had flash floor rain for a week and it turned cold not many seeds germinated. I planted again the same thing happened flash floods and cold weather not many seeds germinated. I planted seeds again this time they grew. My garden was about 1 month late getting started but it still did good.

I was going to try and do a fall garden again this year mostly greens, kale, chard, bok choy, broccoli, but it is just too much trouble to water every day to keep it alive. We are going camping in 3 days and won't return until Monday. This is good camping season we want to take a 3 week trip to Colorado 1200 mile drive maybe a few days after this upcoming camping trip.

If Canada is not hot and dry now it should be ok for you to plant a garden now. The only reason I don't want to do another garden now is because I don't want to miss any good camping, I don't intend to be home very much. I have a lot of seeds planted in plant trays I guess I will plant all these plants anyway if they die because I was not here to water them, Oh well.

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Re: Succession planting strategies

I think sometimes, key to succession planting is in the planting patterns utilizing ALTERNATING space rather than SAME space.

- Sometimes planting with just a little wider spacing and planting/sowing quick maturing crops between longer maturing crops to make use of the space before the longer maturing crop needs/takes over the space.

- Sometimes it works to plant in such a way that first sowing/planting/wave of a crop will mature and are removed entirely, leaving the space bare for the succession crop.

- Sometimes it works to start/sow the next crop just BEFORE the previous crop is harvested in the soil underneath the canopy. But this is best done with crops that can be side-dressed after the previous crop is removed -- and by removed I mean cut down at soil level rather than dug up.


A lot of it has been trial and error, and the weather patterns often play a part in success and failure.

- garlic/onions/lettuce --> summer squash --> sweet potatoes
- peas/fava --> corn --> volunteer cherry tomatoes (this was a happy accident)
- peas/fava --> corn --> beans
- peas/carrots --> tomatoes/adzuki beans
- potatoes --> winter squash
- garlic/onions --> tomatoes/lettuce/basil
- lettuce/broccoli --> peppers/cucumbers
- lettuce/onions/broccoli --> peppers/bush beans
- potatoes/onions --> peppers --> fall greens
- onions/broccoli --> peppers/carrots --> fall greens
- lettuce/radish --> melons --> garlic
- radish/peas/lettuce --> adzuki beans/winter squash
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Succession planting strategies

I do succession planting of various kinds. I planted one 4x4 block of corn and then when it was making ears, I planted a second block in a different spot. I tried to get a third planting, but I had various kinds of trouble getting it going (including after the seeds failed once, I replanted them and the chickens got in the bed and ate them all! :) ) My garden blog thread here:
viewtopic.php?f=79&t=71873 has more details and pictures.

But in a nutshell:

Bed 1: Planted with spinach down the long edges early. Put tomato plants down the middle and pepper plant at one end basil at the other. Tomatoes and peppers are still hanging in, but the spinach is long gone. Just planted peas down the edges.

Bed 2: Had parsley and garlic over wintered from last year. Spring planted with lettuce down one edge, then added tomato plants in the middle. Now has beans down the edges and two pepper plants on the end.

Bed 3: Had peas, broccoli, chard, and kale. Now has beans, squash, and new baby broccoli seedlings.

Bed 4: Had overwintered parsley and garlic and spring planted with cabbage and carrots. Now has beans and carrots and basil.

Bed 5: (4x4 in the center of the garden) had carrots and corn. Now has some remaining carrots, beans, a volunteer potato plant and a volunteer tomato plant.

Quarter circle 1: (it was well into spring before I finished building this one) had corn and squash. Now still has squash, but planted broccoli seeds in the middle where the corn was.

Quarter circle 2: perennial bed: asparagus, strawberry, rhubarb, artichoke. All of this stuff stays where it is and doesn't get disturbed.

Bed 6: (at the end of the deck) had potatoes and broccoli. Just replanted with chard and spinach seeds that are just sprouting.

Unlike applestar, I don't have any plan for this. I just see what spaces open up and plant what is timely at that point in the open spaces. When the tomatoes, beans, etc. are finished, I will fill in the spaces with more cold weather stuff including lettuces and garlic and onions. Probably plant more spinach. Depending on when the new broccoli is done, I may replant it to over-winter. So there is always something going on in my garden. This year, I am going to try covering some of the beds to keep stuff going all winter. Over the course of a year, one bed may have four different plantings in it.

One of my "tricks" has always been planting cold weather stuff down the edges of beds as early as possible, leaving some space in the middle. Later in spring when it is warm enough, I plant tomatoes down the middle. By the time the tomato plants are getting really big and need the space, the cold weather stuff is done.
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Since I can technically garden all year, I am getting ready to start my fall garden. I have the garlic chilling in the frig. The turmeric is blooming and will be going down in a month or so. The Ginger will probably bloom ealy too. I have cucumber now and some swiss chard, perpetual spinach and beets. I need to clean my bench up so I will have room for the green onions,chives, leeks, kale, basil, and Asian green (tatsoi, bok choy, daikon, and mizuna. I am going to try to start more peppers. It is still warm enough, I hope there will be enough daylight. I have made cuttings of bay leaf, roses, mini bozo, citrossa, euphorbia cotinifolia, ohia lehua, and lavender. I am getting ready to start planting more basil, thyme, sage, kale, and maybe some Asian greens, eggplant,beets, and I might try gobo. ( I haven't tried that for a while) for the October sale.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Succession planting strategies

I do succession planting with cucumbers, as I get too many from more than one plant - the first time I grew them in SIPs I got over 90 from 3 plants, then, nothing! So this year, I planted some 3 weeks apart, but next season I'll go for 4 weeks apart, as they overlapped a bit much, with the earlier one still producing a generous amount, while the new one is starting to fruit. Right now, I have the last one out there, only about 2 feet tall, but beginning to flower, so I'll find out if I get any from it.

Kohlrabi is one brassica that I succession plant, but only one time, as in both spring and fall I can only get about two crops, before it gets too hot or too cold. About 3 weeks apart is good for them in my area.
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digitS'
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Re: Succession planting strategies

All gardening is local, Vanisle_BC. You will have to try different ideas and see what happens.

I do the spring interplanting but not as much since the tractor guy has become somewhat of an adversary in leaving beds more intact and not requiring so much work from me to gather soil in those beds with paths between.

Later sowings: bush beans are an easy choice in my garden if I can get them in anytime before late June. Even with a lingering spring, lots of salad veggies can be out of the way by then. I don't usually use the cut-and-come-again method for lettuce. Older plants don't do well once real hot, dry July weather arrives. However, there may be a number of times the lettuce plants have been set out, including fairly late spring. They are nearly all harvested by taking out the plant. That is an easy location for beans. Beans also follow the peas vines.

Peas can make a return to the garden in late July, although the seedlings won't really like the conditions until late August, when a cooldown in the weather usually occurs (not this year!). They can follow the potatoes and I only grow early varieties of potatoes. Consistent winners on the potato ground are Asian greens. That seed can go in until about August 10th. Once again, little growth occurs until there is some cooler weather but both the pea seed and Asian greens germinate well and get a start.

Back at the first of July, zucchini and cucumber plants were set out between the early cabbage and broccoli. Usually, there isn't reason to keep the broccoli after the secondary buds have been harvested and those develop soon after the central head is harvested. Early cabbage is early ;). In the few weeks that they are together, the brassica plants shade the summer squash and cukes. The spring squash plants may have mildew and they and the cukes are beginning to play out by September. Those cucumbers and squash plants started July 1 are just now beginning to produce!

Steve
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Gary350
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Vanisle_BC wrote:However coming up with a big plan that will make the best use of all my space is quite a puzzle.
I read your post again, best use of garden space is what you want.

The old way to garden was plant in rows about 3ft apart. The new way to garden tends to be wider rows = beds. I use to plant 5 rows of beans 3 feet apart that takes up 15 feet of garden space. Now I plant 7 rows of beans in a 3 foot wide space, rows are 6" apart. This gives me a 3ft wide row 35 ft long. Beans do not seem to care if they are crowded they do good anyway.

I use to plant corn in rows 3 feet apart, I have don't a lot of experiments over the past many years, planting corn with 6" to seed spacing, rows 12" apart in a square block 15'x15' does very well and gives you 16 rows with 31 seeds per row = 496 ears of corn. This compact spacing is very hard to weed, it works better with a 72 day corn than a 90 day corn. 72 day corn gives you time to pull out the old corn and plant a new crop. 2 crops = about 1000 ears of corn for the summer season. I have also planted corn and beans together, corns seeds 12" apart with 3 beans between each corn plant.

