The Q&A Archives: Succession Planting

Question: I was wondering what suggestions you might have for succession plantings for such crops as peas, brassicas, lettuce and spinach. I live in zone 4 and can usually get these crops planted by late March. They are often harvested by mid-June. They also grow very well and so I dedicate a lot of space to them. My first frost is usually late-September to early-October. Would vining crops such as melons work well between my pea trellises? What about tomatoes or peppers work in between these rows? I would appreciate your suggestions as I am eager to get things started!

Answer: Succession planting is a terrific way to stretch the season and get the most out of your vegetable garden. If you begin with cool-season crops, you can follow them with warm-season crops. In the late summer you can seed winter-harvested crops. Here's what I plant in early spring: spinach, lettuce, peas, onions, beets, carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard and kale. After harvesting, I plant peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, snap beans and squash. As those crops are harvested, I plant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage cauliflower, lettuce, radish, lettuce and spinach. You can intercrop by transplanting seedlings between the more mature plants, or you can wait until the crop is harvested and broadcast seed over the empty spots. Be sure to work in lots of organic matter as vacancies occur in your garden, to help replenish nutrients.

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