How to Plant Seeds in Sequence


Planting seeds in sequence simply refers to planting seeds at different times so that your vegetable harvest or your flower blooms will not all happen at the same time, overwhelming you. Sequencing is especially helpful for the vegetable gardener, allowing the gardener to harvest crops over a period of weeks rather than days. Once the home gardener knows when the last frost of spring is, the length of time from planting until harvest and the date of the first frost of the fall, everything else is just a matter of a few simple calculations.

Step 1

Determine the date of the last frost of spring in your area. This is usually the earliest you can set out most vegetables. Determine the date of the first frost in autumn for your area. This is usually the date on which the last of your vegetables must be harvested. As an example, assume that your growing season is 100 days.

Step 2

Write down the length of time between planting and harvesting the vegetables you wish to plant. As an example, assume that one of your vegetables, corn, has a planting-to-harvest time of 80 days.

Step 3

Prepare your garden. Add fertilizer and any other amendments your garden needs and loosen the soil. Lay out the area in which you will plant each vegetable. In this example, concentrate on the area for growing corn.

Step 4

Determine the length of time between plantings (the sequencing). Use an example of seven days between plantings. Since you have a growing season (in this example) of 100 days and your corn takes 80 days to mature, sequence four plantings of corn, the first ripening 80 days into your growing season, the second ripening 87 days into the season, the third ripening 94 days into the growing season and the last ripening 101 days into the season.

Step 5

Divide the area for growing corn into quarters so you can plant corn at four times. Plant the first 1/4 of your corn patch on the first day of your growing season. Plant the second 1/4 of the corn area 7 days later. Plant the third 1/4 of your corn 14 days after the first planting, and plant the final section of your corn patch 21 days after you planted the first section. In this way, you will have corn ripening in sequence, every seven days from the 80th day of your growing season, right up until the first frost of autumn.

Things You'll Need

  • Calendar


  • Little House in the Suburbs: Succession Planting Planner
  • National Gardening Association: Succession in the Garden
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Scheduling Vegetable Plantings for Continuous Harvest
Keywords: plant seeds sequence, sequence planting, sequence harvesting, sequencing vegetables seeds, staggering vegetable seeds

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.