I use to plant onions, garlic, potatoes in rows 3 ft apart now I plant 7 rows, 6" apart in a 3 foot wide bed 35 ft long onions and garlic. Potatoes need to be spaces about 12" apart.

I use to plant, Kale, Broccoli, Chard, Lettuce, other greens in rows now they work best planted in a 3 ft wide bed = row 35 ft long. You can mix these crops all together in the same row.

You can plant, peppers, tomatoes, corn, in double and triple rows. Peppers do good planted 12" apart with 3 rows 12" apart. Corn does good with double rows 12" apart with 32" between the double rows. Tomatoes do good in triple rows 18" apart the center row is hard to find and harvest the tomatoes.

Plant melons, sweet potatoes, squash is 10 ft wide rows, keep all the vines in the row. You can plant water melons, cantaloupe, squash side by side 10 ft wide row 35 ft long.

I could have planted another crop for corn this year after the first crop but I didn't. We had all the corn we needed. My garden is wasted space this time of the year dry as desert it needs water for new plants to grow but old plants with deep roots do fine. I think succession garden will work for you plant short crops over and over in the same place. When I lived in Michigan growing season was very short last frost was about June 6, first frost was about Sept 15, growing season slightly more than 3 months.

Do you have a garden tiller? Buy a narrow tiller it works best for closer row spacing. I have a 20" and 24" tiller. I use the 24 to till the whole garden. I use the 20" to till between rows. There is a company that makes a 16" wide tiller. You could do 28" row spacing with a 16" tiller and still do 3ft wide rows and beds. When I had a smaller garden space I did 32" row spacing.

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Re: Succession planting strategies

I don't grow the wide variety of crops as some of you do. we started, as an experiment really, with the 4 things we use the most.
beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers. over the years, as the garden expanded, we added other things..corn, beets, cabbage, brussel sprouts, peas, onions, okra and several kinds of shell beans.
here in the western Virginia hills, I can start planting, most years, late april and first frost is usually late October.
I do follow on second cropping to make the most of the growing season. the peas and beets are followed by shell beans, red, black, navy or pinto, depends on what we need. green beans I plant 2 rows every week for 4 weeks. that way I am not over whelmed with 8 rows to pick every night for a week or so, then nothing. if I need more, I can replant the first two rows when the first crop is done. red beans usually come in soon enough to follow on with pintos. as long as the seeds have set, it doesn't matter if they get frosted, they will make a crop.
if a spot is going to sit for a couple of months, I try to plant a cover crop..oats is first aid for the soil, and wheat and buck wheat is good for over wintering. a bit of a pain to harvest and process without special equiptment, but doable, and good for the soil.

I was reciently gifted a troy built pony. it didn't run, and turns out it was built in 1961....so parts are getting hard to find.
I had to replace the ignition coil with an up grade and rebuild the carb. I am into it about $75 and it runs. it has 16 inch tines, and adjustable depth. it won't deep till, the engine is just not strong enough any more, but set to shallow, it will be a great cultivating tiller.

next year I plan on 4 foot wide rows with 2 foot walkways, so a pass down the walk way once a week or so with the tiller should keep them weed free.

every year we try something new. if it works and we like it, we grow it again, if not we don't. okra was added, parsnips, not.
next year we are trying butter/lima beans.

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Succession planting strategies

There's a lot to digest in those replies to my query about succession planting. As for ourselves, I work mostly in 3'-6" wide beds raised 16" with sides I can sit on. Don't have a tiller. I don't think dryland techniques would work in my well-drained beds; especially the tomato beds which have poly roofs to guard against late blight (Don't ever want that again). They must be constantly watered at ground level.

I guess we're oddball in that we don't eat much corn or many kinds of beans. Not growing those eliminates some opportunities for succession or interplanting. We also don't try to produce nearly as much food as some of you do. I grow things at fairly tight spacing, sometimes closer than Gary suggests. Garlic I do at 4x5 inches. A disadvantage of close rows is you can't run a 7" hoe/swoe down a 5" space. I once tried planting garlic in wider-spaced "clumps" - 4 seeds every 12" in rows 12" apart - but the results weren't great. Still I suspect many plants could be grown in clumps - leeks, broad beans?

Each of my beds consists of 4 or 5 four-foot-long sections. They are built of red cedar and last less than 10 years. Wish I could think up an affordable (cheap!) way of doing something permanent that I could build without aggravating my aching bones. It would still have to have sit-on sides. Dream on ...

I grow a double row of trellised dwarfish peas across the ends of most bed sections. I'd like to grow a lot more peas - those, tomatoes & garlic are our most savoured crops - but having to get between pea rows to harvest, means they would take up a lot of space.

I seem to be sidetracking my own thread quite a bit - apologies to anyone who would appreciate them - but there are so many interesting comments here .....
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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digitS'
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Is it the space becoming available from the garlic harvest in (what?) mid-July that you are hoping to make better use of, Vanisle_BC? It should lend itself to a use for peas.

I think that I have grown garlic twice in my life ... It isn't that we don't value and use garlic, it's just that we use so little of it. It's available to buy and stores well. We make up for its absence by growing lots of onions and shallots.

My July planting of pea seed isn't a very big deal. I have snow, snap and shell peas in the spring. I begin to miss them during these dry, hot weeks. The young plants don't grow much in August and the snow peas I usually grow can take a frost without perishing but it will burn the flowers. The plants will slow and may just sit there after 1 or 2 frosts. I learned to enjoy the tendrils and will harvest a few for dinner even if the weather isn't threatening to shut down the plants. However, I wouldn't bother with them if there wasn't a reasonable expectation of pods to harvest.

I should say that I have tried to grow lettuce as a fall crop several times. It just has not worked! Seed germinates and the tiny plants just sit there until the dry, hot weeks are replaced by frosty mornings, then cold and snow. Nothing. Never large enough to harvest. So ... I go with the Asian greens and stir-fries.

Steve
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Finding something to follow garlic is one of my reasons for asking about successions, but I'm just generally interested in making the most of my space. Not sure why I grow so much garlic - a couple hundred most years - except it's so EASY. There isn't much else that gives me ~100% success, I can eat it all year and have enough seed left over for next season. Where I was born & raised, garlic used to be scorned. Now that I know better, we use it copiously.

Peas would be a possible successor, but I've not so far had success with late plantings. Maybe it's tricky to find the right time-slot; not too hot but not too late/wet/cold. Out of 2 double rows of Maestro that I sowed early July, only 4 or 5 seeds germinated. Maybe if I'd pre-soaked ....? I think I read somewhere that you can overwinter peas even in places that get frost - or maybe I just dreamed that! I have noticed that Oregon Giant keeps producing when all my others have died. But it's those other sweet shelled peas that I crave when there are none left.

As for lettuce I've been impressed with Winter Density ("grows in all weathers") but haven't really challenged it to live up to the slogan.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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Re: Succession planting strategies

RE: my raised beds are built of red cedar and last less than 10 years

Are those red cedar boards?

Dimensional lumber (eg landscape timbers, 4x4s ) lasts WAY longer than flat boards.

The first raised beds I ever built were of boards. I used corner braces, middle braces and everything I could think of. Still in 3-4 years they were all warped and falling apart.

At the next house, I built raised beds out of stacked 4x4 pine fence posts (alternate stacked at the corners) held together with steel rebar pounded down through the stack. They are pressure treated wood and I sealed them with varnish. :

Image

At the time I moved away from that house, they had been there for about 14 years and were still going strong. I did recoat the outside every few years, mainly for cosmetics, but of course once the dirt is in, it's never going to get redone inside.
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Since you are in Canada and have a covered space, you might be able to grow a few frost tolerant plants like kale, broccoli, carrots, garlic over winters and comes up in Spring in cold country, for me I plant it in the fall and harvest in early summer. It will grow the entire time. However, I do have to have the short day variety.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Thanks rainbow for the pictures of your handsome and robust raised beds. Mine are 2x6 or 2x8 boards on 2x4 frames; all of it rough red cedar, some scavenged at the local mill-yard. I'm not sure what the price of 4x4s is, but at the time I built most of my beds I'd have been reluctant to buy them; still may not do that. At my age most things won't have to last more than 10 years, by which time if I'm still around I probably won't be gardening anyway. But we'll see; I do have one bed that's falling apart. I'll either have to replace it or dismantle what's left of it. I have four 16-20 ft. beds forming a rectangle with a couple of ground-level beds inside it. There are removable mesh "fences" - upward extensions - on the outside of the beds to keep the bunnies from jumping into/over them. If I do away with one bed I'll have to replace it with a proper fence. Hard to describe but it's all so improvised and ill-maintained I'd be embarrassed to post pictures :).

