Garden: Crop Rotation

I’m currently trying to plan what we are going to grow on the allotment as I’d like happy and healthy vegetables – and lots of them!

One key thing that is apparently needed for healthy veg – even before buying seeds, is to understanding the basics of crop rotation; the core idea behind rotating crops is that to get the best out of crops you shouldn’t plant the same thing in the same place year after year.

Doing so increases the risk of disease and reduces the specific nutrients that those plants need.

carrot

(Picture from Pinterest)

Vegetables can be divided into four main groups – five if you count onions however I’m allergic to those so I am ignoring those!

  • Potatoes: Obviously potatoes and tomatoes
  • Roots: For example Beetroot, carrots, chicory (which I randomly bought despite having no idea what they taste like!) and parsnips
  • Brassicas: Broccoli, Brussel sprouts (which didn’t grow so well for us in 2017), cauliflowers, kale, swede, cabbages and turnips – not actually managed to successfully grow many brassicas so I need to do more reading on these
  • Legumes: Peas and beans

Rotation isn’t so important for most other vegetables; including sweetcorn, asparagus, rhubarb, squashes and courgettes – although planting them in the same place repeatedly isn’t a first grand idea

A simple rotation suggested by the internet and that I am going to try this year is:

Year One:

  • Bed One – Potatoes
  • Bed Two – Legumes and roots
  • Bed Three – Brassicas

Year Two:

  • Bed One – Legumes and roots
  • Bed Two – Brassicas
  • Bed Three – Potatoes

Year Three:

  • Bed One – Brassicas
  • Bed Two – Potatoes
  • Bed Three – Legumes and roots

I’m hopeful that this will work as our late potatoes did get blight last year – which wasn’t fun!

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