yearly crop rotation

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rowlandwells

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yearly crop rotation
« on: December 06, 2017, 18:08 »
I was prompted to ask this question from a comment passed on from a previous topic that seem to suggest there is no need for crop rotation now  I'm a bit unsure if crop rotation is still part of the gardeners year

as I've always been told as a rule of thumb you should always move your cropping area or crop rotation every year to improve veg growing but perhaps I'm wrong and those that learnt me my gardening skills where wrong to

I'm always ready to learn something new especially if I've got it wrong so its always best to ask other gardeners what they recommend crop rotation or not  :unsure:


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mumofstig

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 18:38 »
If you have the space  for rotation, then I think it is best to do it. If you don't have enough space you just have to take your chances.

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victoria park

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 19:33 »
Crop rotation is the way forward in my method, as it's always been, if one wants to husband the limited parcel of land sustainably.  As I understand it, those who don't rotate, take a very big risk of badly reduced crops, and probably have to use chemical intervention. That's a personal choice. This doesn't apply to all crops obviously, and I'm not too fussy if I grow a second crop of some legumes after a disease free crop the previous year. Several people on my site use the same bean trench year in year out.
If one hasn't the space, one probably won't be growing most of the annual food need anyway, and so there's another answer. Don't rotate, just omit. Don't grow the most susceptible crops two years running.

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Goosegirl

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 13:20 »
I have four raised beds and rotate my roots, the onion family, potatoes, and brassicas but not my peas as they can be ok in the same ground. This means I can keep my sturdy structure for my sugar snaps in the same place to use the next year. To some extent it depends on what you grow and how much you want to harvest. Rotating my pots means I can hoick-out any little invaders from last year's crop. I don't do many brassicas so I have some space left to do later sowings such as beetroots, carrots, spring onions and any left-overs from my leek seedlings, plus I pop my shallots and garlic in whatever space is left after harvesting my first lot of beetroot and carrots. Dwarf French beans and sweetcorn are always planted in the greenhouse bed, but I do vary where they go in and so far I get good results. The important thing is to always buy seeds and sets from a recommended supplier to be sure they are of good quality and don't carry any diseases.
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bayleaf

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 15:18 »
Crop rotation is important to avoid the build up of pests and diseases. Goosegirl is right that you can plant peas or beans in the same place every year and I seem to remember a thread on here recently where some people had a specific onion bed which they used every year. However if you want to avoid disease issues rotation is a good thing.

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sunshineband

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 15:22 »
I also use a four year rotation working over sets of four beds on one plots and two sets of four and two of five on the other. Lets me fit in squashes etc without any hassle

I rotate in the polytunnel beds too, in a set of four, but with slightly different crops.

The other thing about rotation is that the soil gets different additions in different years, depending on the crop it will support, which gives for a good overall balance
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jaydig

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 15:32 »
I rotate everything each year, except for the runner beans.  This year I used a piece of ground to grow brassicas where I'd never had them before, and lost the lot to club root. Considering I have had the plot for seven years, it just goes to show how long problems can persist once they are allowed to develop. 
I mark on my plan the areas where I know there is a problem so that I avoid it for susceptible crops in the future. I know where there is an area of onion white rot, and although I've lost the odd brassica in a row to club root, I've never before lost the lot, but needless to say I will never be planting them there again!
Fortunately I have two large plots, so rotation isn't a problem, but I don't want to use chemicals so I try to be careful to keep the soil in good heart.

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victoria park

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 15:36 »
One bean I'm careful with is broad beans if they get a bad dose of chocolate spot. While you can still harvest most of the crop, you certainly don't want to be planting beans in the same spot the next year, as there is bound to be infected vegetable matter around in the soil and spores can last through the winter. Being as it affects only broad beans, there's just no point in taking the risk.
And given that most of the beds used for onions over the years often have a small amount of white rot, when I happen across a bed that produces a totally clean crop, it's very tempting to put the onions there again next year hoping for another clean crop. But I haven't succumbed yet.
One other crop that also never goes in the same place two years running are carrots, that's just a total no no due to the fly.
And sometimes obviously the soil prep/green manured beds will dictate what crop is planted/sown where. The soil takes precedence I guess and the crops have to fit in with that. But I'm certainly not religious about a full 4 year rotation. 2 and 3 years has sometimes been the norm for the less troublesome crops. I've been lucky so far in that I don't have a great deal of persistent problems with brassicas and onions, unlike many on our site.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 15:45 by victoria park »

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Aidy

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 16:23 »
I also use a four year rotation working over sets of four beds on one plots and two sets of four and two of five on the other. Lets me fit in squashes etc without any hassle

I rotate in the polytunnel beds too, in a set of four, but with slightly different crops.

The other thing about rotation is that the soil gets different additions in different years, depending on the crop it will support, which gives for a good overall balance

Bang on, nuff said  ;)

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madcat

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Re: yearly crop rotation
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 17:06 »
All of which is true and improves the odds of a clean crop and good soil, so worth doing - but ...

... on an allotment site, with any pest that flies and any spores that travel in the wind, the odds are that it is coming your way.  Someone will have it and it will travel ..  :(  (Don't get me started about folk who take the tops off blighted spuds and then leave the tops in a heap at the side/end of the plot for months   >:( ...)  So don't expect too much from rotation.
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