Vegetable Gardening Basics: Crop Rotation

An important step in ensuring maximum yield from your vegetable garden is rotating plant families from one season to the next. Rotating crop so that plants are not planted in the same area each growing system is a proven method for keeping your garden’s soil healthy.

The function of crop rotation is to assist in preserving the balance of nutrients, organic material, and microbes needed for healthy soil. Of these three, the unseen world of soil-dwelling micro-organisms is the one that benefits most from crop rotations.

Soil borne illness built up when comparable plants are grown in the very same area for more than a year. If you keep moving the plants each growing season you’ll assist preventing illness.

In addition to disrupting illness cycles, turning crops avoids the deficiency of soil nutrients.

Crop rotation is among one of farming’s oldest practices. In a house veggie garden, crop rotation includes changing the planting area of veggies within the garden each season. Crop rotation is utilized to decrease damage from insects, to restrict the advancement of veggie illness, and to handle soil fertility.

Each veggie can be categorized into a specific plant household. Plants belonging to the same family are prone to infestiaation by similar insects and illness, and have comparable nutrient requirements. When veggies classified in the same plant family are grown year after year in the exact same location of a garden, they supply insects with a reliable food source and disease-causing organisms with a consistent source of host plants that they can contaminate.

Veggie crops in the very same plant family should not be planted in the same location of a garden every year. If tomatoes are planted in a bed or location of a garden one year, vegetable crops such as peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes should not be planted in the same bed or location due to the fact that all of these plants belong to the nightshade family (Solanacaeae).

Crops in the same plant family should not be grown in the same area for three to four years. The table below lists that plants that are related to one another.

The 9 Main Crop Family Groups:

Onion familyonions
garlic
shallots
leeks
Carrot familycarrots
celery
parsley
parsnips
Sunflower familylettuce
sunflowers

Cabbage familycabbage
broccoli
brussels sprouts
kale
kohlrabi
rutabaga
many other leafy greens
Spinach familybeets
chard
quinoa
spinach
Cucumber familycucumbers
gourds
melons
squash
watermelon
zucchini
Pea familybeans
peas
Grass familycorn
oats
rye
wheat
Tomato familyeggplant
okra
peppers
potatoes
sweet potatoes
tomatoes

Video: how to rotate crops in a small garden

Crop rotation can be challenging to accomplish in small gardens, however even alternating plant families grown in a location of a garden from year to year is valuable in controlling insects and plant illness. To assist in preparing crop rotations, keep a garden log or map of where veggies are planted each year.

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