Vegetable Rotation in your Garden

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Vegetable Rotation in your Garden

Vegetable Rotation in your GardenVegetable Rotation in your Garden

Different vegetable plants require different amounts of nutrients from the soil to grow well. You should add in organic matter and fertilizer to your soil each year; however, it is also important to move your plants around each year so as not to deplete these nutrients. One year you may grow a vegetable that uses a lot of nitrogen, and the following year you may plant a crop that uses more phosphorus. By rotating your vegetable layout the soil can have time to rebuild the nitrogen in that area.

Another benefit to moving your vegetables to different areas of your garden each year is to cut down on the pests and diseases in your garden. A few of these little guys can wreak havoc on your vegetable patch, so try to keep them out. Some vegetable plants will attract certain pests and diseases, which often live in the soil where the plant is growing. By moving this vegetable plant to another area of the garden, the pests or diseases have nothing to feed on and therefore will not survive. Different plants will repel certain pests and diseases, which will also help to keep them at bay.

Vegetable rotation is a process used to ensure certain vegetables or a family of vegetables is not planted in the same spot in successive years. You can keep your soil more fertile, reduce the amount of pests and diseases in your garden, and ultimately have a healthier and more productive vegetable harvest by moving your vegetables to a new spot each year.

Kneel to weed rather than bending. If weeds are stubborn, do not yank on them as this motion can strain your neck, upper back, and shoulders. Loosen the weeds with a shovel, garden fork, or a trowel. Stretching exercises before gardening can also help to prevent problems.

Here is a simple and straightforward way to understand and plan your rotation. First, divide your garden site into four fairly equal areas (five if you are planning to grow some perennial vegetables like asparagus or artichokes). You will plant a certain family of vegetables in each spot one year and move it clockwise to the next spot the year after. This will give you a four-year crop rotation. It is important to write down or draw a sketch of your garden so you have something to refer back to when planning for next season.

PLANT THE FOLLOWING VEGETABLES INTO YOUR FOUR AREAS:

In plot one, plant your cabbage family—this includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, oriental greens, and kale.

In plot two, plant your heat-loving veggies—these include tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, eggplants, okra, and squashes.

In plot three, plant your root vegetables—these include carrots, potatoes, beets, radishes, turnip, and rutabagas.

In plot four, plant all the other vegetables—these include lettuce, peas, beans, and Swiss chard.

If you are only planting a few vegetables or have a very tiny garden space, it is still important to jot down where you planted each veggie this season so as not to put them into the same area again for a few years. If you are growing your veggies in containers, it is important either to wash the container and change the soil each year or to plant the veggie in a different pot each year. This will help to keep your vegetables grown in containers healthier.

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