Make vegetable gardening easier
In my vegetable garden, succession planting is the secret to a nonstop harvest. It allows me to maximize productivity in my raised beds and harvest year-round, even though I live in a cold climate. Whether I'm sowing the same type of seeds every few weeks, planting different vegetables in the same spot one after the other, or growing varieties that mature at different rates, there are some products that make growing vegetables easier. Here are some of my must-haves.
Row cover is a lightweight material ideal for casting summer shade overly newly planted beds, as well as protecting from insects and frost.
There are many types of shade cloth available but I find 40% shade cloth, which blocks 40% of sunlight, ideal for helping establish summer successive crops.
A soaker hose is made from a porous material that ‘weeps’ water all along its length. Run it alongside crops like tomatoes and cucumbers for easy irrigation.
Drip irrigation systems direct water at the base of plants, reducing water waste.
I have a Floralight 3-tier light stand which I use to establish my summer succession plantings. Starting seeds for crops like cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and kale indoors give them a healthy head start.
Mini hoop tunnel
You can DIY your own mini hoop tunnel or buy a kit. These handy structures are great in spring and fall for protecting crops from cold weather. Float shade cloth on the hoops in summer to establish seeds or seedlings.
Organic vegetable fertilizer
Between successive crops I like to apply a slow-release organic fertilizer like Dr. Earth, Burpee Organic, or Espoma.
Vegetable gardening books
Want to know more about how to grow great vegetables year round? Read my books:
The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener
Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix
Growing Under Cover