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Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Dec 30, 2018 5:30 PM CST
Hello, welcome to your forum, I here am new,

So, I'm going to get serious with gardening. I plant in shade. Mostly shade, 4-6 hours of light a day and that is early to late afternoon. I don't do well. That's the first problem. But that's not what I'm here to talk with you about. I'm looking for information on intercropping, at least that's what I think it's called. Rather than have nice rows of all the same type of veggie, it's where you interplant different varieties either do to companion planting, spacing, or pest control. I didn't see much in the forum on intercropping but it might have another name.

The second thing I'm looking for information on is succession planting. It's where after my broccoli does really well until the oak trees leaf and then the broccoli does nothing and I leave it in the ground cause I failed rather than pull up the plants and plant a second crop that doesn't do well. Smiling

So. Any advice or leads to information on how to succeed at succession intercropping in the shade would be appreciated. :)

Not sure if there's a way to set my default info, but I'm in 6A if that helps.
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"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. "
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Name: kathy
Michigan (Zone 4b)
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
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katesflowers
Dec 30, 2018 6:04 PM CST
Hello Thomas, and welcome.
The subject - Succession planting: when one crop finishes producing-another is planted in its place; then there is also Companion Planting: Inter planting two different plants that grow & produce at the same time; also, there are Cover Crops: Planting a non-crop producing planting with the sole purpose of enriching the soil; and, while we are on the subject there are the methods of Crop Rotation, Resting the Soil every seventh year, and planned Buffer Zones controlling water runoff and soil erosion.
All are vast subjects and warrant some quiet time for study. You may wish to use the above topics for researching purposes.
What I inter plant in my zone 4b might not work for you, so I am just offering a way to begin studying.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Dec 30, 2018 6:31 PM CST
Hi Thomas, welcome,
Thanks for the zone note.
I grow in a zone 7 - I found that too much shade was holding me back, when I moved the garden to a new sunny area.
Leafy crops do better in shade. Cool growing crops as well. Sun and heat lovers like peppers and eggplant I think will only cause heartache.

Succession planting is not that complicated. Just understand the way your crop grows- example the broccoli, once it makes a head, it isn't going to make another big head, maybe just some side shoots, so mostly it is removed after the main crop. Many things you grow will have a finite cycle so you will come to know there isn't much to gain by leaving for example green beans another week or two when you could start fall greens.
A good succession could be potatos or peas in spring, then green beans when those are done.

Here's a link to Ohio Extension publications, may be a start.
https://ohioline.osu.edu/topic...
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Dec 30, 2018 7:57 PM CST
I think your biggest problem is going to be finding veggies that do well in a shady situation. You won't be growing tomatoes, peppers or eggplants.

You will be growing a variety of leafy greens, peas and sugar peas, beets, carrots... Plants that grow well in shady situations.

Studies have shown that veggies planted randomly (like mix the seeds together and toss them) do better. The insects are confused and can't zero in on any particular plant and weeds, who are creatures of opportunity, can't get a hold.

So, dig in a lot of compost and plant a garden that is crowded and chaotic. Keep away from the sun lovers.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Andrea Reagan
Astatula, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Kevalsha
Dec 31, 2018 5:52 AM CST
Planting your vegetables in succession means that you plant now and say a week or two after you will plant the same vegetable again so you can harvest again the same crop.

Brassicas take out a lot of nutrients from the soil and usually you have to amend the the soil if you want to grow them again in the same place or let the spot rest for about three years from that crop.

Intercroping is when you use say herbs such as basil and tomatoes or you make a "fence" of rosemary around your ...say lettuce to deter rabbits and other rodents. Some herbs will enhance the flavor of vegetables. You can also attract pollinators to your vegetable garden by inter-planting flowering plants such as marigold, sage, etc. Whatever the combination you make, try not to plant fennel next to any other vegetable especially not next to dill as they will cross-pollinate.

You can read more about companion planting at: www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/companion-planting-guide
Kevalsha
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Dec 31, 2018 8:37 AM CST
I agree
Andrea beat me to the question.

Depending on the crop, and the size of the garden, every week to each month a few more seeds (or rows) of a favored crop.
This successive planting means that there is going to be a continous supply of the favored crop, and... If the raccoons or deer or something show up and take out a planting there's more coming.

When I have cosmos and zinnias and lantana and stuff among the veggies, it looks nice, I enjoy the butterflies, and I don't have pollination issues.

