Some of those early spring crops you started indoors are likely beginning to yield some fruits and veggies, but they’re just getting started! The best part about B.C.’s temperate, often rainy climate is that we have a fairly long growing window compared to other provinces, which means an early spring harvest is only the beginning of our long, fruitful growing season. To help you keep your harvest flowing all summer and into the fall, we put together this guide on succession planting for your Powell River crops.
What Is Succession Planting?
It’s no secret that you can harvest food from your garden all season long if you plant it right, and that’s where succession planting comes in. This planting method encourages the staggered propagation of crops to ensure a continuous harvest during active growing seasons. Replanting crops is a great way to enjoy your favourite home-grown food without stockpiling more than you can eat all at once. It’s also a great way to keep the soil working until it’s time to pop in those end-of-season cover crops.
When the weather finally starts to turn in B.C., try moving your crops into cold frames and greenhouses to help them keep growing. We also recommend adding mulch to help their soil retain heat as the temperatures dip.
Benefits of Replanting Crops
Some perfect reasons to replant your crops throughout the summer include:
- Extending your garden’s food production time from spring until fall before the first frost;
- Reducing the weight of processing, storing, and using your harvests;
- Reducing the prevalence of pests and diseases in your garden, since fruits and veggies planted in succession won’t have time to over-ripen;
- Avoiding losing an entire harvest in the event of bad weather;
- Enjoying fresh crops for months on end!
How to Replant Your Powell River Crops
Now that you have the rundown on what succession planting is and how it benefits your garden, here are some of our favourite ways to incorporate it into your growing and replanting practices this season:
Staggering the same crop: Staggering the same crop by replanting it every few weeks is perfect for achieving a high, continuous yield of the same crop, especially those like broccoli and peas that start off with a bang and slow down. If a plant looks like it’s run its course, simply pull it up and replant another! Staggering is also especially ideal for crops with shorter seed-to-harvest times or heavy yield capacity, like spinach, lettuce and arugula.
Staggering different crops: If you find yourself short on garden space, staggering your different crops is the replanting method for you! By staggering different crops, you can compost crops that have completed their growth and reuse the space to replant something different! Try planting early-season crops like greens in your garden first, followed by warm-season summer superstars like bush beans. Finally, follow these up with crops that can grow well into the cooler weeks of late summer and early fall, like kale or some collard greens. The best part about this type of planting is that some summer crops, like the previously-mentioned bush beans, actually add nutrients to the soil and fix nitrogen for the crops that come after them; it’s a win-win!
Companion planting: Another pro strategy for making your Powell River garden go the extra mile is to try companion planting, which involves planting different crops together in the same garden space. Generally, the best way to do this is to mix slower-growing crops with faster-producing varieties or plant crops that benefit from growing together, like corn, squash and beans. Carrots and radishes make good growing companions, too, and when the radishes are ready to harvest, the extra space allows carrots to reach full maturity.
Same plant, different types: Some crops come in many different cultivars, meaning you can plant different varieties of the same veggie in succession to enjoy them all season. Crops like potatoes have varieties that grow in the early, mid and cool seasons, allowing you to try new flavours. This planting method also prevents you from losing an entire harvest to diseases or pests.
As an avid gardener, knowing how to replant crops in your garden is essential. If you ever find yourself feeling stuck, or you just want to fill us in on some of your own winning planting combinations, stop by the Garden Centre today and chat with us about all things green and growing!