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Succession Planting!

Don't forget to leave space for round two!

It is so exciting when spring vegetable starts begin to fill the tables! Kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, Swiss chard, seed potatoes and onions are just to name a few.

With all these great crops, it is easy to fill up your whole garden in one day. However, we want to remind you to save some space for replanting fast maturing crops (such as lettuce) for a continual harvest. This practice is commonly referred to as "succession planting", and will help you maximize the harvest season by continually planting new areas with varieties that will ripen sequentially.

Tips for Succession Planting of Vegetables

* Some crops, such as potatoes, tomatoes and squash, you typically only plant once.

* Fast maturing crops such as leafy greens, annual herbs and some root crops are the easiest to keep in production with succession planting.

* Crops planted from starts will mature faster than the same crop planted from seed.

* Most seeds require soil temperatures of 50-55ºF to sprout. Starts tolerate slightly cooler soils.

* The increasing day length is another factor influencing the time between plantings: For instance, lettuce seed may take 60 days to mature when planted in March but only 30 days to mature when planted in May.

* It is important to utilize varieties that can withstand lower temperatures and possible frosts at the beginning or end of the season.

* At the start of summer, utilize varieties that are heat tolerant to minimize bolting and bitterness of leafy crops.

* Fall and winter crops such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage are best planted in late July early August from seed or in late August or September from starts.

**Article credit: Portland Nursery

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