• The Vegetarian Homestead

Long harvest plans

We have a long growing season. Our last frost is around middle of April and first frost is middle of November. That gives me almost 7 months of growing! This is not a guarantee but it is a good estimate of how much time we have to garden each year.

squash flower

This year one of my goal was to stagger plant my crops so I have a longer harvest window. What this means is instead of planting all 30 plants of lettuce at once, I planted about 10 plants every 2-3 weeks from later winter to early summer. This prevents the problem of having all the plants maturing at once and I becoming overwhelmed with it. I mean seriously there is only so much lettuce four people can eat!

kakai pumpkins

Since my growing season is so long I can do this with many crops. The crops which I don't use the staggering method for are winter squash, sweet potatoes, flint corn, popcorn, tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplants, and peanuts.

buttercrunch lettuce

The stagger planting method works really well with any leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, chard, arugula, ect). It also works great for cool weather root vegetables (turnips, parsnips and radishes.). Every 2 weeks I either transplant more plants or direct sow more seeds in the garden. Once the heat of the summer hits almost all the cool weather crops will either bolt and go to seed or the taste will be unpleasant.

zucchini and yellow squash

I also love to stagger plant sweet corn, beans, zucchini, potatoes, melons, southern peas and carrots. This way I am not overwhelmed with bushels of vegetables that need to be preserved before they rot. This also provides us with fresh food for longer.


Some plants grow and produce all season long so I don't stagger plant those. Some of these include tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplants.

sweet corn

When you decide to stagger plant make sure you check the days to maturity on your seed packet. You don't want to plant something and the frost kills it before it has time to mature and produce fruit.

Happy Gardening!

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