University of Maryland Extension

Succession Planting - Vegetables

Succession planting is an excellent tool for maximizing food production. You simply plant something new in spots vacated by spent plants, e.g., sowing sweet corn seed after spring peas are finished. List the crops you plan to grow on paper and draw a map showing the spacing and location of crops. Develop spring, summer, and fall maps if you plan to practice succession gardening (growing two to three crops in each bed or garden area). Cool-season crops (broccoli, lettuce, peas) are followed by warm-season crops (beans, tomatoes, peppers), which then may be followed by more cool-season plants or a winter cover crop. Some possible combinations of crops and planting dates are:
  • Garlic (11/1) - cucumbers (7/1) - oats/clover (9/20)
  • Peas/favas (3/1) - squash (6/1) - kale (9/1)
  • Lettuce (3/20) - green beans (5/15) - broccoli (8/1)
  • Radish (3/1) - Asian greens (4/15) - eggplant (6/1) - rye (9/15)
  • Cucumber (5/1) - green bean (7/15) - spinach (9/20)
Tips for successful succession planting:
  • Sow seed as soon as the ground can be worked; set out transplants of vegetables that are cold hardy;
  • Plant warm-season crops as soon as the danger of frost has passed (e.g., melon, eggplant, pepper planted last);
  • Succession plant squash, bean, and cucumber following earlier, cool-weather crops; and
  • Starting in late August, sow seeds of the same crops you direct seeded in early spring.
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