imafan, you haven't been paying attention!! (But thanks for the advice.) Yes I do overwinter quite a lot of garlic as well as carrots, kale, Walla Walla onions and purple sprouting broccoli. Here on the W. coast it's not seriously cold (well, maybe compared with Hawaii :)). We do get frost, sometimes hard frost, but it seldom gets anywhere close to zero F. I used to live deep inland 500 miles north where minus 40 (the same in both scales) and even a bit worse was not uncommon. Didn't garden there although it's possible.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

xtron
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Re: Succession planting strategies

following mid july harvested garlic.....have you considered cabbage or brussel sprouts? you will have to start them inside in the air conditioning as they don't like hot soil. but both do well in cool weather, especially the sprouts. I plant mine in the spring and they do little or nothing all summer. but as soon as the weather cools, they go nutz, and I harvest well into December.
cabbage will grow until the snow buries it.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Also, when I lived in Cincinnati, zone 6, I would do a late planting of spinach and broccoli seeds, like mid to late October. My first frost date there was also mid October. All you need is them to be in soon enough that they are well sprouted before the ground freezes. They would get a few inches tall and then just sit there all winter, covered in snow and ice (I never even covered them.) In late winter, when the ground thawed, they would start growing again. It was the best spinach crop I ever had. I would be eating the late planted spinach by the time the spring planted seeds were going in. And it would keep going. The late planted and spring planted spinach would bolt about the same time, when the weather warmed up. That means the late planted was producing a lot longer and got a lot bigger.
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Succession planting strategies

xtron, rainbow:

Useful comments/suggestions - thanks. This year, hereabouts, July was very hot. I had started cabbage (now consumed but regrowing) & B. sprouts (growing well now) earlier in the year. Cabbage I usually uproot but this time I cut the stems to harvest it. New leaves are growing; I don't suppose the plants will produce a new head? Romaine lettuce I treated the same way, seems to have quite bitter new leaves. But I digress (again.) I could start plants indoors for planting out in midsummer but I guess I'd have to raise them under lights - don't have a cool place other than my no-windows workshop. How far ahead of planting-out would be recommended for indoor sowing?

I haven't been much of a spinach grower. Thanks for the information. I may try overwintering it. The broccoli you overwintered, rainbow: was it a specific O/W variety or just a "regular" broccolli?

imafan: You mention short-day garlic. I've never heard of that? Mine is harvested mid-July.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Just regular broccoli. The spinach is a bit hardier for over-wintering. Not all of the broccoli made it thru, depending on severity of the winter, but some did. I bet it would have done even better if I had covered it.
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digitS'
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Re: Succession planting strategies

I don't have answers to some of your questions, Vanisle_BC.

I once said on a forum that spinach was a little difficult and disappointing in my garden. An astute commenter pointed out that southern Washington State is the source of much of the nation's spinach seed. I don't really know where someone would find that information but I was able to "round out" what I meant. Spinach seed would be easy for me to grow. The plants are on a flowering and seed producing trajectory from the moment they emerge from the soil .... it really isn't quite that bad but when the dry and hot weather arrives, they bolt.

Something I really should try is overwintering spinach as RG has done. Clean cultivation in the fall has been my habit for many years ... however ... a spinach relative shows up in the spring as a volunteer. Orach. And I now have both red orach and purple. In salads, I like it even better than spinach.

Now, where was I? Oh yes! After you have cut your cabbage head, watch more leaf buds develop. You will probably want to limit them to 3 or 4. The plant has big roots and can do okay with about 4 and they really should amount to something more than a Brussels sprout. Just look on them as something to eat and cut them when your resistance begins to weaken ...

;) Steve
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applestar
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Just look on them as something to eat and cut them when your resistance begins to weaken ...
I loved that, digit'S :D Soooo true for many harvesting moments. :lol:
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Re: Succession planting strategies

When I plant garlic I have a similar problem. It is not compatible with a lot of other plant and it takes up a lot of space for a long time. I am thinking of putting it in with my ornamental border. It might be a bonus as a pest deterrent.
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xtron
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Re: Succession planting strategies

if you have a strawberry bed, interplant garlic with it. they really like each other.
my strawberry bed became infested with creeping Charlie this year, to the point I had to move th bed.
of the 200 or so plants I transplanted, as soon as they were done bearing, around 20 actually survived. not only did they survive, they bloomed and set berries...then sent out runners...lots of runners. yesterday I planted the cloves of 4 garlic in and around the new bed. I should have lots of new plants and lots of garlic next year.
oh.. the creeping Charlie was tilled, hoed and mulched into oblivion. it's the devils own favorite weed and I take no prisoners.

