Principles & Practices of Succession Planting It may seem early to start thinking about fall — as the days grow longer, temperatures increase and the workload may, too. But once the summer sun has reached its zenith, the crops you plant thereafter will be growing and maturing in gradually shortening days and cooling weather. It's time to start planning your plantings so crops are ready to harvest when you need them, right into the end of the season. Putting the principles of succession planting into practice helps take some of the guesswork out of planning, and brings a steady supply of produce — ready for harvest over the longest possible period — within reach. Succession planting gives you the ability to:
Several proven strategies can help to ensure a continuous supply of fresh produce into the fall and winter: Start planting varieties that are adapted to mature in cooler temperatures. Plant several varieties of the same crop that have different days to maturity. Incrementally time successive plantings more closely together, as they will be maturing more slowly into the fall. Adopt season extension technology for crops that mature into the fall, to cover and hold them in the field without damage from early winter weather.
Crops are bred for various traits, including heat and cold tolerance. Within a crop, some varieties perform better in cool weather and some in warm weather. If you grow only one variety, you may find that it falls short of its potential at some point or another during the season. By growing several varieties, you can span a longer season and still offer consistently high quality. Depending on the crop, our planting plans recommend different varieties depending on the time of year, and/or planting multiple varieties with different maturity dates to spread the harvest from a single planting.
Succession planting systems can become increasingly more refined, complex, and productive with experience. The intervals can be tweaked by factoring in regional or individual farm-record data, and by adopting more innovative and advanced techniques, such as season extension methods.
Taken from http://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/vegetables/succession-planting-methods-for-providing-a-continuous-supply
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa