Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
It's nice when a plan works. This year I decided to try to make fuller use of my raised beds by trying to time the market, so to speak.
This spring some lettuce and arugula had volunteered in one of the beds, and I took it as a sign what to plant where. In the midst of the wandering greens, I planted rows of peas. In between the rows of peas I planted broccoli, and in the middle I planted pole beans.
So far it's working out well. When the cool weather lettuce crop was past it, the peas were in full production mode. The peas are now well on their way out; most of the plants are drying up with just a few pods left to harvest. That's made way for the broccoli, which is now standing tall and flourishing amid the remains. And rising above it all are the purple pole beans just now coming into harvest season.
Overall I think that combination worked -- although it has sometimes looked a little messy as one season phases into another -- and I'll probably try it again next year. I think there may be room for a late season crop of greens in the space that will be vacated by the peas.
If you want to try growing vegetables on the installment plan, here are a few links to get you started, including a chart on timetables for planting a second crop: www.organicgardening.com/tags/succession-planting/succession-planting-keep-it-coming www.almanac.com/content/succession-gardening-planting-dates-second-crops. One word of warning: planting in waves means never running out of garden produce, which means you may find yourself spending as much time in your kitchen as your garden.
So, do you do the garden crop wave? If so, what crop combos have worked for you? What's your favorite second-season crop?
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