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Succession planting strategies

xtron; a funny coincidence that you should mention interplanting garlic with strawberries. Just today I dug up all the strawberries in one 4x3.5' section of raised bed, to make room for garlic. This was a very overcrowded strawberry bed that seldom produced much and I've started a more open one next door to it. I don't have much experience with the berries and have never had a great harvest. All advice about maintaining strawberry beds in production is welcome. Spacing, removal of daughter plants, etc.

Are you saying you plant garlic randomly in among established strawberries, or around the edges, or ...? The garlic I'm putting into the just-cleared bed will be too much, too densely concentrated, for interplanting but I'm interested to hear how you do it.

This year I have garlic rounds grown from last year's bulbils. I hope to grow those out over winter to get bulbs/cloves for next year's seed, while growing new rounds from this year's bulbils. Cloves from this year's mature harvest will also be grown over winter to supply next year's kitchen, but I won't have to grow extra, as I usually do, in order to have seed for next year. That will come from the rounds I plant now. I hope all that makes sense when it's written down!? Had trouble figuring it out myself. This will be a whole new strategy for me. The main reason I'm doing it, is to reduce the space my garlic takes up, while maintaining the yield. And just because it will be interesting :).

The first lot of bulbils were generously sent to me by another member. Won't give his name in case he gets too many requests :)

The "devil's own favourite weed" for me is not Creeping Charlie (sounds like a guy I used to know) but Morning Glory. I've finally used R****-*p on it - it never reached my food-growing areas - much against my inclination; but after years of fighting it unsuccessfully, what a relief now, to see it's gone!

Sometimes you just have to do what you just have to do?
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

xtron
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Re: Succession planting strategies

if you look in an established bed you will usually find small empty spots. that is where I put garlic in the original bed. trouble is the berries over grew the garlic and I lost track of where it was, so harvesting was real iffy.
the new bed is smaller, at the moment, so a row of garlic was planted along each side. IF I can keep the berries from over running the rows, I should be able to harvest the garlic and replant the next years crop. it SHOULD be as easy as removing any runner sets and moving them outside the garlic rows. hopefully.....

the creeping Charlie that invaded the berry bed jumped the fence from the yard. that was dealt with by a couple of liberal application of 2-4D. r***d** is reserved for extreme last ditch desperation this works or we burn it down to the ground and start over situations.
now I'm dealing with the ground ive that has replaced the devil weed....not nearly as aggressive or pernisious.

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jal_ut
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Re: Succession planting strategies

"Do you practice succession planting?" Nope! here in high dry Utah, we get about 4 months growing time. Not really enough for succession planting.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Here's the succession in one of my beds;
combined photo horizontal.jpg
(click to enlarge)

I didn't get the earliest picture in the combined photo. Here it was Feb 22:
Feb 22--spring planting.jpg
Chard was well started and garlic had overwintered from the previous fall. Peas were planted on the A frame and against the fencing. So it starts with chard, garlic, peas, then broccoli and kale are added. By June the garlic and peas are done and the greens are huge. No August picture, but by Aug all that was cleared out and squash and green beans were planted. In Sept, broccoli seed was planted. By the time the broccoli needs space, the green beans and squash will be done. Then I will add garlic and/or onions back in.

Late Oct, I will plant more broccoli seed to over winter. Broccoli and garlic should make it through winter.

I'm working on keeping stuff growing year round, now that I am in zone 7.

As shown in the last picture, beans are going crazy right now. So all told, over the course of a year, that is a whole bunch of food to come from one 8x4 patch! To me, this is the secret of getting a lot of food from a small piece of ground -- keep it busy all the time!
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digitS'
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Re: Succession planting strategies

I really like that, RainbowGardener!

I'm only in most of the garden for about 6 months and there is a 5 month frost-free season here, or nearly. I set up a couple of temporary hoop houses here at home. Part of the frames stay year round but they are only covered with plastic film for a couple of months. Then, they revert to open garden beds.

Yes, some garden plants occupy their ground for an entire season. Many do not and there is an opportunity for plant life on that ground to produce in another cycle.

