Crop Rotations

The Importance of Crop Rotation

Whether you grow you veg on an allotment or in the back garden you need to follow a rotation. If you grow the same items in the same place year after year you will get a build up of viruses, pests and diseases specific to that crop. Different crops also use different nutrients and trace elements from the soil so another reason that you need to rotate the crops.

There are many systems for rotations that are designed to ensure that the next crop utilizes nutrients left by the previous one. It is not a hard and fast rule and if you can’t rotate everything all the time and need to double up… don’t worry – it is not the end of the world!! Just remember that Potatoes and Brassicas (cabbage family) are fussy so try to keep them off the same ground year after year.

Some Principles of Crop Rotation

Try to keep crops from the same family together as they generally require the same upkeep and feeding.

I am using the following 4 year rotation on my new plot..

1  potatoes (add compost and manure + BFB or gen fertilizer) No Lime
legumes + brassicas (test if lime req. for brassicas)
curcubita (squash family) + sweet corn (add BFB or gen fertilizer)
roots / onions (+ BFB or gen fertilizer)

You need to have the largest possible gap between potatoes being planted in the same place… and this also goes for Brassicas.

Brassicas like lime and potatoes don’t so you need to plant Potatoes before brassicas and test whether you need to add lime before planting the Brassicas.

I follow with Curcubita and sweet corn as an intermediate filler..

Root crops such as carrots and parsnips don’t like being manured as it causes them to split and fork. Onions and leeks need a good dose of compost and manure though..

I have this diagram on my desk and use it to plan my plot.. I have a sketch of my plot to scale showing what is going to be planted where and colour coded so it is easy to see what to follow with. I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to planning the plot so a lot of changed are made to suit conditions from start of the planning to actual planting. But still always using the colour coded rotations.. I then save the yearly plan and use it to plan the following rotations..

See also  Starting off your newly allocated plot..

You can change the 4 year into a 3 year simply by combining  2 and 3 together as one.

1  potatoes
legumes + brassicas + curcubita
3  roots / onions


Crop Rotations
Gavin Conway
Moved to the UK from Zimbabwe in 2001. We had a 12 acre plot with a 2 acre normal garden, loads of Koi ponds, a 2 acre veg garden, 3 orchid sheds with over 400 plants, bonsai shed, granny cottage and workshop area.. Comming to the UK and into a 3 bed semi was a shock!! But we knew what to expect and just got on with our lives. I love growing veg and started to grow on my flat garage roof for a few years then moved on to a couple of garden shares then onto a full sized allotment at the end of 2011. I have done loads of work with it and got it looking good. see my blog site at Hope I can help others with info on growing and getting ground and allotments to their liking. Self employed with Kleeneze Gavins grafix doing vinyl signs and a personal courier with Yodel..

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