By Jennifer Poindexter
Are you considering practicing succession planting in your vegetable garden? If so, be sure to understand which vegetables are best for this gardening method.
Some vegetables aren’t great options for succession planting because they take longer to mature.
Yet, other vegetables are best handled when succession planted as their harvest can be overwhelming if only grown once throughout the growing season.
If you’re unfamiliar with succession planting or the crops that work best for this gardening method, you’re in the right place.
I’ll explain what succession planting is and which crops are a good fit for this growing method. Here’s the best plants for succession planting in your vegetable garden:
What Is Succession Planting?
Succession planting is the act of planting certain crops in stages. For instance, when growing leaf lettuce you’d be better served to plant a small amount of the crop one week and two weeks later plant a little more.
Then in another two weeks, plant a little more. This method of planting is great for extending your harvest.
In our example with lettuce, succession planting has other benefits. Lettuce is a crop that you can’t preserve. Therefore, if you don’t plant it over a longer period of time, you’ll end up with too much lettuce at once.
When practicing succession planting, be sure to pay attention to when your harvest window is closing. With some crops, it may end when the temperatures become too warm.
In other cases, the harvest window may close due to frost. Be sure you know when these changes are occurring, so you can accurately calculate when to stop planting more of a specific crop.
Now that you understand what succession planting is, let’s discuss the crops which work best for this planting method.
Plants for Vegetable Garden Succession Planting
Spinach is a nutritious, leafy crop that does best in cooler weather. Smaller plants can handle temperatures as low as 20-degrees Fahrenheit.
However, larger plants do best in temperatures around 60-degrees Fahrenheit. When growing this crop, be sure to provide full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil. Be sure to succession plant this crop every two to three weeks.
Beets are a simple crop to grow. Plus, you can enjoy both the root of the crop and the greens. When growing beets, be sure to plant them in an area with full sunlight and nutrient-dense, well-draining soil.
Also, ensure you grow beets when the temperatures are around 65-degrees Fahrenheit. If grown when the soil is too warm, the beets will become grainy. Beets should be planted every two weeks when practicing succession planting.
Kale is another nutrient-rich, leafy green vegetable. It’s a faster growing crop than some, so you can succession plant it every two to three weeks.
When growing kale, be sure to provide a growing location with full to partial sunlight, well-draining soil, and ensure the temperatures are no warmer than 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
Radishes are a great crop to grow. They can typically be harvested in approximately four weeks. When growing radishes, be sure to supply an area with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
If the soil isn’t loose enough, the radishes won’t have the ability to expand, so be mindful of this as well. Radishes are a cool weather crop that do best when the temperatures are no higher than 65-degrees Fahrenheit. This crop can be succession planted every two weeks.
Lettuce is a popular option for succession planting. The reason being is it allows you to prolong your harvest and avoid having too much lettuce come in at once.
When growing lettuce, be sure to select a location with plenty of sun and nutritious, well-draining soil. Lettuce prefers temperatures around 60-degrees Fahrenheit and can be succession planted every two weeks.
It’s a good idea to succession plant cucumbers. If not, you’ll end up with lots of cucumbers at one time and let’s be honest, you can only preserve so many pickles in a year. By spreading your plants out, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh cucumbers for a longer period. Plant your cucumbers in an area of full sunlight and supply well-draining soil. They prefer temperatures around 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
Plus, you have a little more flexibility with succession planting this crop. You can plant cucumbers monthly, bi-weekly, or once at the start of summer and once towards the end. Pick the method which works best for you.
When growing cabbage, it’s important that you amend the soil as it must drain adequately and have plenty of nutrients. Cabbage also enjoys plenty of sunlight.
Be sure to plant cabbage when the temperatures average 65-degrees Fahrenheit. Cabbage grows slower than some other crops mentioned on this list, so this crop should be planted every four weeks when succession planting.
8. Collard Greens
Collard greens are another leafy crop that enjoys cooler temperatures, are low-maintenance, and grow quickly. They’re easy to please as this crop can grow in temperatures ranging from 45- to 85-degrees Fahrenheit.
