Succession Planting-Fall and Winter Gardening-Seed Saving



Once a crop is harvested, it’s time to make way for another. Succession planting is a planting method that makes the most of a garden and can even double your yield. You can plant something new in spots vacated by spent plants so as to make the most of three seasons. Plant cool season quick crops (lettuce, radishes, spinach, peas) followed by a later fall crop such as carrots, broccoli, beets or cabbage. Or stagger planting dates of the same crop, e.g. lettuce, every 2–4 weeks for a longer harvest.

If you want to extend your growing season, learn how to garden in the fall and winter. This class will cover which plants do well in cooler weather, the optimal times and conditions, and techniques to protect plants from cold weather, such as cloches, row covers, and cold frames.

Seed saving allows you to cultivate that hard-to-find variety again next season. To save on seed cost, it is wise to learn to save this year’s seed to plant next year. You’ll learn which varieties of seed “breed true,” which plant families are easy to save seed for, and which ones require special care to avoid cross pollination.

Below are resources to enhance your learning:

Succession Planting PPT Slides

Fall & Winter Gardening PPT Slides

Seed Saving PPT Slides

Succession Planting

  • Home Vegetable Gardening in Washington — WSU Extension Publication EM057E, a free download PDF, describes site-specific growing conditions, tools and equipment, vegetable planting, irrigation, soil management, integrated pest management, harvesting, vegetable storage and preservation. See p. 18–20 for succession planting.
  • Intensive Vegetable GardeningWSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #47, a free online publication about making your garden as efficient and productive as possible by intercropping and successive planting.
  • Evaluation and Looking Ahead/Rotations — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #20, a free online publication about crop rotation and keeping a useful garden “log” to help in planning for the next season
  • Maritime Northwest Garden Guide: Planning Calendar for Year-Round Organic Gardening by Seattle Tilth (2014)
  • Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest by Linda Gilkeson (2018)
  • Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening by Steve Solomon and Marina McShane (2015)
  • Territorial Seed Company catalog

Seed Saving

  • Seed Saving  — Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is an online site that offers free booklets about seed saving, as well as links and videos on how to save seeds.
  • Seed Savers Exchange  —  This network of gardeners has a mission to preserve heirloom varieties and share seeds. Their website offers guides on all aspects of seed saving. at
  • Heirloom Seed Library 2019 and Seed Saving Instruction Guide  —  After the descriptions of seeds available in the Seed Library, this 2019 online publication has an 8-page section of instructions for seed saving. It includes basic seed saving directions fory seeds that are easy to save: Leguminosae (beans, peas, legumes), Compositae (lettuce), Solanaceae (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants). Intermediate instructions are given for those that require more care to avoid cross pollination: Cucurbitacea (cucumbers, melons, squash). Advanced instructions are given for those vegetable families that are more challenging: Allium (onions, garlic, shallots, chives), Brassicaceae (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale), Chenopodiaceae (beets and chard), Umbelliferae (carrot), and Zea mays (corn).
  • Seed Saving by Valerie Rose —This 5-page 2010 online publication outlines some basic seed saving principles.
  • A Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers from Organic Seed Alliance  — This in-depth, 30-page 2010 online publication covers how to grow seed to save, from choosing appropriate varieties for seed saving to harvesting, processing, and storing seed.
  • Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth (2002)
  • Edible Heirlooms: Heritage Vegetables for the Maritime Garden by Bill Thorness (2009)
  • Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening by Steve Solomon and Marina McShane (2015)
  • The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production by John Navazio (2012)

Fall and Winter Gardening

  • Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest — PNW 548, a free download PDF publication by Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Washington State University. Learn how to plan ahead and enjoy fresh vegetables from your garden using cool season crops and season extenders such as cloches, cold frames, and row covers.
  • Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardens for Western Washington — WSU Snohomish County Extension publication about vegetables that can be planted here in summer or early fall for winter and early spring harvest.
  • Maritime Northwest Garden Guide: Planning Calendar for Year-Round Organic Gardening by Seattle Tilth (2014) Tilth Alliance’s book is a month-by-month gardening manual tailored to the Pacific Northwest climate that outlines when to plant vegetables, herbs and flowers. In addition, it features information about the principles and techniques essential to year-round organic gardening. (128 pages).
  • Cool Season Gardener: Extend the Harvest, Plan Ahead, and Grow Vegetables Year-Round by Bill Thorness, Skipstone, 2013 — How would you like to serve your own carrots for Thanksgiving, or fresh-from-the-garden salad at the winter solstice? Or how about collards for Christmas, leeks on New Year’s, and lovely red beets for Valentine’s Day, all right from your own garden? You can, without much trouble, by practicing winter, or cool-season gardening.
  • Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest: Cool Season Crops for the Year-Round Gardener by Binda Colebrook, New Society Publishers, 2012 — Many gardeners can supply a significant amount of their own food during the plentiful summer harvest. But the key to substantial savings on your food bill is putting fresh, homegrown produce on your table every month of the year. And in the mild, forgiving climate of the maritime Pacific Northwest, it can be easier than you think.


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