Succession Planting: Grow More Vegetables in Your Garden

Posted on Mar 8 2011 - 2:40am by Mike Lieberman

About two weeks after I started my garden from scratch, I did some succession plantings. Since I’m gardening food to eat, not look at, this will help me to grow more on my balcony garden and eat from it more than twice in a year.

Succession planting is when you plant a new set of seeds about 2-3 weeks after your initial planting. The purpose of this is that it will keep you with a continual harvest. When you harvest the first set, the second set is growing right behind it. Make sense?

When I did the first round of plantings, there were two rows planted in each of the containers. For this succession planting, I added two more rows to each of the containers.

Now each container has four rows of seeds planted. This should allow me to grow more vegetables on my balcony and hold me accountable to my word.

Have you ever done succession planting? What other tips are there to grow more vegetables?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rice.joseph Donald Calvin Joseph Rice

    succession planting is the way to go. also, mostly ignore seed packets when they tell you how to space your plants. most can grow a lot closer than the packets indicate.

  • http://www.culture-connoisseur.blogspot.com Hannah (Culture Connoisseur)

    I’ve actually never thought of it. But this has been a concern of mine. I just planted some bibb lettuce (you inspired me!) and I’m thinking, “when I harvest enough for a salad, that will be the end of that plant.” All that to say, I’m taking note and will try this in the future.

  • Laura S.

    I like how you use a rock as a label– I’m gonna steal that idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614175178 Amanda Howe

    I think you’ve got the basic idea down. In my balcony garden, I mix transplants with seedlings (remember that I have 10 ft long containers). I plant one transplant, then a strong seedling, then a few seeds. There are anywhere from two weeks to a month of maturity between these three plants, but I’d say it’s about the same as what you are doing from scratch. I find it’s always good to have a seedling tray going at the same time, in case something happens to a direct sowing and messes up the succession. I think you’ll get a feel for the success timing on certain plants. Some of the grazing greens, like swiss chard and spinach, will be around for a long time after the second crop has matured. But it’s total trial and error.

    You’re on the right track! Good eating is nigh!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Hahha. Nice. I usually leave about 2-3″ between plants. Don’t actually measure it all out.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Why start in the future? Start now ;-)

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Just don’t steal my rocks.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    ohh rub it in. word. I’ll figga it all out..somehow.

  • Rachael

    Good post, as usual, Mike. Succession planting can be implemented across 2, 3 or 4 seasons as well with cool vs. warm weather veggies as well.

    http://urbangardensolutions.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/succession-planting-your-vegetable-garden-an-in/

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Cool. Didn’t know. Appreciate the info.

  • http://www.organiccity.net Christina Pearson

    Some of the leafy greens are “cut and come again” so if you start a succession rotation, you wont necessarily need to replant, just wait for them to grow back. Spinach and a lot of lettuces grow this way.

    I saw that you’re planting cilantro. That’s one of the few plants I’ve personally decided is for OTHER peoples gardens. Its fast to bolt, but is always cheap and abundant at the coop. Hats off to you sir.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    I’m impatient now and don’t wanna wait for them to grow back. Gonna keep it constant…at least that’s the plan.

    I grow cilantro because I’m gangsta like that ;-)

  • http://www.organiccity.net Christina Pearson

    Just saying you don’t need to RE-seed. Definitely start your succession plating, but after the first batch it gets quicker since you don’t need to start from scratch. With your epic California growing season, and your shady balcony you should be in spinach/cilantro heaven.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Cool. Love the epic SoCal season. Thanks for the info.

  • http://nycgardening.blogspot.com Meemsnyc

    I do that with radishes and lettuce.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Cool. Have never done radishes before. You recommend?

  • Matthewpetrosius

    hey what seeds are better and easier to grow corn,carrot,cabbage,pea,watermelon,pumpkin?

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Depends what you like, space you have and what you are growing in.

  • http://www.bradlinder.net Brad Linder

    I’m planning to succession plant some bush beans in the same planters I’m using to grow my snow peas right now. It’s my first year trying this method though, so I’m just hoping I get the timing right.

    Thanks for the link, it looks helpful!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rice.joseph Donald Calvin Joseph Rice

    mike , radishes are easy to grow and mature in about a month. good for filling up space while waiting on other things to grow in.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Will have to give them a try then.

  • Kellyt from Boise

    I have been grating radishes onto salads and into soups.  It adds a nice zing and they are so easy and fast to grow

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    I’ll have to do that. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/greencathy Cathy Green

    Skimmed through the comments real fast…In our home garden we use radishes to mark where things are planted, ie: a circle of radishes planted around a squash hill. This year we tried out pickled radishes, really good :)

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Good tip on that one. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hblaise

    I love how you use rocks as markers. It looks great, and has a nice organic feel. Plus it’s free! I’m going to do that. Thanks for the tip. 

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Glad you likes.

  • Cindy

    My kids tried their version of succession planting the other day. To hide the fact that they picked some carrots too soon, they replanted some half eaten in a new row. A nice straight line of wilted carrot tops kinda gave it away! 

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Hahahhaa. It was a good effort though.