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Former Extension Educator, Horticulture
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015
As a grower with limited space in my yard I know that sometimes it can be difficult to grow the amount of food we want with the space we have. One tool to help accomplish this is succession planting.
Succession planting is a crop planting method which can increase crop cycles, yields, and availability in a season by efficiently timing and spacing the plantings.
There are several approaches to succession planting and they can be combined as well.
Climate and crop selection are key factors when using this method. For example, a cool season spring crop could be followed by a summer crop. It is also beneficial if the crops have similar nutrient requirements.
Same crop in succession - Several plantings are made at strategically timed intervals. The plants mature in succession. This enables one to have continuous harvest of a crop. This is commonly practiced with lettuce.
Same crop with different maturity dates at the same time - Several varieties of the same crop are selected with maturity dates in early, mid, and late season.
Planted at the same time, the varieties mature one after the other over the season.
Two or more crops simultaneously - Planting of non-competing crops, often with different maturity dates at the same time in strategic patterns. Inter-cropping is one pattern approach. Companion planting is a complementary practice.
Very helpful succession planting charts can be found online by doing simple searches.
Additional info from University of Illinois Extension can be found by following the links below: