Greener Thumb
Posts: 1499
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Succession planting strategies

I have two more plants that I will be succession planting this year. One is that bottle gourd, which produced an incredible amount of fruits from two plants, but eventually slowed to a crawl. So I figure that one will produce more than I can use, and maybe a second one, planted 6 weeks later, might start producing when the other one is slowing down.

Same thing with a new tomato I grew - Sunset Falls - that is a determinate, that produced a large number of delicious tomatoes, eventually stopping totally. So I figure that I'll start 2 plants at the normal time, and 4 weeks later, 2 more, and 4 weeks later, 2 more. Usually I don't grow determinates, but this one was an incredible producer, with a great flavor, and it was really too bad that I had only one plant! But, I always do that when testing new varieties, and when I find out how good it is, it is too late to have more.

Cool Member
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Washington, DC; 7A by the map but 7B by local urban temps

Re: Succession planting strategies

For my spring and summer garden, I mix up direct sowing and starting indoors to get plants of slightly different ages to do succession planting.

So, let's say it's spring. I start a couple cauliflower, romanesco, and broccoli indoors about 6 weeks before the last 28 degrees, harden them off outside about 3 weeks later, and then transfer them to the garden the next week (Dollar Tree usually has peat pots for $1/dozen in the spring, and I load up on them when I find them at that price). A week after I put them in the ground, I direct sow seeds for the same, and more another week later. My personal experience has been that direct sown seeds grow faster (more room to breathe, probably), so I have plants that produce within 1-2 weeks of each other using that technique.

Keep in mind that I'm in DC, where winters are mild and short (the soil can be worked as early as the first of March most years), so adjust to your local environment.

For the fall garden, planted late summer to early autumn, I just direct sow seeds one week apart for several weeks. It's plenty warm here until mid-October such that seeds germinate in the ground readily (average high temps don't drop below 70 until mid to late October, and October usually has at least 16 days with highs above 70). If we have a cool spell, I just drop a piece of fabric (probably something I cut out of old bed sheets) over the newly planted plots to keep them warmer.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4874
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Succession planting strategies

I have been thinking about your garden all summer succession planting will be a big challenge in Canada. I don't think succession planting is possible in a short growing season the shortest crop I know is Beans 65 days you have time to harvest them twice. You will do better planting wide rows. Plant 3 ft wide rows of, garlic, onions, potatoes, beans, greens, anything you can to save space.

I have relatives that live in northern Michigan they live 2 hour drive south of Sault Ste Marie Canada, 1 hour south of Machinaw City MI. Their last frost is about June 6 and first frost about Sept 20 to 30. Their growing season is about 3 months 2 weeks, is yours shorter?. They can grow things I can't and I can grow things they can't. Greens do very well for them but not me in TN our spring weather goes from 30 degrees F to 95 degrees F in 2 months. They don't grow beans and corn because they don't think they can. They are probably trying to grow 95 day corn, they should be growing 72 day corn. Beans are a 65 day crop. Turnip greens are a very good substitute for spinach in TN I can not grow spinach very easy here. Turnip greens do good down to 0 degrees F. Try planting peppers & tomatoes in double rows too, plants 18" apart and 2 parallel rows 18" apart. Last year I planted, onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, in 3 ft wide rows, this year 1 ft wide rows, next year 3 ft wide rows again. I do lots of experimenting just to see what works best for me in this weather. Last year I planted 72 day corn in 4 rows 12" between rows but this year I returned to 32" rows instead of 36" between rows. 12" corn rows are hard to weed I am getting lazy.

I spend the winter watching YouTube videos there is a video of a guy in northern Canada planting corn in his living room in rain gutters. He has 10 rain gutters on saw horses full of soil near the windows. He plants corn seeds 3 weeks before last frost then transplants all the corn to the garden. He built a green house right onto his house when he walks out his house door he is in the green house. He plants other crops early in rain cutters in the house then transplants some to the green house or garden.

Posts: 11261
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Succession planting strategies

I have been doing some succession planting of lettuce. I cannot eat that much lettuce at one time so it is better for me to start 8-10 lettuce seeds in a pot and transplant the individual seedlings to the garden when they are about thumb size. I can plant them in a bed by themselves but, since the snails love them, I prefer to tuck them between other plants. I will restart seeds every 3 weeks or so. My best planting season will be November- May. Lettuce bolts and struggles through summer so I would rather grow kale and Chard instead as a year round green.

