Soil that produces a steady flow of produce over several months needs help, because a succession of crops inevitably depletes the soil of nutrients. They must be replaced to maintain production over the entire season -- plus an extended season. Mix a granular, slow-acting fertilizer into the soil when you first prepare the bed. This food provides a large portion of the nutrients needed for plant growth over several weeks.
1. Immediately replace exhausted early-season crops with seedlings for the next crop. This follow-up procedure, called succession planting, achieves maximum production from the garden space.
2. Between succession plantings, cultivate the soil to aerate and level it. Clean up old plant debris before replanting. Add granular fertilizer if previous crops, such as tomatoes, were heavy feeders.
Continued on page 3: Cool-Season Crops