How to Sequence Plant Seeds


Sequencing, also called succession planting, is really just a way to keep all of your vegetables from ripening at the same time. If you plant all of your broccoli on the same day, then it stands to reason it will all be ready for harvesting on about the same day. Wouldn't it be better if some of your vegetables ripened this week, some were ready to pick next week and still others weren't ready for another three weeks? To sequence plant seeds, you need to know a little about each type of vegetable you'll be planting.

Step 1

Prepare your garden soil. Loosen the soil and mix in approximately 1 inch of organic manure.

Step 2

Lay out on paper where you will be planting each vegetable in your garden and approximately when each one will be ready for picking. Graft paper can make your job easier.

Step 3

Determine how many harvests you should be able to get in your area based on the last day of frost in the spring and the first day of frost in the fall. If, for example, you have 120 growing days and a vegetable that grows and ripens in 90 days, you could, conceivably, have five harvests, one at 90 days, one at 97 days, another at 104 days, a fourth at 111 days and a final harvest at approximately 120 days. This would require five plantings, or sequencings, each seven days apart.

Step 4

Make your first planting as soon after the last day of frost in the spring as possible. Plant only the amount of space for the first harvest you are projecting. In our example with five harvests, you would plant 1/5 of your space with your first planting.

Step 5

Plant the second portion of your seeds seven days after the first seeds have been planted. In our example of 5 harvests in a season, you would now have 2/5 of your allotted area planted.

Step 6

Wait one more week for the next sequence of planting. Plant another 1/5 of your allotted area. You will now have 3/5 of your allotment planted, and the first seeds you planted may well have begin to sprout already.

Step 7

Plant the next 1/5 of your space on the fourth week. By this time the first planting should be growing well, and the second planting should have sprouted.

Step 8

Plant the final section of your garden five weeks after planting the first section. Your entire garden will now be planted. The first section should be growing quite well, the second section should be taking hold and the third section should have already sprouted.

Step 9

Harvest your crop in sequence, harvesting the first 1/5 of your planting as soon as it is ripe (in our example, that should be in approximately 90 days) and continuing in sequence, harvesting the next portion seven days later and so on.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable seeds
  • Spade
  • Organic manure
  • Water


  • National Gradening Association: Succession in the Garden
  • Little House in the Suburbs: Succession Planting Planner
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Vegetable Planting for Continuous Harvest
Keywords: sequence plant seeds, sequence planting, succession planting

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.