Tips for Vegetable Crop Rotation

The ground is frozen and there is a layer of snow covering your garden plot. There’s simple not much to do outside in the way of gardening. However, this is a great time to start planning your garden for next year. I always like to sketch out what I want to plant and where I want to plant it. This is for two reasons.

  1. So I know what seeds to order (ordering by mid Feb. gets me a 10% discount).
  2. So I can properly rotate my vegetable crops.

Many gardeners practice crop rotation – and for good reasons.

  • There is decreased insect and disease problems.
  • It prevents soil from losing much needed nutrients.

There are different patterns or cycles you can follow – but here’s the cycle I follow.

Legume – Brassica – Root – Leaf – Potato – Corn – Fruit

Legumes are plants grown for their seedpods – like beans and peas. These leave the soil very high in nitrogen.

Next comes the brassica family which are your cabbage-type plants. This includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, turnips, and radishes. Since these require a high amount of nitrogen, they are a natural choice to follow legumes.

After the brassica family I plant my root vegetables. That means carrots, onions, beets, and garlic.

Following roots come the leaf crop. This is my lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard.

Next comes potatoes & corn – though I’m not too fussy about which comes first. It depends a little on what fits my garden best that particular year.

Finally, the last of the cycle is the fruits. Those are my tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins, and squash. After that, it’s back to the legumes.

That’s what I do anyway. I’m not going to claim its the best possible way – but it works for me. If you do things a little (or a lot different), I welcome your comments.

Be Sociable, Share!

5 Responses to Tips for Vegetable Crop Rotation

  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi! I’m from the Lloydminster, Alberta area and I found your site a couple weeks back and thought hey…where’s your next post?? This weather really sucks, so, I’m trying to stay positive and focus on the future garden!!!! I’ve included my blog, it is pretty boring as it is my personal journal of life on our acreage…..but I have some neat diagrams about building hot beds, my order from Stokes Seeds, and all the up and coming pictures of our garden!!! So, get posting!!! LOL!! Are you starting any tomatoes, peppers…etc??? I am very interested in your new variety of Strawberries as well…they look wonderful!

    Cheers,

    Jennifer

  2. Dave says:

    Hi Jennifer! Yeah, I realize I’ve been a little delinquent with my posts recently. I should have my seed order up soon as well. I think I might also do a post on garden structures I have/plan to build – I’ve found a really cool garden bridge pattern and a grape arbor would be cool. So hopefully, I’ll get a few posts up soon! 🙂 I will be starting some tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, and perhaps a few others – so I’ll keep you updated when that happens. Thanks for your comments – keep ’em coming!
    Dave

  3. elizabeth says:

    I usually plant my garden following the companion gardening method, have had great results in my small space. Need to know, can I prune back my potatoes now that they have finished blooming..

    Thanks
    elizabeth

  4. Millie Giebelhaus says:

    Should I do something with my potato tops…they are growing and growing. Want to make sure that the potatoes underneath will form. Should I prune and when and how? Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *