Successional planting in September

broccoli in flower September means it’s game on! Tomato and pepper seeds are sprouting, dwarf beans are growing nicely in the greenhouse and the broccoli are flowering like mad feeding all the bees. Winter ebbs away. A focus here on the word ebb – there will still be cold, so don’t throw away the cloches yet folks.

And take your time. Over these next two months don’t loose your head filling every possible corner with food plants. There are 9 months ahead of us for steadily drip feeding seeds and seedlings into the vegie patch; thus ensuring a steady drip feeding of ripe vegetables into your pantries.

To best help you along in your food growing ventures, and in a bid to halt your very human nature of going full boar and then not at all, today I’m going to talk with you about successional planting.

Successional crops are the quick turn around crops that you repeat sow for a constant supply. Sow these crops in the space below and beside long term crops like corn, carrots, tomatoes and beans to make the most of your gardens fertility.

I encourage you to learn how long from seed to harvest. It’s important knowledge for the aspiring food gardener, allowing you to plan your crops and fill gaps with ease.

Below is a rough idea of my successional spring sowing. There are of course many other crops you could choose from – these are just what I’m using at the moment. Timing will, of course, depend on your skill, your soil and the weather. Amount and frequency will depend on what you like to eat (and how busy you are!)

Successional Spring Crops (for the Thorpe-Irvine whanau)

In the greenhouse

  • Dwarf Beans (ready in 7 weeks.) Direct sow 10 seeds every fortnight from August – November.
  • Bok Choy (ready in 6 weeks.) Direct sow 10 seeds a fortnight from August to September. Bok Choy is a fabulous shoulder season crop. Quick to grow and takes over from the winter brassicas, filling a gap until the summer beans etc come in.
  • Lettuces (ready in 6 weeks). Direct sow or plant out 12 seedlings every fortnight.

In the Garden

There is no seed amount for the below greens, sorry folks. It’s super impressive I have amounts for the greenhouse crops – I’m just not a counting type person. Sow an amount to suit yourself. The thing with seeds is it’s very easy to oversow. Focus on sowing little and often so you don’t take up valuable garden space with crops you wont use. You’ll also make your precious seeds go further.

  • Spinach (ready in 7 weeks.) Sow some seeds every fortnight or month August through October.
  • Radish (ready in 4 weeks.) Direct sow a few every now and then.
  • Coriander (ready in 4 weeks) Direct sow every now and then. Coriander is best in the cooler months, so I stop sowing in November and leave it to self seed to feed the beneficial insects and save my own seed from (for some reason its very hard to buy untreated coriander seed)
  • Rocket (ready in 3 weeks) Direct sow every now and then. A hearty self seeder so mostly I leave it to come and go of its own accord.
  • Mustard Greens (ready in 7 weeks) Direct sow up to October. Definitely a cooler weather crop – my autumn sown ones are still providing well.

For more help on this and other illuminating topics come along to my Abundant Vegie Patch workshop.