Succession planting

A couple of days ago, I blogged about digging up my spring potatoes with my grandsons. Well, I didn’t want 40 feet of raised bed to lay fallow, so today I put in my second planting of “Early White Vienna” kohlrabi, bok choi, “Sweet Slice” cucumber, “Black Beauty” zucchini and early straight neck yellow squash.

Succession planting requires planning since the gardener must have a idea when additional space in the garden will become available. I knew that I would be digging my potatoes in late June or early July so I planned to have transplants ready to put in the garden the second week of July. So, five weeks ago, I started a half of a flat (24 plants) of both kohlrabi and bok choi. Over the last week, these plants have been hardening off on my back porch. Three weeks ago, when my squash plants started blooming, I started several four inch pots of cukes, zucchini and yellow squash. By using transplants, I make the garden more productive because the transplants are well on their way to maturity. Will they suffer some transplant shock in the heat? Yes, but they’ll still cut down on the number of days to harvest.

So, last week, I dug my potatoes and after harvest, emptied one of my compost bins on to the 40 foot of empty raised bed. I also incorporated about a pound of Urea (46-0-0) which is about .25 pounds of nitrogen per 100 square feet. (My soil test for this raised bed showed a pH of 6.9 with very high levels of potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium and recommended only the addition of nitrogen at .25# per 100 square feet.) After amending the soil, I tilled the compost in and raked the bed back into a mound. Today, I planted my transplants on about eight inch centers for the kohlrabi and bok choi. The cukes and squash are planted about three feet apart. By the time everything was planted, I found I had about 12 feet of raised bed unplanted, so I decided to try an experiment.

I can never find fresh corn in late September or early October, so I decided to plant some even though it’s late in the season. I’m growing a variety call Obsession, which is a bicolor that is 79 days to maturity. By planting it now, it may be ready by September 30, but in all likelihood will be a little later due to the daylight hours in the fall getting shorter (so called short day factor).

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