Grow Your Own

Planning a vegetable garden – crop rotation

How to plan crop rotation.

The main aim of crop rotation is to prevent diseases and pests getting control of an area. By rotating crops these organisms are kept in check plus different crops require different nutrients and some crops actually increase the soils nutrition. By rotating your annual crops your soil will have a better chance of avoiding depletion and thus produce better crops every year. The main idea is to keep moving things around!

You can choose between a 3 year or 4 year crop rotation plan.

Group Your garden / Planting Area into the following sections:

  1. Brassicas – these include Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale, cauliflower, oriental greens, swedes, radishes and turnips
  2. Legumes, Onions and Roots – Broad beans, peas, onions, garlic, shallots, leek, beetroot, carrot, celeriac, parsnips, celery, florence fennel…
  3. Potato family: Potaotes, Tomatoes.. note that pepper and Aubergine can be grownanywhere int he rotation as they are less susceptible to disease.

Each year move each section forward so that the previous years’ veg arenever repeated using the samne bed/area.

Example Crop Rotation:

Year One:
Area one: Legumes, onions and roots
Area two: Brassicas
Area three: Potatoes

Year Two:
Area one: Brassicas
Area two: Potatoes
Area three: Legumes, onions and roots

Year Three:
Area one: Potatoes
Area two: Legumes, onions and roots
Area three: Brassicas

For a four year crop rotation simply seperate the Legumes into one area and the Onions and Roots into another.

Example:

Year one
Area one: Legumes
Area two: Brassicas
Area three: Potatoes
Area four: Onions and roots

Year two
Area one: Brassicas
Area two: Potatoes
Area three: Onions and roots
Area four: Legumes

Year three
Area one: Potatoes
Area two: Onions and roots
Area three: Legumes
Area four: Brassicas

Year four
Area one: Onions and roots
Area two: Legumes
Area three: Brassicas
Area four: Potatoes

For more information on crop rotation visit www.rhs.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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