Succession plantings for fall harvest are made in early- and mid-summer. You can push the planting out further depending on where you live and if you are using transplants or seeds.
What is Succession Planting
Succession planting is planting a new crop in the same spot where another crop has just been harvested.
Crops for succession planting in early- and mid-summer are cool-season crops—crops that mature and yield best when temperatures average in the 60s and 50sF, not the 70s and 80sF, temperatures preferred by warm-season crops.
What Plants are Good for Fall Succession Planting
Crops to plant for fall harvest include: snap beans, lima beans, cabbage, carrots, Chinese cabbage, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, bunching onions, radish, spinach, winter squash, and turnips. Warm-season crops can be succession plantings, but the weather must stay warm enough into the fall to ripen.
Succession Planting Timing
Successful succession cropping requires timing: ensure enough time for the succession crop to germinate and grow to maturity before cold weather arrives. (Check the seed packet to learn how long a crop will take to germinate and reach maturity, then make sure there are enough days left in the season before the date of the average first frost in your area.) A frost and freeze will knock down and possibly even kill some cool-season crops, but some cool-season crops can survive a frost or freeze if they are close to maturity and harvest.
When choosing succession crops, ensure they get enough sunlight and are not shaded out by neighboring warm-season crops nearing maturity.
Here is a list of warm-season crops and suitable cool-season crops to follow in succession planting:
- Basil→ follow with lettuce, spinach, or peas.
- Snap Beans→ follow with lettuce, chard, or onions.
- Corn→ follow with beets, cabbage, collard, or lettuce.
- Cucumbers→ follow by peas, chard, or spinach.
- Eggplants→ follow with chard, lettuce, spinach, or bunching onions.
- Melons→ follow with peas, lettuce, kale, or spinach.
- Okra→ follow with spinach or lettuce.
- Onions→ follow with peas, lettuce, kale, or spinach.
- Peppers→ follow with lettuce, spinach, kale, bunching onions, or Chinese cabbage.
- Potatoes→ are followed by peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, or bunching onions.
- Summer squash and zucchini→ follow with peas, lettuce, spinach, or Chinese cabbage.
- Sweet potatoes→ are followed by peas, lettuce, kale, or spinach.
- Finally, tomatoes → are followed by peas, lettuce, spinach, bunching onions, or Chinese cabbage.
Extending Your Garden in a Freeze
Often, gardeners assume that if the temperatures drop below freezing, the end of the growing season has arrived. That doesn't have to be the case. Garden row covers can be easily constructed, extending your growing season by weeks and months.