New crop rotation system...

16 August, 2015

Part of the planning for the spring planting involves mapping out the main veg patch. Now that my raised bed veg patch is now wicking beds in the backyard, I have had to rethink my crop rotation a little.

I love planning the garden almost as much as actually getting into the garden to get my hands dirty. Planning with my garden notepad not only allows me to look over previous plantings to see what worked and what didn't, but the planning stage gives me the opportunity to imagine a bountiful cornucopia of produce that the garden could produce.


I previously had eight raised garden beds, and so I used a four bed crop rotation system. Now that I have six wicking beds, I have decided to expand the crop ration and trial a six bed crop rotation system.


Crop rotation is a system which theoretically assists with preventing garden diseases, as many diseases 'build up' in the soil and repetitive growing of their favourite crop just means you are growing food for the pests.

Rotating crops through the soil spaces you have means each year whatever disease may have built up will essentially be starved out by the following years of crops.

Now I have to say I'm not that certain myself that rotating crops is absolutely necessary. But I still do it, because I'm not prepared to risk my crops. And it isn't really that difficult, once you map it all out.

This is what I will trial for the coming season:


I have kept the seperate catagories of Alliums/Root veg, Beans, Solanums and Brassicas, but have added additional beds for Melons and one special bed all of its own to corn.

I will probably plant the odd thing that doesn't really in theory belong in the specified beds, just because I need the space, but generally this is how things will go.

With the new six beds I have allocated a rotation following the layout of the beds in the backyard. The beds are all 2.4m long by 1.2m wide.


Now I just need to plan out all the glorious veg I can fit in these beds.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, planning, seeds, dreams. I love it all:)

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    1. Oh, I know. Its a dream, but a glorious one.

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  2. Interesting, you've got a good system going there.
    Um, I thought your beds were 1.2m wide, not 1.6m.

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    1. Gaaah, typo! Thanks for picking that up, they are in fact 1.2m wide. I have fixed now.
      Cheers!

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  3. Oh I wish I had your self-discipline! Try as I may, I end up putting things wherever. I do plant green manure over winter in 2 beds to refresh, usually a high % of mustard greens to help sanitise the soil. I just don't have the space! :)

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    1. Haha, I have the rest of the garden to plan into ad hoc and at will without reference to crop rotation (although I try not to plant things in the same area for 2 years running).

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  4. I love planting too, but I grow way too many brassicas to fit into a good rotation. Supposedly you are supposed to rotate every four years. But I tend to get a year in and not more in a lot of beds. Though they don't grow there all year long (except the broccoli).

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    1. Yes, brassicas take up way too much space. I could never grow enough if I only limited myself to growing in the wicking beds, as I can only fit about 6-8 plants into each bed.

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  5. that's an amazingly well thought out plan, bek. i'm in awe. what I've read on crop rotation was terribly confusing.
    i'm sort of doing rotation, thought my dad also says that the fact I don't grow much over winter means the soil has a break anyway.

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    1. Cheers. We will see how it works in practice :)
      I kinda do the same thing in the front yard, in that I just try not to sow things in the same area two years running. It seems to be working so far.

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