I'm tempted to set up the hoop houses again at this time of year. However, it is not just protection from cold that must be accounted for. At this latitude, the winter sun stays close to the horizon and there are few hours of light.

Steve
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jal_ut
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Re: Succession planting strategies

"Do you practice succession planting?"

NO!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

pepperhead212
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Re: Succession planting strategies

This off season, I am going to try a different type of succession planting - something I got the idea for while getting my cuttings of basil ready for rooting.

One basil that I love, but it has a bolting problem, is lemon basil. Once it bolts, there is little harvest left; unlike some basils, even with all of the flowered stems cut off, it won't come back, in all of the times I have tried, and the two varieties I've tried seemed the same. So I am going to take some cuttings, before it bolts, and root them, to get some plants started, which will hopefully be producing by the time the original one bolts, and I'll repeat this, several times, as needed. I'll let you know if it works.
Dave

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applestar
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Aw. I think mine all bolted already. I'll have to see if there are any that haven't. But I don't have the fantastic rooting system you have so I'm not as confident of the outcome even if I tried. It might just be my techniques. Looking forward to hearing how yours turn out. 8)
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Re: Succession planting strategies

applestar wrote:......I don't have the fantastic rooting system you have so I'm not as confident of the outcome even if I tried. It might just be my techniques. Looking forward to hearing how yours turn out. 8)
Dave, can you give a link or reference to the rooting system applestar mentions; and yes, please do let us know how your experiment turns out.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Vanisle_BC wrote:
applestar wrote:......I don't have the fantastic rooting system you have so I'm not as confident of the outcome even if I tried. It might just be my techniques. Looking forward to hearing how yours turn out. 8)
Dave, can you give a link or reference to the rooting system applestar mentions; and yes, please do let us know how your experiment turns out.
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=73424&p=414838#p414838

this shows his nice little system for rooting multiple cuttings.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Vanisle_BC wrote:
applestar wrote:......I don't have the fantastic rooting system you have so I'm not as confident of the outcome even if I tried. It might just be my techniques. Looking forward to hearing how yours turn out. 8)
Dave, can you give a link or reference to the rooting system applestar mentions; and yes, please do let us know how your experiment turns out.
That cloner I have is a Daisy Cloner, which I got way back when it was about the only small one on the market. It has been discontinued, and there are much better ones now.

Here are a couple of old photos from some rooted cuttings. The first is a serrata basil after 8 days:
Image012 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And here is a peppermint cutting after 6 days, and it has 2 runners, along with all those roots!
Image011 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

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jal_ut
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Re: Succession planting strategies

" The worse thing you can do to your plants is water them it makes them grow surface roots that become dependent on your water."

Here in high dry Utah we irrigate. Some years we don't get any rain for the months of June, July and August. At my current location the water comes from a reservoir up the canyon, around a canal then into a pipeline. There is enough pressure in the pipeline at my location to support rainbirds, so the garden gets a weekly sprinkling of 12 hours which puts a little over an inch of water on the whole area. So don't tell me to not water the plants.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Succession planting strategies

Yup, you have to do what works in your conditions. James doesn't do much succession planting, because of his incredibly short growing season. I am blessed with a very long season. My second planting of corn, even though it got planted much later than I hoped, is in tassel, and my third planting is knee high.
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imafan26
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Re: Succession planting strategies

I do some succession planting, but sometimes the timing isn't just right and the plants are ready before I have the space or they grow slower in the winter months than the summer months. A lot of things in my garden will produce for a long time, so sometimes, I just have to decide when to cut them off. I usually plant 2 or 3 cycles of corn from March 1- September (if I take the broccoli out earlier.) I follow corn with Asian greens and I use them as nutrient scavengers. Some things like tomatoes will produce for up to 9 months before the diseases get them. I don't always rotate, but if the tomatoes have had a lot of problems with tomato yellow curl virus, then I will rotate out of tomatoes for a year or two. I usually rotate tomatoes with beans, peas, or cucumbers since I can use the tomato trellis for the other crops. I did find out the hard way that pole beans and beets don't get along and neither do kale and strawberries. Roses are good with onions.
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jal_ut
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Re: Succession planting strategies

"Do you practice succession planting? By which I mean:
- Stretching the harvest by planting more of the same later, or when you lift something,
- Following one crop with a different one in the same place (maybe including green manures/ground covers.)"

NO!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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