Usually in my main garden I do this. My main garden is acidic pH 6.0 in a raised bed 8ft wide and 16 ft long oval shape.
Plant warm season crops. First planting of Corn (tropical or temperate) Either UH #9, #`10 or Silver Queen.
If I choose to plant corn. Only lettuce, beets, daikon, and carrots can grow between them. Corn will take up all the space in the main garden.
I can still plant cool season crops in March.
Succession lettuce. I start seeds in pots about 8-10 seeds and plant out every 3 weeks or so until May. Lettuce is ready in 30-55 days.
Komatsuna, Chard, Kale, Broccoli are planted in September and leaves can be harvested until May or I remove them for the corn.
If I forego corn in Mar. I can plant okra, 4 cucumbers on a trellis, bush beans, beets, NZ hot weather spinach (also good in a container), amaranth, and or sunflowers.
I do keep cutting celery, Jamaican oregano permanently in the garden. I also have aloe permanents on one side of the garden.
In my 4 18 gallon pots that have a 7 ft trellis I can grow a combination of these plants
9 pole type beans or 9 snow peas in an 18 gallon pot.
4 parthenocarpic cucumbers usually Diva or Suyo long in an 18 gallon pot or on a trellis in the main garden.
3 tomatoes ( I can trellis up to three tomatoes, but since I am having issues with TYLCV, I only plant Charger and it does not require a 7 ft trellis so I can use a large tomato cage instead.

In 18 gallon pots anywhere else in my yard where I have room. I typically have:
Citrus trees in pots ( have about 14 citrus trees at my last count. I may have lost a few)
Bay leaf (2-5 gallon pots)
Peppers hot ( 1 gal up to 18 gallon pots for the larger and longer lived peppers)
eggplant 18 gallon max 2 plants are more than enough.
Green onion, garden and garlic chives in 1 gallon pots ( I usually have a few of them 3-5 pots)
Mint (in 14 inch bowls. They need to be contained. I have chocolate, peppermint, and spearmint)
Ginger, Jamaican, turmeric, galangal. Pots have to be wider than deep. Number of pots depend on the no. of roots I choose to keep.
Taro, araimo. 3 pots need to be both wide and deep. 3 gallon minimum
Pitaya. (well that one makes its own space. I just have to keep cutting it back and pulling it from the fence or it will try to escape to th neighbor's yard
Bittermelon ( its a weed in my yard. The birds bring the seeds)
Lavender. Would prefer to be in the ground, but I need to keep them in pots so I can move them out of the rain in the rainy season.
June- July- August. June possible to plant another crop of sweet corn. Otherwise, plants are taken out as they mature and the garden is left fallow for the summer. It is too hot to plant and costs too much to water it.
September- plant seeds of cool season crops broccoli (DeCicco, Italian Sprouting) so plants will mature in November. Side shoots can be harvested till May. Gobo needs to be planted in a tall tube to accommodate the 3 ft roots. Plant all root crops (beets, daikon, carrots, kohlrabi)
taro ( harvest and repot), turmeric (harvest and repot) Ginger will be harvested after it blooms (Sept-Nov)
Cool season crops can be planted Sept-May
Onions seeds start in September, Garlic chilled in July and planted October 25.
A third crop of tropical corn can still be planted in September.

Tomatoes are good for about 8 months if they are not overcome with disease
Chard and Kale are good for up to two years
Komatsuna one year.
Cutting celery , parsley, 2 years
Papaya 3 years or until the fruit cannot be reached
Eggplant 2-3 years. They do live longer, but production drops
Herbs : thyme, green onions, chives, ajaka basil, lemon grass, ginger, chilies are mostly grown in pots. Herbs tolerate pots well and they would take up a lot of space for a long time if left in the main garden.
I prefer to plant short crops 100 days or less and crops that do not take up a lot of space in the main garden.
I have grown carrots, but carrots and onions are not easy for me to grow, they take up a lot of space for a small yield. I am better off buying these and planting something else instead.
Squash and gourds need space on a fence or on the ground to ramble. I only grow these in my other garden plots that have more space for them and because they can usually take care of themselves for a long time.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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