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GARDENING: Succession planting produces steady supply

by Jeanette Castanon

Succession planting is a great method to use when you want to have a steady supply of harvest from your garden. The key is to time out harvest and planting time for your next crop right. You extend your harvest by staggering propagation of the same or different crops or by planting multiple varieties with different maturing dates.

This also helps ensure you do not overload your harvest, causing your fruits and vegetables to rot as you do not have time to eat them all in time. If you plant a row of lettuce one week, then another row a couple of weeks later and so on until the end of the season you will have a continually fresh supply of lettuce. This method works best with plants that have a short day to harvest period like radishes, lettuce, spinach and arugula.

You can also make the most of your gardening space and grow different fruits and vegetables as its predecessor is harvested. You may need to supplement your soil with compost in between sowing your seeds to ensure that each harvest has adequate nutrients. This method is referred to as the “relay” method. After your cool season vegetables are harvested at the end of spring plant your warm season vegetables that will thrive in the summer heat.

Companion planting will also help you make the most of your garden space. You plant two or more different crops with different maturity dates in the same place. For this method it is recommended you choose root crops and foliage crops together such as onion and lettuce. Or early-maturing radishes with slow-maturing carrots. This method will also help encourage diversity and is a great cultural practice to minimize pest and diseases.

Another common practice is planting the same crop but different varieties with different maturity dates. Choose early, mid, and late varieties to offer a steady stream of harvest through the season.

Succession planting is a great method to utilize for a bountiful harvest throughout the year. Decide what varieties you will plant and where. You can view a list of recommended vegetables in Midland and Ector counties in the accompanying image. Utilize this list to help you plan for your garden.

For more information, call the AgriLife office at 498-4071 in Odessa or at 686-4700 in Midland or visit or


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