Tips for Successful Succession Planting


The chill of fall is in the air, and your garden is getting ready to chill, too. But even though fruit production is starting to wind down, there’s still plenty to do.

When it comes to warm-season crops like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, it’s time to start picking them – and eating them! – the moment they’re ripe. And be sure to watch the weather forecast carefully to plan on picking vegetables that aren’t fully ripened yet.

“Where we sit, early October, we could get a frost any day now,” says organic gardener Jeanne Nolan. “They really don’t like it in the 30s at all. So as soon as we see on the weather that the temperatures are going to dip low, we’ll pick them.”

Still, the cooler weather doesn’t mean your planting season is over. Hardy crops like spinach and kale can keep gardens going well into the fall once space is available from harvested crops. As always, even for fall planting, it’s important to prep the soil for best results. Where you plan to plant seeds for a late crop, give the soil a good tumble to aerate it and be sure to add fertilizer if you’ve got an intensively-planted garden.

See our guide to growing crops in Chicago for more ideas.


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