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    Posted on March 22nd, 2011 Pam No comments

    Garden rotation should take place every year.

    Follow heavy feeders in one part of the garden with light feeders the next year, plant shallow rooted plants with deep rooted plants the following year.

    Some plants take nutrients from the soil, while others add nutrients. Some are heavy feeders, others are light feeders. Almost every vegetable take different nutrients from the soil. Some will take away nitrogen while others put nitrogen back in. It is hard to keep track of what does what, that is why it is always a good idea to rotate vegetables in the garden each year.

    It is recommended to put a garden on a three to five year rotation. While this is hard to plan out, it is worth it for plants to have fresh soil each year.

    Another reason to rotate crops is the pest and fungus situation. Bugs and fungus get very comfortable in a certain areas and come back with a head start the next year. For example, aphid eggs live in the ground over the winter, ready to begin where they left off the year before. But when their favorite food source isn’t there the next year they aren’t as powerful as the year before. When rotating crops, it confuses the pests and it isn’t as easy to destroy the same crop year after year.

    Here is an idea for a simple crop rotation.  This guide also shows planting the same type of plants in the same area. 

    Year 1        
    Row 1 Row 2 Row 3 Row 4 Row 5
    Broccoli Squash Peas Potatoes Leafy vegs.
    Peppers Pumpkins Peas Potatoes Root Crops
    Cabbage Cucumbers Beans Corn Carrots
    Tomatoes Melons Beans Corn Onions
    Year 2        
    Row 1 Row 2 Row 3 Row 4 Row 5
    Leafy vegs. Broccoli Squash Peas Potatoes
    Root Crops Peppers Pumpkins Peas Potatoes
    Carrots Cabbage Cucumbers Beans Corn
    Onions Tomatoes Melons Beans Corn


    Each year, move each row or group to the right, with this example, a complete rotation should take five years.

    With planting right around the corner, write down your ideas now.  It is surprising how easy crop rotation can be.

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