When growing this crop, be sure to supply a location with well-draining, nutritious soil and full sunlight. You may succession plant collard greens once every two weeks.
Arugula is a delicious green that I enjoy adding to my salads or even as a fresh topping on my pizza. If you’re interested in growing this crop, be sure to supply a growing location with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
Also, be sure to plant arugula when the temperatures are around 50- to 60-degrees Fahrenheit. This crop may be succession planted every three weeks.
Basil is a beautiful, aromatic herb that’s great when incorporated into dishes or used as a garnish. No matter how you like to enjoy your basil, be sure to provide the plant what it needs for the greatest harvest.
When growing basil, supply a location with temperatures ranging from 50- to 80-degrees Fahrenheit. The plant needs consistently damp, well-draining soil and full sunlight. Be mindful that this plant doesn’t experience too harsh of a light nor should it be exposed to frost. Basil can be succession planted every two weeks.
When you think of succession planting, most people think of leafy crops or root vegetables. Vining summer crops don’t typically come to mind. Well, we’re going to change this.
Watermelon makes an excellent crop for succession planting. It should be planted every three weeks. When growing watermelon, be sure the temperatures range between 65- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit. The plants also need well-draining soil and full sunlight.
Rutabaga is another cool weather crop that does well when succession planted. This crop should be staggered every two to three weeks.
However, when growing rutabagas, be sure to supply the right growing conditions. Rutabaga grows best when the temperatures are around 50-degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, it prefers full to partial sunlight and loose, well-draining soil.
Carrots are a wonderful crop to grow. They’re low-maintenance and are great for succession planting. When sowing the seeds, be sure to select a growing location with full sunlight and loose, well-draining soil.
Be mindful to keep the seeds damp until germination has occurred. From there, water the plants deeply and keep the soil moist. Carrots like temperatures around 70-degrees Fahrenheit, and they may be succession planted every three weeks.
Corn is a larger crop that many people forget works well for succession planting. This growing method can help you extend your harvest. When growing corn, it’s important to plant in an area with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
Also, remember that corn requires temperatures to be above 50-degrees Fahrenheit for the seeds to germinate. Corn may be succession planted every ten days.
Broccoli is a cool weather crop. Be sure to grow this plant when the temperatures are above freezing but no higher than 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Ensure the growing location provides ample sunlight and nutritious, well-draining soil. Broccoli may be succession planted every three to four weeks.
Turnips are an excellent plant to grow because you get two products from one plant. You may enjoy the greens and the roots themselves.
When growing turnips, be sure to provide a growing location with full sun, loose soil that’s well-draining, and temperatures between 50- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. Turnips may be succession planted every two weeks.
Fennel is a plant that doesn’t get along with most other crops in the garden. Therefore, plant with caution as you don’t want to damage surrounding crops.
Once you have this under control, be sure to provide a growing location with full sunlight, well-draining soil, and when the temperatures are around 60-degrees Fahrenheit. Fennel may be succession planted as frequently as once per week.
18. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a crop that does best in cooler temperatures but will need some shade if grown in warmer weather. For best results, try to grow Bok choy when the temperature is between 60- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
This plant also needs plenty of sunlight and loose, well-draining soil that’s been amended with plenty of organic material. Bok choy can be succession planted every three to four weeks.
Cauliflower is another cool weather crop, but it’s a little more particular. It does best when there aren’t huge swings in temperatures, so try to grow cauliflower when the temperatures are consistent.
However, it does well in a growing location with temperatures between 25- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit. Cauliflower also prefers a growing location with full sunlight and rich, well-draining soil. Should you decide to succession plant cauliflower, be sure to do so once every three to four weeks.
Our last crop to discuss for succession planting is kohlrabi. This is another cool weather crop that grows best when the temperatures are below 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
Kohlrabi also needs a growing location with well-draining soil and a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day. When succession planting, kohlrabi should be planted every ten days.
You now have twenty different crops that are great additions to your vegetable garden and may be succession planted.
Utilize the tips provided to prolong the harvest in your garden and enjoy fresh vegetables as long as you can throughout the growing season.