Reason for using Crop Rotation

Posted on February 22, 2011 by davidb There have been 0 comments

When growing vegetables it is a good idea to practice crop rotation. it is one of the best ways to achieve high yields and avoid vegetable pests and diseases.

Plan your rotation

Some experts recommend a 3-year plan for a home garden, as it is easy to use.  If you have a large vegetable plot then it may be more practical to fit in all crops if you use a 4-year plan.

  • Make a list of all the vegetables that you would like to grow
  • Group the vegetables into 'families' using the lists below.  Grouping vegetables together that need similar treatment and care has created these lists.
  • Divide your vegetable plot into 3 sections (for a 3-year plan) depending on the amount of each vegetable that you wish to grow

Legumes & Salads

Peas, Beans, Lettuce, Celery, Cucumber, Onions, Leeks, Shallots

Root Crops

Beetroot, Carrots, potatoes, Parsnip

Brassicas

Cabbage inc Savoy, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts

Traditional 3-year Plan

Here is a traditional 3-year plan to use as a guide

Year One:

Section A: Legumes and Salads
Section B: Brassicas
Section C: Root Crops

Year Two:

Section A: Root Crops
Section B: Legumes and Salads
Section C: Brassicas

Year Three:

Section A: Brassicas
Section B: Root Crops

Section C: Legumes and Salads

Crop Rotation Tips

  • Alternate root vegetables and vegetables with shallow roots to improve soil structure
  • If you are planting vegetables together in the same bed use the main crop in your rotation plan
  • Plant brassicas to follow legumes as they like added nitrogen
  • Potatoes should go on newly manured ground.  Only apply manure to the area for potatoes each year
  • Lime the soil after potatoes to grow peas and beans, but potatoes hate lime

There are no rules taht have been 'set in stone' as to the way crop rotation should be done.  Your vegetable garden should benefit from doing it but you may not produce class A yields straight away.

Keep it simple to start with and keep to the principles behind rotating the crops to improve your soil and hopefully your yields.  Just look at the tips above and remember don't plant the same crop in the same bed two years in a row.

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