The shady bed with new seedlings.

 Anyone with limited space in the garden should have at least some rough ideas for crop succession. When the spring veggies peter out, there’s no need to let them languish in that valuable real estate. Pull them up and start again.

Early summer is usually a good time to do your first succession planting – my peas, radishes, tatsoi, spinach and lettuce were done producing, and the turnips I planted in May (and neglected to thin) never really looked great. The celery also had to go. I left the Swiss chard, favas, sorrel and cabbage in the bed – they are still producing well, and look healthy. The favas will probably slow their pod formation in hot weather, but they have the shadiest spot in the garden, so they might pull through. 

I planted new seeds the third week in June, but any time over the next few weeks will do for a garden in Zones 5-7. In place of the peas, I planted a variety of legumes: scarlet runner beans, purple podded pole beans and a few more favas – more to see how they will grow than to expect a big harvest from.

 I kept the rest of the bed fairly simple, keeping better mind of what plants would get tall and which would stay short. At the front of the bed, I planted a row of Chioggia beets – more for their greens than for their roots. In August or early September, I’ll plant another row for late season beetroots. Next is a long row of arugula – it’s a quick grower, so when it’s done in about four weeks, I’ll plant another row in its place. After that is a row of heat-tolerant spinach – a variegated red and green type. Spinach usually does poorly in summer’s heat, but this one is supposed to stand up. Finally, between the spinach and the beans, I planted a thick row of leaf lettuce. The loosehead lettuce in other parts of my garden hasn’t grown too quickly, so I figured this heat-tolerant mix will be good for picking leaves here and there rather than waiting for a head to form.

The new leaf lettuce doesn't seem to mind these 90-degree days.

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