Plant crops in prompt succession by using wide-row planting in beds to produce more food.
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Dig up the plants as soon as their main production is over and replace them with seedlings for a different crop. As the weather warms, cool-season crops, such as peas, are completing their production. Have young squash or cucumber plants ready to take their place on the trellis. As soon as the broccoli is finished, have tomato plants ready to take its place in the bed. A planting area that's never idle produces a surprising amount of food.
What You Need:
- Sharp scissors
- Young transplants
- Slow-acting fertilizer
1. After seedlings have developed two or three sets of leaves, they'll be crowded and need thinning. Remove extra plants to achieve the correct spacing and allow the remaining plants room to grow.
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.
Cool-season vegetables can handle the chill of early spring and late fall. They fade rapidly when the warmth arrives in early summer and eventually succumb to freezing in winter. They're ideal for extended-season growing. Vegetables that don't mind being chilly, such as peas, broccoli, and spinach, make it possible for you to have two crops a year -- one in spring, another in fall. Often the second crop, at the onset of winter, is the one that you're happy to put into the freezer.
Try these cool-season vegetables:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard