How to use succession planting to improve your harvests

What is succession planting?

Succession planting is the practice of having another plant ready to replace the one that is finishing and ready to harvest.  This method can help you get more harvests out of your space. 

Succession planting is the practice of planting crops on a set interval, for example, sowing beans or carrots every two weeks during their planting time.  Doing so ensures that you frequently have something to harvest.  As opposed to getting your harvest all at once, you can spread it out over the entire season.  That is important if you have a home garden and you are not capable or interested in canning or preserving your harvest.  Alternating plantings will help alleviate the problem of forgetting or losing your desire to collect or eat your harvest.  If I could get green beans over a 2- 3-month time frame, I would prefer that instead of all at once.

What practicing succession planting, it is essential to remember to revitalize your soil after one crop finishes.  By adding more organic matter or fertilizer to the soil, you can help ensure the next round of plants has access to ample nutrition available.  Referilization is very important and sometimes slips the mind of beginner gardeners.  Forgetting to add organic matter and amend the soil is a surefire way to end up with a less than stellar harvest.

Timing 

Timing is critical when it comes to success with succession planting.  You will need to have seedlings/transplants ready and available.  Unless you have an extra gardening structure like a greenhouse or live in a temperate climate, you will more than likely be starting your plants indoors.  So make sure to brush up on seed starting skills.  You can read an article about seed starting here.

Understanding the specific variety, you intend on growing is essential.  You will need to know the days to maturity to plan your plantings properly.  Doing so will ensure that you are starting your next round in time.  If you have read the other articles in the series, you know that I garden in an urban area, and space is a premium.  I am focused on getting a consistent harvest by maximizing my gardening.  By practicing intercropping, companion planting,  vertical gardening, planting intensively, and succession planting, I can help optimize my space. 

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