When I leave a few weeds, interplant unrelated veggies and stuff together, it means that the pests have a difficult time finding their faves. Also... Many native plants (weeds) make excellent trap crops... (preferred by the bugs over the veggies).

At my house, my veggies don't Produce in the shade.
Like to see a picture of your garden.
I plant flowers among the trees in the garden. They cast an extremely large shadow, far greater than I would have expected.
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Jan 6, 2019 8:33 AM CST
Thanks everyone for the responses. When I submitted the question I was aware of what the terms meant. I'm looking more for information on what to plant with what and when. Such as radishes are early, plant them before tomatoes. Plant basil around tomatoes. That type of information. I should have been more specific.

Succession and intercropping are sort of opposites in some ways. Succession to most is clearing out the bed after the crop is harvested and a different crop is planted. Intercropping, typically the bed isn't cleared. I suppose both can be accomplished.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.

"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. "
— Sigmund Freud
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 6, 2019 9:05 AM CST
Thomas - I came late to growing veg here, after planting shrubs and perennials. I too have a lot of shade but do have some spots with sun after 11 am. I do fit in radishes, kale, snow peas and a few tomato plants in the ground. I do rely on big pots to grow a few squash, zucchini and peppers (not the big sweet peppers). I can even grow carrots in pots. Some herbs get squeezed in among ornamentals. Not enough sun or long enough season to do succession planting. I don't follow any "rules" about companion planting but some things I don't grow at all, like nicotiana, due to possible affects on tomatoes. My "early" crops tend to be greens like bok choy or Napa cabbage (grown in big pots).
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
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sallyg
Jan 6, 2019 11:27 AM CST
You need a book.
https://www.google.com/search?...
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Jan 6, 2019 12:36 PM CST
Shadegardener said:Thomas - I came late to growing veg here, after planting shrubs and perennials. I too have a lot of shade but do have some spots with sun after 11 am. I do fit in radishes, kale, snow peas and a few tomato plants in the ground. I do rely on big pots to grow a few squash, zucchini and peppers (not the big sweet peppers). I can even grow carrots in pots. Some herbs get squeezed in among ornamentals. Not enough sun or long enough season to do succession planting. I don't follow any "rules" about companion planting but some things I don't grow at all, like nicotiana, due to possible affects on tomatoes. My "early" crops tend to be greens like bok choy or Napa cabbage (grown in big pots).


I can do succession planting. My broccoli start off strong but then for some reason fail to produce. I'm going to find out why this year. I know I have something eating the leaves, but I keep waiting for the tiny heads to get larger but then the plant flowers. Crying Instead of twisting out the plant and putting something in new, I give up. Sad Not this year. nodding When that happens, I'll twist out the plant and put something else in it's place.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.

"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. "
— Sigmund Freud
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 6, 2019 3:06 PM CST
Broccoli is a cool weather crop. The heads bolt, no matter what their size, when the weather warms too quickly.

But, tiny heads are caused by too cold weather. There's no winning with some crops. Brocooli is grown commercially in areas with constant winter/summer temperatures.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Jan 6, 2019 5:30 PM CST
DaisyI said:Broccoli is a cool weather crop. The heads bolt, no matter what their size, when the weather warms too quickly.

But, tiny heads are caused by too cold weather. There's no winning with some crops. Brocooli is grown commercially in areas with constant winter/summer temperatures.


Hmm. I don't remember the temperature last year. I was thinking it was either lack of sun or water. My brussel sprouts did the same thing but I left them in the ground as well and noticed as I pulled them out last fall that they actually did produce a couple tiny sprouts. In late July I run for the house due to skeeters and the humidity.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.

"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. "
— Sigmund Freud
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jan 7, 2019 7:55 AM CST
thommesM said:

Succession and intercropping are sort of opposites in some ways. Succession to most is clearing out the bed after the crop is harvested and a different crop is planted. Intercropping, typically the bed isn't cleared. I suppose both can be accomplished.


Not necessarily.
I'm not sure that you understood my post.

Succession is merely the continous replanting of stuff, even while the initial plantings are still producing.

Intercropping as I mentioned... At my house, the planting of stuff that grows in the same conditions and potentially lends value to the main crop.

As I said, in summer, it's flowers to attract the bees and butterflies to the squash and watermelons...

In cool season?
I have a ton of turnips that I'm noshing on now, and I have carrot seedlings up, carrots that were planted last February which I'm adding to stews still... Plus I was planting additional turnips and carrots and daisies ahead of the rains last week.

As most of us don't live in Ohio, we cant really discuss timing specifics, there is an on-site planting calendar app, but it's going to be trail and error for most people...
The secret is to take out more lawn and put in more garden beds... And then take out more lawn, and put in more veggie beds and then do it some more. You can't eat that turf. The bees and butterflies cant eat that grass, the birds can't eat that grass...
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jan 7, 2019 8:05 AM CST
https://garden.org/apps/calend...
I leave the weeds that the butterflies use as host plants...

I plant stuff to attract the songbirds, stuff like mulberries, elderberries, hackberry, Beautyberry, lambsquarter, elephants foot, and a ton of other stuff.
The songbirds catch caterpillars, and I leave the caterpillars alone.
I sometimes feel bad about seeing the poor caterpillars being preyed upon, but it all balances out if I let nature happen.

I was looking at a site recently that discussed landscaping for wildlife... Gave me some ideas about where to move some of the bushes that are taking up valuable garden space.
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Jan 7, 2019 9:07 AM CST
stone said:

Not necessarily.
I'm not sure that you understood my post.

Succession is merely the continous replanting of stuff, even while the initial plantings are still producing.

Intercropping as I mentioned... At my house, the planting of stuff that grows in the same conditions and potentially lends value to the main crop.

The secret is to take out more lawn and put in more garden beds... And then take out more lawn, and put in more veggie beds and then do it some more. You can't eat that turf. The bees and butterflies cant eat that grass, the birds can't eat that grass...


Oh no. I totally agree. For some people, succession is many things. Could be waiting a week and planting another 'row' of the same crop. Could be after one crop is harvested, the same or a different crop is planted where the first was planted. I was saying that a mix of succession and intercropping would be a more managed process. I'm talking intercropping more of a food forest type at a raised bed level rather than at an acreage level. Companion planting can be intercropping as well, lol and should be, but I was picturing intercropping as more of the food forest scenario, where several different crops are planted in the same bed and the bed looks more like a flower bed than a veggied bed with neat rows.

I agree with you again about taking out grass and adding more beds. Right now I have three large oaks in the back yard and under them I just have leaf mulch. I shred leaves in the fall/winter and leave them lay, about 4"-5" deep. The oaks love it and the soil is so loam compared to what is under the grass. I don't see a lot of life though which bothers me. I'd take out all the grass in back and front if the wife would let me. LOL. At some point I'll take some current pics and share them.

Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.

"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. "
— Sigmund Freud
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jan 7, 2019 2:23 PM CST
Ok, woulda helped if you'd mentioned food-forest in original post.

To address planting something else when one thing is done... When I sowed the patch of turnips that are ready now... I sowed on top of cantelope patch, without tilling, or even pulling out the cantelope vines.

Planting a bunch of stuff in same bed isnt far away from how I garden... But I do have the deer fenced out of 2 or 3 acres...

Not sure that you are going to find much traditional produce to grow in a forest setting.

You may need to look at eating violets and smilax tips.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jan 10, 2019 2:13 PM CST
I googled succession vs staggered plantings... this came up...

https://www.thespruce.com/succ...

re food forest:
I do have some hog peanuts
Hog Peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata)
... they grow well in the shade...

I also grow apios americana,

Ground Nut (Apios americana)

which tolerates a good deal of shade as well....
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
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thommesM
Jan 14, 2019 11:27 AM CST
Ok so I came up with an idea. I have two (2) 2'x8' raised beds which contain strawberries at the moment. Both beds need maintenance, as in soil/compost added to the top which will kill off the crowns unless they are moved up. I'm going to consolidate the plants into one bed as I planted the beds sparsely a few years ago knowing they'd fill in which didn't happen. That will leave me one 2'x8' bed to experiment with intercropping/food foresting. Maybe it will end up being the overflow bed, meaning if I have an extra plant, it gets put into the food foresting bed.

As far as mentioning food forrest originally, I was too afraid that doing so would have people responding that I needed to go the food forresting forum. :)
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.

"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. "
— Sigmund Freud
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jan 14, 2019 11:37 AM CST
https://garden.org/forums/view...

Probably worth visiting there, anyway.
Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Apr 12, 2020 9:26 PM CST
Stone,

I also grow Apios Americana. We need to compare notes.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.

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