Monday, May 27, 2013

Succession planning a small garden


Ever since I called myself a “lazy gardener” in my other blog posts on raised beds, not stepping on plants and mulch, I’ve been wondering if the word “lazy” comes from the French “laissez faire,” or “deliberate abstention from direction or interference…” In my case, the less I have to interfere in my garden, the more time I have to prepare and eat the food from it.

Here is another areas where I significantly more vegetables in my small community garden plot.

Succession planting
Some vegetables are harvested mid-summer. Think onions and garlic. Succession planting can make sure your valuable garden space doesn’t go to waste for the rest of the season.

  • Create a planting scheduled so you don’t forget to get those seeds in on time. 
  • Watch the maturity time on seed packets. It’s no fun planting 50-day beets 30 days before the first frost. 
  • Plant fast-growing plants near slower growing ones. For example, plant garlic (fast) near peppers (slower) - after your mid-July garlic harvest, the peppers will fill out and take up the empty space.
  • In late July or early August, plant beets, carrots or radishes, all of which will grow before the first frost hits them. 
  • In September, plant lettuce to harvest later in the month. It likes cooler weather.
  • In October, plant garlic for harvest next season.
Autumn-planted garlic is harvested in July. I will put in a crop of lettuce or short-season carrots for the remainder of the season.
50-day beets were planted in mid-April to be harvested in summer. Edamame (soybeans with edible pods) go in next, and later in the season I'll plant a 240-day carrot which will be harvested next summer.