Succession Planting - Increase your Harvest

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” 

Claude Monet

What is Succession Planting?

Succession planting, or successive sowing as its also known, is the practice of planting continuously throughout the growing season. Typically, we tend to start all of our plants at the same time – which means they tend to be ready to harvest at the same time. One of the main benefits of succession planting is having plants at different growth stages so you can enjoy a second or third harvest during the season. This technique also allows you to harvest plants that grow quickly, like lettuce and radishes, with plants like tomatoes and cucumbers which take longer to mature. Once you get the hang of it, you can have all the ingredients of your favourite salad available throughout the summer and into the fall!

Planning for Succession

One way to incorporate this into your garden is to use a "staggered start" approach. For example, if you like to start your own seeds, divide them into stages and leave a few weeks between sowing instead of starting them all at once. This works well with crops like tomatoes and potatoes, and other plants that take longer to mature. If you are starting from seed indoors, map out your garden to leave space for the next "wave" of transplants. If you typically buy seedlings from your local nursery, try starting your own seeds after you've transplanted the seedlings.

Pull 'em and Plant 'em

Another way to get the most from your garden is to plant another round where early-maturing crops have been harvested. Cool-weather plants like spinach, radishes, and lettuce are ready early in the season, leaving the opportunity to plant where these recently harvested plants were growing. When using this method, it's essential to keep crop rotation in mind. For example, plant your next round of radishes where your lettuce was previously growing. Crop rotation will help avoid spreading disease and pests to your new crop.

Timing is everything

When choosing what to plant, it's always a good idea to be aware of the "days to maturity," typically listed on the seed packaging. Choose plants that will have time to mature before your average first frost date. Plants like radishes, carrots, beats, peas, and beans mature quickly, and you are often able to get several harvests in a season.

Plants resistant to cold are also good candidates, like kale and potatoes, which can be started later in the season. Even better if you are able to cover or place in a mini greenhouse, some kale is hearty enough to make it through the winter if protected and watered throughout the season.

Spice it up!

Many herbs and spices can be good candidates for a staggered planting plan. Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Sage, and other common spice rack favourites tend to be hardier and have a high rate of success with this method. If you plant some later in the season in a small container, bring them in when the weather gets cold for year-round fresh herbs.

Great Companions

Companion planting is the practice of growing plants that benefit each other in your garden. They are used by gardeners to attract pollinators and repel pests. Try adding plants like marigolds and borage near tomatoes and cucumbers. If you don't have space in your garden, you can plant in a container beside your garden. A great way to add some colour and help benefit your crops simultaneously.

Tips for Success

When starting plants a bit later in the season, temperatures can be hotter than optimal for your seeds. Consider sowing seeds beside larger, leafier plants to offer some relief from the sun on hotter days. If you're starting seedlings in containers, have a shady spot available when it heats up, or move your seedlings inside if you have space.

Healthy soil is the key to healthier roots. Top up your soil with compost and add mulch once planted. Now is the best time to add Root Rescue. Mycorrhizal fungi, the beneficial soil fungi in Root Rescue Transplanter, will go to work helping your plants immediately. Get the full benefits that Mychorrirhizal Fungi provide when they form a symbiotic relationship with your plant's roots; including:

• Improved resistance to Transplant Shock

• Increased drought and salinity stress tolerance

• Increased water and nutrient uptake

Learn more about how the Mycorrhizae in Root Rescue Transplanter assist the roots of their host plants -

For direct-sow plants, apply Root Rescue right after you sow the seeds and repeat the treatment when the seedling's first true leaves unfold. If you're starting from a container, apply Root Rescue immediately after planting in your garden.

Succession planting is a great way to extend your gardening season and use your space more efficiently. It also means succession harvesting, so your favourite fresh foods can be available throughout the summer. Give it a try this year; you may find it easier than you think to grow twice the yield in the same amount of space as a single-crop garden

There's More To Explore

Visit our blog for more tips and information on Sustainable Growing

What’s Really Under Your Feet?

The Best Way To Grow Healthy Plants In Suburban Soils

Create A Sustainable No-Till Garden