Having a proper succession in your veg garden can help fill gaps between crops and ensure you have something ready to eat at all times.
But what can you plant for succession growing? Let’s take a look.
Selecting Suitable Succession Plants
Some plants grow quickly and are harvested within a short time, while others take longer to mature and yield produce.
Consider planting combinations of fast and slow-growing plants to make the most of your garden space. Some examples of plants with different growth rates are:
- Fast-growing plants: lettuce, radishes, spinach, and rocket
- Moderate-growing plants: beans, carrots, peas, and beetroot
- Slow-growing plants: tomatoes, peppers, and pumpkins
By mixing plants with different growth rates, you can create a well-timed rotation that allows you to harvest vegetables continuously without leaving empty spaces in your garden.
11 Great Succession Plants
Lettuce is a quick-growing crop that can be sown directly into recently cleared ground.
Sow seeds every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest throughout the growing season.
Many varieties are suitable for “cut and come again” harvesting, allowing for regrowth and multiple harvests throughout the season.
Radishes are a speedy and versatile succession plant.
Sow seeds every 10-14 days throughout spring, summer, and autumn for a regular supply of crunchy, peppery roots.
This plant is perfect for filling in gaps between other, slower-growing crops.
Spinach is a resilient leafy green that can be sown in succession either in spring or autumn.
Plant seeds every 2-3 weeks for a consistent supply of tender, flavourful leaves.
Spinach thrives in cooler conditions, making it an excellent choice for early spring and late autumn plantings.
Turnips are a hardy and nutritious root vegetable that can be grown in succession throughout the growing season.
Plant seeds every 3-4 weeks to provide a reliable supply of tender roots and edible tops.
Depending on the variety, turnips can be harvested in as little as 5 weeks.
Rocket, also known as arugula, is an easy-to-grow, fast-maturing crop that can be succession sown every 2-4 weeks.
This spicy leafy green is perfect for salads and garnishes and grows well in containers, making it suitable for small gardens and balconies.
Pak Choi is an Asian green that can be sown in succession throughout spring, summer, and autumn. Sow seeds every 3-4 weeks to maintain a continuous supply of tender, mildly flavoured leaves.
Pak Choi matures quickly, usually in about 4-6 weeks.
Carrots can be succession planted every 3-4 weeks during spring and summer.
This root vegetable takes a little longer to mature, but its taste and versatility make it worth the wait.
Choose quick-maturing varieties for succession planting to ensure a regular harvest.
Kale is a cold-hardy leafy green that can be succession planted from early spring to late summer.
Plant seeds every 2-4 weeks to ensure a steady supply of nutritious leaves.
Kale can be harvested at any stage, from baby leaves to mature plants, which makes it ideal for filling in gaps between other crops.
Spring onions, or green onions for our American friends, are a quick-growing crop that can be succession sown throughout the growing season.
Plant seeds every 2-3 weeks to ensure a continuous supply of tender, tangy onions for use in every dish – if your me!
Swiss chard is a colourful and hardy leafy green that can be grown in succession from spring to autumn.
Plant seeds every 4-6 weeks to maintain a reliable supply of fresh, tender leaves for salads and side dishes.
Swiss chard is also an excellent candidate for “cut and come again” harvesting.
Beetroot can be succession planted throughout the growing season for a continuous supply of tender, earthy roots and edible leaves.
Sow seeds every 3-4 weeks to ensure a regular harvest of both leaves and roots, and choose quick-maturing varieties for the best results in succession planting.
I like growing golden beetroot as the earthy flavour is nowhere near as strong as it is with regular beetroot.
The Benefits of Filling Gaps
Succession planting is a strategic method of growing different plants in the same area, subsequent to one another, to maximise the use of space and ensure a continuous supply of flowers or vegetables.
One main advantage of using succession plants is the ability to keep your garden vibrant and colourful throughout the seasons.
Planning ahead and selecting appropriate plants that flower at different times will ensure that your garden remains visually appealing, even when some plants have finished their fruiting period.
Another benefit is the improvement of soil health. There is nothing better for your soil than having something growing in it.
Additionally, a diverse planting scheme helps to maintain a healthy ecosystem by limiting the spread of pests and diseases that may prefer a specific plant species.
Furthermore, filling gaps with succession plants can increase your garden’s biodiversity. A varied selection of plants encourages a wider range of beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife to visit, supporting the overall ecosystem and promoting a healthy balance of organisms.
Lastly, managing your garden with succession planting can be a practical way to optimise limited space.
By carefully planning and sowing different plants in the same area, you can effectively utilise the available space in your garden, ensuring it remains engaging and fruitful throughout the entire year.