How to Plant a Garden Using Succession Planting

We’ve all made the mistake of planting all our vegetable garden crops at the same time because we were in such a rush to get the garden started. Next thing you know, you have bushels of tomatoes and zucchini coming out of your ears and okra that has turned into a tough loofah. There is too much to harvest, and your crops are going to waste, or worse, there is no harvest. Yikes, a gardener’s nightmare! Succession gardening can solve a lot of troubles and save even more time.

What is Succession Gardening?

Succession gardening allows you to plant one crop after another to increase your harvest. Staggering your plantings can, in turn, lead to the following:

  • Higher production
  • You maximize your available space
  • You can harvest your produce during peak conditions
  • Produce with better nutrition and taste

How do I start succession gardening?

  1. Choose the crops you wish to grow, and determine how long it takes them to mature so they can be harvested.
  2. Find out your USDA Hardiness Zone (the average length of your growing season) and how many frost-free days your region has each year.
  3. Determine the average first frost date in the fall, and late winter/early spring last frost date – this information is crucial for the next steps, so don’t skip it!
  4. Stagger your plantings. For example, if you want sweet corn to be harvested throughout the growing season rather than in a singular harvest, you will need to plant sweet corn every few weeks.
  5. Count backward, starting at your first average frost date, to determine how many days until your first harvest to determine your last planting day.
  6. Plant your crop at the best time for your area to ensure successful harvests.

Can Any Vegetable Be Succession Planted?

Yes, in short. However, each crop has a different harvest time, so with some crops, you will get more bang for your buck than others. For example, beets can be harvested in 56 days, while cabbage takes up to 165.

Best crops to succession plant

  • Beans
  • Sweet Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Potatoes


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