Vegetable Garden Succession Crops
In No Guff Vegetable Gardening, we tell readers about Steve’s 10 thumbs-up succession crops.
Here are 10 thumbs-up succession crops we give in the book No Guff Vegetable Gardening:
- Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Bush Beans
- Endive and Escarole
- Rutabaga and Turnip
The great thing about arugula is that is can be a front-ender, an early spring crop followed by something else—or it can be a tail-ender, planted midsummer, to provide greens in September.
Don’t waste your time trying to grow it as a regular, late spring crop as flea beetles will likely attack it and fill the leaves full of holes.
If you have ever wondered how some market gardeners get perfectly sized beets for pickling in the fall, it’s because they’ve likely grown them as a succession crop. Plant midsummer, but keep them well watered or germination will be spotty.
Poke seeds into the spaces in your beet patch, so you’ll have a combination of young and old plants.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
On an autumn drive through areas with market gardens, you’ll often see fields with a beautiful blue hue. That’s probably broccoli or cauliflower, which make good succession crops because they are highly tolerant of cool fall weather. Seed early summer and transplant midsummer.
Here’s a crop that actually does best in warm weather, making it an excellent choice for summer planting—a good crop to follow cool-weather veggies such as peas and lettuce.
You can even follow one bean crop with another. Try a midsummer planting: if fall frosts hold off, late beans are a welcome treat.
This is a simple succession crop that will take care of the planting if you allow it to. Seed heads will form on first crop dill in July. Simply allow some seeds to dry and fall to the ground. Some of these seeds will germinate towards the end of the summer.
You don’t need a dedicated patch for dill. Sprinkle the seeds amongst taller and sprawling crops such as tomatoes or cucumbers.
Endive and Escarole
They are more frost hardy than lettuce and will last longer in the fall. Seed in July. Plant seed in a partially shaded spot, where it will not be as hot.
A different taste than lettuce.
Kale is the last green soldier standing with the approach of winter. It does best when grown in cool weather. Plant in August, allowing about two months for it to mature before frost.
Because they mature so quickly, radishes are a superb succession crop.
Summer-grown radishes can be hotter than those grown in the spring. Plant new batches throughout the summer. July is also the time to start winter radishes.
It grows so well and so quickly, that the main challenge is picking it before the yellow flowers open.
Rutabaga and Turnip
Best grown as succession crops, because they will be more tender and sweet when planted mid- summer than when planted in late spring.
Can become bitter if mature during hot, dry summer weather. For a planting date, subtract about three months from the first fall frost.
Garden Coaches Chat: No Guff. Lots of fun.
Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs