This is an important part of organic gardening, for the health of the soil and your vegetable crops.
Each crop has certain needs and if left in the same space each year will quickly deplete the soil, it also can quickly encourage a build up of pests.
Just putting a different crop in a bed each year can help, but a 4 or 5 year crop rotation scheme can help crops further.
This is the rotation that we use.
- Potatoes/ Tomatoes/ courgettes/pumpkins… All need a well manured bed.
- Followed by: onions/leeks
- Followed by: beans/peas (add manure or compost when planting)
- Followed by brassicas (they love the nitrogen fixed by the beans) then mulch in winter with leaf mould, ready for
- Root crops, (carrots/beetroots/ parsnips etc)
- Then add manure and back to potatoes.
Salads and green manures can fill any gap, but remember that rocket and some oriental vegetables are part of the brassica family.