Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mixing it Up: Notes on Succession Planting and Intercropping Part II

In reading more about succession planting, I realized it can have other meanings too...

Meaning #2: Growing different vegetables, one after another, in the same space. I will sometimes do this with peas and something else, like eggplant. Peas have a relatively short growing season, then they can be cleared out of the ground, the trellis' removed and a later season crop can use their spot in the garden.

A few more examples of this type of succession planting that I read about are as follows:

a) Growing spring broccoli, then summer beans, then fall brassicas in the same space.
b) Growing beans in succession with lettuce and spinach
c) Growing lettuce in front of peas on a trellis. The lettuce can be picked repeatedly until it goes bitter from the hot summer temperatures and then bush beans can be planted in their spot.
d) Growing peas on a trellis and while they are reaching maturity and producing fruit, the pole beans up sprouting but not yet using the trellis. If timed right, the peas will be done when the pole beans need the trellis space.

An awesome source is this link that groups plants by which portion of the season (early, mid, late or whole season) they occupy the ground.

Meaning #3: Planting different varieties of the same vegetable (like tomatoes or corn or squash) but with differing days to maturity, to ensure a full-season harvest. This requires checking the seed packets or reading up to be certain you've chosen an early, mid and late season variety. I have done this before when planting strawberry plants. I purchased both ever-bearing varieties and early producing plants. (This strategy would surely have produced the highest yields of fruit if it weren't for the rabbits!).

Check back Thursday for some words on intercropping.

~Miss Greenish Thumb~

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