Crop succession is a garden practice that helps to maintain an unbroken supply of edibles throughout the season. The method is simple – plant the same crop at a set interval each week or month to ensure you always have fresh produce available.
It’s a great way to increase your harvest without increasing the amount of land used or time required. It’s also an excellent technique for reducing soil-borne diseases and pests.
Vegetative crop succession is an excellent way to make the most of your garden space and maximize the time gaps between your early and late crops. It’s also a great way to control pests and diseases, which can otherwise destroy your entire harvest.
Vegetables that grow well in cooler temperatures (such as lettuce, peas, and beans) can be succession planted with those that prefer warmer soil and air conditions, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. This helps ensure a continuous supply of fresh vegetables throughout the growing season, despite our short summers.
If you’re not sure what to plant in succession, start by identifying your crops based on their preferred season and days to maturity. This will help you plan out the right plantings for your area and keep a close eye on your soil fertility levels.
Next, consider what kind of spacing your garden will need and the timing of your plantings. Ideally, you’ll want to plant your cool-season crops in the early part of the season and your warm-season plants in the late parts.
The key to successful succession planting is to plant fewer plants of each crop at one time so that you can easily pull out the first ones and replace them with something new as they begin to mature or decline. It only takes a little more planning, but the results are worth it!
You can even use a crop rotation plan that shows when each type of vegetable will be available. This will make it easy to plan out the best times to plant each crop and avoid any overlap with your other gardens or crops.
Lastly, you can intercrop your vegetables with companion plants that complement each other, such as radishes or carrots in a bed of leafy greens. This method is a great way to control weeds while reducing your cultivation labor and improving nutrient availability in the soil.
When using vegetative crop succession, make sure to remove all plants that become diseased or are damaged in the process of growing. This will reduce your chances of losing a valuable crop to a fungus, and will allow the soil time to replenish its nutrients.
As the cannabis industry grows, cultivators are seeking to maximize crop yields and regenerative cultivation practices are on the rise. Crop succession techniques are a key component of this pursuit.
In a regenerative agriculture system, we focus on the plant’s energy balance by manipulating environmental cues through climate, light and irrigation. The goal is to ensure plants are able to produce healthy, high-quality flowers.
To achieve this, we must learn to manipulate environmental controls in the right way at the right time. As a result, our cannabis crops are able to maintain balance and optimal growth conditions.
The most important factor in generating healthy plants is the plant’s energy balance. This balance is dependent on a cycle of production, storage and use of assimilates in the leaves and roots. It also includes a cycle of root exudate release and assimilate exchange with the soil biota.
As a rule, a healthy plant that has ample assimilate storage will build leaf sets with increasing blade counts and size. On the other hand, a plant that has accumulated too much assimilate and is being subjected to stress will develop leaves with decreasing blade counts and size.
For this reason, the most critical environmental cues for generative are vapor pressure deficit (VPD), substrate water content and dry back, as well as temperature. For example, a vapor pressure deficit of 5 to 7 grams/m3 of air is ideal for generative.
A substrate that is too wet during vegetative would increase the likelihood of bud rot, powdery mildew and other pathogens in the grow room. The goal during generative is to reduce these risk factors, so we must push for a lower substrate water content and longer dry backs, while maintaining higher electrical conductivity in the substrate.
When applied correctly, these environmental cues will help your cannabis plants transition from a vegetative to flowering state. Generative cultivation is an essential part of a regenerative agriculture system, as it helps you achieve the perfect balance of flower production and harvest quality.
Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to growers who wish to implement crop steering into their operations. These include the Growers Guide to Crop Steering, a resource developed with leading industry experts.
Using crop succession can help you make the most of your grow space and increase yields. This method relies on dividing up the flowering cycle into waves and planting successive crops in those waves.
Whether you have an enviable garden plot or a small outdoor growing area, you can use this method to produce a consistent flow of flowering cannabis plants. It’s also a good way to keep your crops fresh and thriving throughout the season without constantly replacing them with new ones.
The first step in establishing this cultivation technique is to decide what types of seeds you’ll be sowing. Many varieties are suitable for succession planting because they mature quickly and can be replaced with another harvest after a few months of growth.
For example, carrots can be harvested in as little as 50 days. Other crops such as radish, kohlrabi, and cauliflower take up to 60 days or longer to fully mature. Planting them early in the season lets you get a quick crop in before cold weather sets in.
After sowing your seeds, it’s a good idea to follow up with a soil mix that is rich enough for the crops you’re planting. You can either purchase a special grow-and-bloom soil or create your own from a mixture of peat and perlite.
A good growing soil will contain both brown and green matter to ensure proper development of seedlings and cuttings. It will also include a good balance of nutrients, especially nitrogen.
When your crop is in the vegetative stage, it’s important to provide it with a lot of air moisture and the right lighting conditions. This will prevent the plants from developing a thick, congested canopy and will reduce the chances of disease outbreaks, as well as improve yields.
As with any other type of gardening, ensuring your plants have adequate water is vital for their continued health and production. This can be achieved through regular irrigation of the crop or by adding mulch to the growing area.
When irrigating, it’s best to do it in the morning or early afternoon, as most water evaporates within the first 12 hours after irrigation. Late-day irrigations can trap moisture in the canopy and lead to disease outbreaks.
Harvest crop succession, also known as staggered planting, allows you to plant multiple crops simultaneously and ensures a continuous supply of fresh produce for your garden. Whether you are growing cannabis in a small garden space or a large plot, succession planting can help you maximize your yield while minimizing your maintenance.
Depending on your climate zone, there are a number of vegetables that are well suited to successive plantings. These include radishes, beets, and carrots.
For many of these vegetables, the best time to seed is just after the weather warms up. This is because the warm weather promotes early germination and fast growth.
To find the most suitable time for your crops, calculate the average number of days before the first frost in your area. This will allow you to plan your next succession of crops accordingly.
Another strategy for maximizing your harvest is to mix up the length of your crop rotations. This can be done by either incorporating an extra crop into your rotation or changing the order of existing crops.
If you are not sure which crops to use for your aforementioned succession, you can always use a tool like our Succession-Planting Calculator to forecast the optimal dates and timings for your garden. This can give you an excellent estimate of when your crops will reach maturity and when it will be too late to reap the benefits.
You can also use this tool to identify the best varieties for your situation. For example, if you are in a cool climate, you may want to choose heirloom or non-hybrid varieties that can mature faster and be harvested sooner.
For a more in depth guide to using the best practices for crop succession, check out Meg’s new book Plant Grow Harvest Repeat: Grow a Bounty of Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers by Mastering the Art of Succession Planting. It is full of tips and tricks for using these methods to optimize your garden’s production and minimize maintenance.