Crop Rotation in Your Vegetable Garden

If you are new to gardening it is possible you never heard of crop rotation. What is crop rotation? Crop rotation is practiced on a large scale by the agriculture business, but one a smaller scale by the home gardener. This is the act of moving your crops from one growing area to another. This is done on a 3 or 4 years schedule. Crop rotation is a simple way to effectively control pests and disease.

Why bother to rotate the plants in your garden? Some gardeners never bother to rotate their crops and if you are one of them I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it, but take into consideration the reasoning behind it.

  • Heavy feeders such as tomatoes and corn use up nitrogen very rapidly so every 3 to 4 years they should be moved to another part of your garden to give that soil time to “rest.” By rest I mean to restore the nitrogen and nutrients.

  • Crop rotation helps to manage soil fertility

  • It helps to avoid soil disease

  • Controls soil dwelling insects.

  • Helps to improve crops

Pests and diseases run in crop families, and rotation help to control the effects they have on your garden.Below is a list of the 7 different vegetable families.

  • Onions and garlic

  • Carrots, Parsnip, parsley, dill, fennel, coriander-moderate feeders

  • Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips-heavy feeders

  • Cucumbers, gourds, melons, squash, pumpkins, watermelon

  • Beans, peas, clovers-beneficial to soil with few pest problems

  • Wheat, rye, corn and oats

  • Eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes-heavy feeders

Of course not all the plants are listed for each family, but you get the idea.

Happy Gardening!

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