Yearly Crop Rotation

People have been telling me to rotate where I plant my vegetables every year? What are the advantages to doing this and why is it recommended?

Crop rotation is necessary to avoid soil borne diseases. Vegetables should be planted in differing locations yearly and not replanted in their original location for several years. Please ensure that you do not plant vegetables in the same family. An example of this would be if you were to grow kale which is in the Brassicaceae family, you would not want to grow broccoli in the same location the next year as it is in the same family as well. Also remember to follow the recommended planting depths and spacing in your garden.

Crop rotation is also necessary as different vegetables take different nutrients from the soil, by rotating you are not depleting an area of the garden of certain nutrients allowing the plants to grow better and healthier.

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Some varieties, like corn, do not need to be rotated apparently. We have been growing corn in the same location for about 4 years or more now, with great success. We do however replenish the spoil with lots of nutrients and fish compost every year.

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With a small garden, it’s a real challenge. We’ve managed to grow garlic in the same spot for 4-5 years,l now, with heads getting bigger and remaining healthy. Like Gordon, we replenish the soil with both seaweed and compost. Same for our tomatoes, which grow in refurbished square compost bins under the south facing eaves of the house. Again, we add a lot of seaweed annually. Greens grow there over the winter, so that may help balance things. Maybe next year we’ll replace all the soil…then again, maybe just the top half.

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Heartened to hear that others have challenges with crop rotation. I have five 4x4 raised beds of which only three get really good sun so have limited spots to grow sun loving veg. They all get an annual top up of compost and sea soil so hoping that will help mitigate the need for crop rotation. I’m ok to replace the soil but don’t want to do that until I actually have to! Not sure what I’m looking for with regard to problems…will there be more disease or smaller growth or?