Succession Planting Guide: Sowing Salad Greens, Herbs, Vegetables in Succession

Growing vegetables, salad greens and herbs in your garden or in pots or vertical gardens can be very rewarding. But many people plant their crops like farmers, sowing the seeds in large plots to yield a bountiful crop. While the yields may be wonderful, the grower can end up with excess crops that have to be preserved or frozen, with no produce at other times. Having too much product at once ruins your sense of achievement.

There is a better way. Sowing vegetables, herbs and salad green in succession can yield a constant supply of perfect salad green and other items all summer long. Planting small plots several weeks apart means that you can get a continuous supply.

Even for plants that you can pick continuously, it pays to have several plots with one or more resting while you harvest the other plot. The secret is to pace your plantings in pots or in small garden pots knowing how long each plant will take to mature and how much each plot will yield. It is a simple matter of knowing how long each vegetable or herb takes to mature, and how long before you can start picking for continuously yielding plants like herbs, spinach or other leafy greens.

This article contains the tips and information you need to plan your succession planting in pots, containers, vertical gardens and garden beds.

Pots are ideal for succession planting of vegetables and herbs
Pots are ideal for succession planting of vegetables and herbs | Source
A little planning means that you can harvest your garden on a continuous basis using successive plantings at various intervals
A little planning means that you can harvest your garden on a continuous basis using successive plantings at various intervals | Source
Vertical and wall gardens are ideal for continuously harvesting herbs for the kitchen
Vertical and wall gardens are ideal for continuously harvesting herbs for the kitchen | Source
Mixed plantings in separate plots means that you can get continuous vegetables and herbs from your garden
Mixed plantings in separate plots means that you can get continuous vegetables and herbs from your garden | Source
Pots are an ideal way of organizing your successive plantings. See the guide in this article
Pots are an ideal way of organizing your successive plantings. See the guide in this article | Source
Succession plantings require that you plan your plantings and organise your layout with small plots for vegetables and herbs that are planted out in succession.
Succession plantings require that you plan your plantings and organise your layout with small plots for vegetables and herbs that are planted out in succession. | Source
Large gardens are ideal for succession plantings.
Large gardens are ideal for succession plantings. | Source

Tips for Succession Interval Planting of Herbs and Vegetables

► Know your climate zone and the ideal time to plant seasonally at the peak time. Do some research and work out the earliest and latest time to plant to get crops, start from seeds or seedlings.

Aim for an early start in the season by planting early spring varieties before the end of the frosts. This applies for vegetables such as lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, beets, and onions.

You can also keep pots and containers under cover initially and then move them out after the risks of frosts has past.

You also need to know the last feasible time to plant each species so you can get a last crop before the season ends.

► Develop a succession planting layout plan on paper and stay well organized, so you can manage your plantings. Sow seeds in alternating rows, in small adjoining plots, or in multiple containers or pots.

► Choose vegetable and herbs plants, and varieties that can be picked over a reasonably long period of time.

Choose plants that keep well in the refrigerator. Cherry tomatoes and spinach are excellent options for daily harvests.

Single plantings of Swiss chard, collards, and kale can be harvested for months on end. Simply cut leaves from the outer part of the plant. Harvest from several plants to reduce the burden on individual plants.

Peppers, squash, tomatoes, and leafy green vegetables allow continued harvests on a daily basis.

Herbs can produce all season long, when they are properly pruned and harvested lightly.

Spread the picking and harvesting over several plants.

Beets, parsnips and other root vegetables can yield green leaves until you are ready to harvest the roots. Spread the harvesting over several plants.

► Containers, pots and vertical gardens are ideal for succession planting, as the number of plants are small and they can be managed as a unit.

They can also be brought indoors late in the season or started early away from frosts.

Developing a Succession Planting Plan for Herbs and Vegetables

The best option is interval succession planting which means you make repeated plantings of the same crop, at timed intervals. For example, this means that you plant a small plot or a container, with the same species every two weeks. Each plot will successively reach maturity two weeks apart providing a continuous supply. This means that you will have a continuous yield of produce throughout the growing season. You can do this for herbs and vegetables. The same approach can be applied to plants that you can continuously pick from such as rosemary and many other perennial and annual herbs. If you have three or more containers or plots or large plants for each species, you can be picking from one while the other two are resting. You can pick from each plant of plot in succession.

