How to Plant Seeds With Sequencing


It's very satisfying to watch your seedlings produce vegetables, but unless you plan to freeze or can them, you're going to be eating them in every meal for the next two weeks. Green beans, for example, can produce a large crop that must be harvested and eaten before the beans inside the pods get too large and become tough. If you pick them all, you're not going to eat them all and they're wasted. If you leave them on the vine, they get too big to eat. Staggering or sequencing your planting takes care of this problem for good.

Step 1

Hoe rows into your garden as you normally would, but instead of planting all of the seeds at the same time, you will plant them over the next six weeks. For instance, instead of planting three rows of green beans, plant only one, leaving the other two rows ready for planting by marking them with twine and stakes at each end.

Step 2

Plant one row according to the seed packet directions. Pour the remaining seeds back into the packet and close it with a paper clip. Store it in a dry place inside.

Step 3

Cover the planted seeds with the hand rake and then press down firmly. This guarantees that the seed makes good contact with the soil. Water the seeds according to the packet directions.

Step 4

Mark the planting date on your calendar. Choose a date about two weeks later as the next planting date, then choose a date about two more weeks later as the last planting date. You can spread the dates to three weeks if desired. Just make detailed notes on your calendar and mark your rows in the garden as you plant and harvest. By the time the first row is harvested, you could replant it to beans if there is enough time in the season, or plant a late crop of radish or herbs.

Step 5

Plant all your crops in this manner so they aren't all demanding harvest at the same time. Basil and cilantro, two favorite culinary herbs, can be planted in one-week intervals to guarantee there is always plenty available when the tomatoes ripen.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Hand rake
  • Twine
  • Stakes
  • Calendar


  • IPMopedia: Succession Planting
  • National Gardening Association: Succession Planting
Keywords: succession planting, planting in phases, staggering vegetable planting

About this Author

Linda Batey has been working as a freelance writer for two years and specializes in travel writing. She also writes on Helium,,,, trazzler and She has been published in "Gardening Inspirations" magazine. Batey holds an Associates Degree in paralegal from Beal College. She also is knowledgable is gardening, herbal and home remedies.