COVID-19 Gardening

Planting by the Signs Calendar for July 2020

We’ve always known about succession planting and we usually try to do two planting of things like squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. This year we’ve been pretty hard core on succession planting. There are two reasons why.

First up with COVID still keeping us close to home we have more time to think about the garden. Secondly the last few months have shown us growing our own food is more important than we thought.

Pap never did plant but once at the beginning of the summer. He might have replanted something that didn’t come up, but he never did any succession planting that I can remember. I wish he was here so I could ask him why he didn’t.

The area we live in has a long growing season so its a no-brainer to try and plant throughout the summer.

Here it is July 1 and we still have over 100 growing days left before the first frost date. Plenty of time to plant a whole lot of things.

A quick google will give you the first frost date for your area and a quick google will tell you how many days until that first frost date.

Our most recent plantings included a few more varieties of melons with short growing seasons, two types of winter squash, and another pumpkin variety with a short growing season.

Do you succession plant?


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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 3, 2020 at 2:11 am

    Better-half pulled up the last of the Sugar Snap peas, I guess about three weeks or so…He planted green beans on the trellises and now they are up and climbing. We raised beds we don’t have a lot of room and getting too old to handle very much garden. Our gardens do not seem to be doing as well as years past, even though Roy amended the soil as he does every year, adding more compost, fresh loam etc…So, we assume it has been so many cloudy days early on in the Spring when plants should have been jumping out of the ground before dry weather and heat set in sometimes here in middle June…Enjoyed this post…We have some more white turnip seeds and plan on planting a late crop of turnips, kale and collards…Have you ever tried those Tokyo White turnips…we love them…
    thanks for this post…b. Ruth

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 1, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    I’m a little bit like Pap, I only had a garden once a year. I’m by myself and my daughters live hundreds of miles away. Lauralea lives at Chapel Hill, and Jennifer lives at Pine Mountain, Ga. Between work chores and all, I never had time to plant a second garden. That’s why I planted everything I liked the first time.

    Lou Cross, Tommy’s wife had Mountain Princess Tomatoes and I bought several Boxes from her. One time she sent me, by her youngest son, a box just full of Mountain Princess to eat. “Mom sent these tomatoes here to eat, and make sandwiches. She knows how you like them in sandwiches, with Mayonnaise.” They were Good as mine. …Ken

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    July 1, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Always planted by signs in Wise Co. Va….never heard of succession planting then …was lucky to get it in the ground once! From the time I was five yrs.old , I helped Mommy can….my first job being to stand on a dynamite box, brought home from the mines, and wash the jars. I asked Mommy why I had to wash all them old jars and she said it was because I like to eat every day….and that my hands were just the right size to fit in those jars to clean them real good. I worked and wished to have bigger hands so I would not have that job…..but be careful what you wish for….now this old woman wears a size 11 ring!

  • Reply
    harry adams
    July 1, 2020 at 11:53 am

    When I lived in SC and started to have a garden, I asked my mother why they didn’t plant two crops. She said the bugs will eat everything up in the second planting. She was absolutely right. I couldn’t spray enough to keep the worms out of the squash and I never saw so many corn worms in late corn.

    In Ohio, the bugs aren’t so bad, but the season is too short. I have learned to stagger planting corn in 2 week intervals so it doesn’t all come at the same time. Almost everything else lasts so long you are tired of it by the time frost comes.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 1, 2020 at 9:10 am

    I have had a spring/summer and a fall/winter garden for about twenty years. But I did not grow up with the two. Like Pap, all we ever planted was the one summer garden. I never knew of anyone in southern KY that grew the both either. I can’t figure why not unless it was the length of the growing season. There the frost-free period is about May 1 to Oct. 1 so about 160 days. Here I have about 185 or so.

    My biggest problem is having room . When it is time to plant for fall the summer plantings are not yet done just “on the downhill go. I am reluctant to pull any of it up. But I have found one good way which is to pull up the corn as soon as I have pulled the ears.

    Strictly speaking, that may not be succession planting because it is entirely different plants. Here fall/winter is just right for cabbage, mustard, turnip, broccoli, brussel sprouts and radishes. I have tried English peas but they did not get pollinated. Just have to get everything through the cabbage butterfly caterpillars in September. Then they can grow bug free. I have grown cauliflower but it is not nearly as coldhardy as broccoli.

    This year I am thinking of starting fall plants in my most-shaded bed and count on leaf fall to gradually give them more light. It has the sad remnants of self-sown mustard and turnip now but the heat has about killed it all.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2020 at 9:02 am

    I had to replant so many vegetables this year due to the heavy spring rains and the early May freeze that is was almost like succession planting. Most of the time I plant cushaws and turnups after some of the early garden has come and gone and freed up some space. Mom was like Pap and never did succession planting. I guess she was too tired after canning and drying the vegetables from the first planting.

    • Reply
      Margie Goldstein
      July 1, 2020 at 9:35 am

      Succession planting is something I’ve heard of and seen on gardening shows, but I’ve never known any gardener to do. Grandpa H. in upstate NY had winter garlic or something I recall. I do believe the weather to be cooling and clouding on a level unwitnessed in our recent history. Can man think himself out of this box or will science continue to mesh with a “machine?”

  • Reply
    July 1, 2020 at 8:31 am

    I never did succession plant until last year, and that was because I had a community garden with limited space for the first time. The Winter was so mild I was able to have kale all Winter on up into Spring planting time. I dehydrated the remainder and blenderized it into a powder which I add to smoothies. I also had some Egyptian onions (walking onions), and I thoroughly enjoyed having them almost year round.

    I cannot speak for Pap, but I know the old gardens were so much work and so huge that everybody was about to fall into a heap before planting and canning time was over. I will never forget the repetitive meals. Canning green beans meant lots of meals with green beans. I suppose I liked the canning corn the best because I could never tire of roastin” ears. I look back at the size of the fields and wonder why my Mom was not overwhelmed. I can remember company might come, and they just joined in the bean stringing. Mom was able to obtain a contraption that took the seeds from the tomatoes, and she could can vegetable soup free of seeds. My Sis and I still think that soup could put Campbells to shame. I did have some long term effects from this, as all these years later I still cannot eat jelly especially strawberry. One could not even escape the strawberry jelly even in Winter, because it found its way into packed lunches. I found other children who had tired of their bologna sandwiches and were eager to trade for peanut butter and jelly. Finally they too tired of the jelly. I was left with the jelly and my “waste not, want not” raising. I fear nobody would have survived succession planting, even the old horse that pulled the plow. No tiller, hoed by hand, and shelf upon shelf lined up with everything. Dad could not help, because he had no time after his full time job and two art times. Would I want to go back? Oh yes, on one condition–no jelly past August!

    • Reply
      Margie Goldstein
      July 1, 2020 at 9:38 am

      I loved your share and the picture is so vivid, it painted itself in my mind! Thank you.

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