Succession Success!

digit(ID/WA)August 14, 2013

I have planted summer squash the first week of July as insurance against the May plants playing-out by about this time. Been doing that for about a half dozen years and it works well. I like to use them to follow early cabbage but have employed other schemes, as well.

Last year and in 2013, I added succession cucumbers. I can hardly tell you how much better those cuke plants are than the May sown plants! You see, the problem is June . . . Junuary is so tuff on my garden that things sometimes die! Not from frost but just from week after week of miserable, windy, cold weather.

The picture shows cucumber plants that were set out in July amongst the shallots. The shallots were harvested a couple of weeks ago and the cukes now have full run of the bed. Each leaf, has a cucumber! Many, many cukes are gonna come off these vines! Meanwhile, look over their shoulders . . . That little bed of cukes was planted in May. It is a little difficult to see but some of the leaves have begun to turn yellow. The leaves are only about one-half the size as the new vines. They had a difficult start and compared to the youngsters - What a difference!

Maybe I'll take the old vines out, which didn't really produce all that well. There will be more room for the bok choy I have to transplant. This is in the little veggie garden. A couple beds to the right of this shallot/cucumber bed there is a carrot/zucchini bed. The carrots have been harvested. The squash plants look good and a zucchini came off one of them yesterday. The problem? The May zucchini in both the big & little veggie gardens are doing fine. Imma gonna have SOOooo many zucchini by next week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

That's great, Steve! Never thought of doing that. May have to employ your tactics next year.

My cuke plants are wonderful, even after a beating by ice marbles, but the pollinators are just not out on that side of the house. So I'm going out with a paintbrush tomorrow morning. While I'm doing this, I should probably make a buzzing sound so the plants know what the heck I'm up to, huh?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Jali, I think you can just take it as it comes . . .

I am always trying to adjust and adapt. There I go, mixing my metaphors but there just has to be a silver lining . . .

Anyway!! If you are plagued some year by a cool, warm-season-plant-unfriendly spring -- pat your surviving plants on the head, find a patch of ground and sow some more seed a week or 2 into summer. Over the next few weeks, your survivors may be plodding while your youngsters are sprinting!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:54PM
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david52 Zone 6

I have been having a rough time with cucumbers these last few years, but I do have one plant that's doing well now - planted in early July as well.

Still haven't picked a cucumber off of it yet, though.

My pole beans do much better if planted in early July. The ground is warm and they miss the flea beetles.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:02AM
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b2alicia(zone 5 Westminster)

Those leaves look so beautifully green and healthy!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:39AM
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This summer has been one of the worst for vegetable gardens. Summer was later arriving and then the nights stayed so cool that I thought the seeds were going to rot before they sprouted. The day temps did return to normal but the nights stayed cool. My cukes are less than 18 inches tall but they are producing now, same with the green beans. Great weather for carrots and chard though. If next year is the same I will try planning more in the beginning of summer. Maybe I'll have the same luck you did.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:46AM
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The early plants didn't suffer quite as much this year as in some of the years past. They are all producing now! I've got sooo many cukes and zucchini! It's okay. There is no reason to walk past them on the day that they are prime. If they cannot be used, the chicken like them and the compost is always hungry. (That's my philosophy! ;o)

I have had warm-season plants like melons die during June. Just die! The peppers this year are amounting to very, very little because of June . . . I'm surprised that I've already harvested eggplant and they are almost okay - another mortality, some Junes . . . There have been years when a cucumber vine has produced like 1 cucumber for the season. That is mostly June but also a mistake of variety on my part. I grow Lemon Cukes and they run a bit late in production. (Only now are a few to be found amongst the rambunctious vines.) Some years, they will be so delayed that they will run right up against the 1st frost.

Did I already say it? It might be quite possible to have the early and the late plantings coming into production at the same time! Maybe 6 weeks difference in planting dates but, ya know . . . having a cucumber to go with a nice ripe tomato, sliced sweet onions, and fresh-from-the-garden sweet corn is pretty special whether it is in August or September.

This year, I've just harvested my 2nd Passport Galia melon - color me happy!


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:51PM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

I'm always working on succession too. I just can't let a bed stay empty for more than a few days. 2 different onion beds were followed by peas, carrots and beets and the other bed got rutabaga, turnips, kale, spinach and carrots. Hopefully the flea beetles are done for now.

I followed lettuce with zucchini, garlic beds were followed by strawberries, the other garlic area has buckwheat now and will go back to garlic.

Some of my bush beans are almost done. Not sure what's going to take their place yet. Maybe some lettuces, radishes or more kale.

My cucumbers are just going wild again this year. We've even been juicing some to try to keep up. I think I'm going to remove the bush cucumbers soon even though they are still producing just don't need them.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:38PM
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You can always give extras to local food banks. They are usually happy to have fresh produce.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:27AM
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