Allotment, Grow Your Own

GYO – Crop Rotation!

It is well-known that to ensure your crops and growing areas are not full of pests and diseases you have to rotate a different type of crop into the space every time you harvest.

Year 1 – The first year of planting potatoes you are meant to follow with legumes (beans) this is because they replenish the nitrates in the soil. I find this rotation can be completed within one season as the field or broad beans can grow overwinter ensuring a spring crop. This can then be chopped post harvest leaving the roots in the soil and adding green manure directly into the compost bin or the soil itself.

Year 2 – Brassica plants such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflowers follow beans, the prefer compacted soil and require covering so that they are protected from butterflies and caterpillars. This bed will require weeding lightly and a nettle feed will be necessary to give your plants an extra boost. As I already have three cloche covered beds, I will use rebar tunnels and scaffolding material to cover the additional spaces.

Year 3 – Finally this area will be trench dug, adding manure into the trenches leaving a few inches for soil to be raked back over the manure level. The peaks will be planted with 3 pumpkins evenly distanced allowing for the space to be used. This year this will be last years potato bed, which failed to produce more than a handful of potatoes. Finally straw will be added to retain water and suppress the weeds along with the majority of the ground growing spaces.

Many Gardeners do not rotate when using raised beds or no-dig methods but I feel it is better to prevent than deal with the cost of resolving the problems.

Happy Horticulture!

Cheryl

2 thoughts on “GYO – Crop Rotation!”

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