How to Know the Ideal Succession Interval Between Plantings

The table below provides a summary of the time to maturity and successive planting intervals for herbs, vegetables and salad greens. There is also a guide to the number of plots or containers you will need.

Below are some examples of time intervals for successive plantings of common crops:

► Radish - every week

► Cucumbers - every 3 weeks

► Green beans - every 1 1/2 weeks

► Beets every - every 2 week

► Kale/Collards - every 3 weeks

► Summer Squash - every 6 weeks

► Lettuce, Heads - every 2 weeks

► Spinach - every week and harvest re-growth

► Melons - every 3 weeks and plant multiple varieties

► Sweet Corn - every 1 1/2 weeks and plant multiple varieties

► Lettuce, Leaves and Salad Pickings - every week and you can harvest re-growth

Days to Maturity and Successive Planting Intervals for Herbs, Salad Greens and Vegetables

Type
Variety
Days to Maturity
Interval Between Successive plantings (days)
Batches for 7 day harvest/picking
Herb
Basil
68
14
2
Herb
Chives
50
10
2
Herb
Cilantro (Coriander)
50
10
2
Herb
Dill
90
14
2
Herb
Leaf Fennel
100
14
2
Herb
Mint
68
14
2
Herb
Oregano
50
10
2
Herb
Parsley
75
14
2
Herb
Rosemary
100
7
1
Herb
Sage
50
10
2
Herb
Shallots
60
10
2
Herb
Thyme
100
7
1
Salad Green
Baby Leaf Greens
14
7
3
Salad Green
Baby Leaf Lettuce
14
7
3
Salad Green
Cucumbers
60
21
3
Salad Green
Lettuce Head; Full-size
 
10
2
Salad Green
Lettuce; leaf
45
14
1
Salad Green
Lettuce; Salad mix dwarf
28
7
2
Salad Green
Mustard Greens
40
21
3
Salad Green
Radishes
30
7
1
Salad Green
Salad Greens
45
14
2
Salad Green
Spinach
45
7
1
Vegetable
Arugula
30
14
2
Vegetable
Beans; bush
55
10
2
Vegetable
Beans; lima
65
14
2
Vegetable
Beans; pole
65
14
2
Vegetable
Beets
50
14
2
Vegetable
Broccoli
65
14
2
Vegetable
Cabbage
75
21
3
Vegetable
Carrots
90
21
3
Vegetable
Cauliflower
55
14
2
Vegetable
Collard Greens
75
14
3
Vegetable
Corn; sweet
80
14
3
Vegetable
Cucumbers
60
21
3
Vegetable
Edamame
70
28
3
Vegetable
Eggplants
65
50
3
Vegetable
Endive
56
14
2
Vegetable
Escarole
56
14
2
Vegetable
Full-size Asian Greens and Pac Choi
30
10
2
Vegetable
Kale/Collard
45
14
3
Vegetable
Kohlrabi
55
10
2
Vegetable
Melons
70
21
3
Vegetable
Okra
70
21
3
Vegetable
Onions; green
85
10
3
Vegetable
Peas
60
10
2
Vegetable
Peppers
60
21
2
Vegetable
Potatoes
90
21
4
Vegetable
Pumpkins
100
30
4
Vegetable
Radish
26
7
1
Vegetable
Spinach
40
7
1
Vegetable
Summer Squash
48
30
4
Vegetable
Sweet Corn
75
10
2
Vegetable
Swiss Chard
28
30
4
Vegetable
Tomatoes
75
21
2
Vegetable
Turnips
45
14
2

© 2015 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 2 comments

Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 17 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi Dr. John, We plant a garden every year. My husband grew up on the farms in NY. We still are not experts but love the experience and watching the vegetables grow. We are learning what vegetables grow the best in our dirt and area. Tomatoes and green beans and zucchini seem to be the best. I also grow herbs and dry them for all year. I loved your pictures and hub articles.

Blessings to you.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 17 months ago from USA

This is exactly what I am trying this year. It is great to see someone else is doing the same thing.

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