The general rule of thumb for crop rotation in your organic vegetable garden is …never plant the same kind of crop, successively, in the same place. A good crop rotation plan is a sort of seasonal dance in which the crops move from spot to spot. It helps create a garden that is constantly new and intriguing.
Different plants take different things out of the soil and add other things. Rotation keeps your garden from getting exhausted of all the right nutrients.
Useful Tips In Planning Crop Rotation
Know the crop family your crops belong to (see chart below).
And, make sure you plant the next crop that belongs to a a family that will replenish what was eaten up by the previous crop. Stop. Go back. Reread this paragraph until it makes sense. It’s important. And,
Leave at least two (preferable 3) or more years between the times you plant members of the same crop family in the same area of your garden.
Here are the family names for common groups most often planted in vegetable gardens and ideas for rotating them.
|Family Name||Common Crops||Rotation Relations|
|Allium||Chive, garlic, leek, onion, shallot||Rotate with legumes, but avoid planting in soil that contains undecomposed organic matter|
|Cucurbit||Cucumbers,melons, squash, pumpkins, watermelons||For improved weed and insect control, precede with winter rye. Follow with legumes.|
|Crucifer||Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage,cauliflower, kale, radishes, turnips||Heavy feeders. Precede with legumes; follow with compost|
|Legume||Beans, clovers,peas, peanuts||Beneficial to soil and have few pest problems. Rotate alternately with all other garden crops whenever possible.|
|Solanaceous||Eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes||Heavy feeders with many fungal enemies. Precede with grass; follow with legumes|
|Umbelliferae||Carrots, parsley, dill, fennel,coriander, parsnip||Moderate feeders. Precede with any other plant family, but condition soil with compost before planting. Follow with legumes or heavy mulch|
The concept is very simple! Keep a notebook of where your crops are planted from year to year.
This is a sure fire way to keep your crop rotation in line!
Crop rotation can also break the cycles of pest and disease problems that build up in soils planted repeatedly to the same crop.
The idea is to plan your rotation so that no two crops are subjected to similar diseases.
The same principle holds for insect pests; crop rotation makes it harder for emerging insects to find their preferred food each spring
Want to know more about garden plans and crop rotation?
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Yours truly for a great garden with outstanding berries, herbs, veggies and flowers.
Polly, Organic Gardener