How to Grow: Succession Planting

Succession planting is an important concept in your foodscape because some edibles will look attractive all growing season long, while others will not. Understanding how your plants grow in the foodscape will help you keep it productive and beautiful spring, summer and fall.

Succession planting is when you replace a plant that has finished producing (lettuce) with either more of the same plant or a different plant. Many foodscape plants such as lettuce, peas, pansies, and Florence fennel will need to be replaced once harvested. These are cool season loving plants, so you can replace them with heat lovers as long as you have enough time for them to mature. Some good heat lovers in the foodscape include rosemary, basil, pepper, and squash.

Interplanting is matching plants with complimentary growth habits together. The classic example is planting lettuce, mesclun mix or radishes around tomatoes or eggplant. The quick maturing greens fill in the space between the larger plants before they really take off. By the time the tomatoes and eggplant start putting on size, you will have harvested the other plants. But this concept works in many plants. Open canopied fruit and flowering trees, such as apples, peaches, and dogwoods, allow enough light to penetrate the ground to grow the part shade tolerant foodscape plants, such as pansies and kale. Also, some edibles are perennial but don’t look good all season, such as tomatoes. Plant other foodscape plants, such as kale, next to tomatoes to hide their diseased foliage.

10 Plants that look great all growing season (in most climates)










Swiss chard


10 Plants that benefit from succession or interplanting




Florence fennel

bee balm

fruit trees



edible flowers

alpine strawberry


Excerpted from the book, Foodscaping, (CSP, 2015)