Simple Crop Rotation for Organic Gardening


| 2/21/2015 12:46:00 PM


Tags: crop rotation, Erik Thiel, Pennsylvania,

Crop rotation is an important factor of organic gardening. It’s just as important as composting and cover crops. By not following these simple steps of crop rotation the soil will require more input from the gardener. Soil-borne pests and diseases, low-to-no vegetable yields, and a reliance on store-bought products can all become a reality inside the vegetable garden. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The good news is this garden is organic and the reliance is on the self. Here is how and why to rotate your vegetable crops to rely on your Self.

How to Rotate Vegetable Crops

Our yard is tiny, 43-by-21 feet tiny, not all of it is in the sun, and we have two female boxers who like to think it belongs to them. Therefore, our space is limited for gardening. We do have four, 8-by-4-foot vegetable plots located in the sunniest area. This is perfect for this simple form of organic crop rotation we found in the Encyclopedia of Gardening published by the American Horticultural Society.

The easiest way to follow crop rotation is to have four distinct areas in the garden. Each area will be home to one family of crops each growing season. By making a garden plan at the start of the season, it will be easy (and only become even easier) to know exactly where each crop will be planted at any time of the year.

Four Important Crop Families

Brassicas (Cabbage Family). Brassicas include everything from broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, and rutabagas to radishes, turnips, bok choi, oriental mustards, and mizuna greens to name a few. Given our one, 8-by-4 foot plot for brassica we like to keep it simple. After multiple failures growing romanesco, we have decided to grow spring and fall harvests of dwarf broccoli and kale this upcoming season.




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