Rotation system vs succession sowing

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DHM

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Rotation system vs succession sowing
« on: January 30, 2019, 07:40 »
Bit of a conundrum this, I have an 8 course rotation plan (beans, alliums, toms/peppers, brassicas, roots, onions, pots and rooty brassicas/pumpkins; the following year each going in the bed of the one after it in the above list) but have noticed that most of these will be harvested by the end of summer and the groumd laid bare until the following year.

The guys on our site follow these crops with follow-up crops to fill the gap as they hate to see bare earth with nowt growing on it but I can't get my head round what to plant in each bed following harvest as it messes my rotation system up, bearing in mind certain crop groups are supposed to follow others each successive year. Some suggestions I've had are for crops that would be in the ground later than the next crop would need to be sown etc. It's a nightmare working this out!

Below is a list of potential gaps, can anyone suggest what to follow each with without messing up the rotation?

Toms out by August
Most brassicas out by October
Onions out by August
Pots, half out by July, half by October
Rooty brassicas out by November
Beans out by Sept/Oct
Garlic out by July

The July & August gaps are particularly long. I understand some veg can be planted anywhere in a rotation but these tend to be early season from what I've seen.

Anyone got any bright ideas? I'm tearing my hair out in frustration trying to work this out!

Thanks for reading. DHM

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DD.

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 08:29 »
I have never got too wound up about strict rotation. I just have a general rule of thumb of not following like with like.

I also don't get wound up about seeing bare soil. It's good to let it have a rest.
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Dev

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 08:30 »
I've just been doing the same thing and I would recommend a copy of Charles Dowding's Vegetable Course book. He gives sowing timelines for what he calls half year crops i.e. beetroot, carrots, lettuce etc., and what you can follow them with - Oriental greens, lettuce, spinach,fennel and so on. Many things like a wide variety of oriental greens and herbs go straight to seed when sowed in spring but will stand for ages if sown in autumn. Full year crops like PSB and sprouts are going to be there for effectively the full growing season. You could also fit in things like spring caulis, swede, turnips etc as well. I use his no dig system and find that I generally ignore crop rotation. I'm only growing for two of us so I don't want more than a couple of cabbages at any one time. I just try and have module raised plants ready to go out at any time by sowing a little and often.

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mumofstig

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 08:57 »
I always put leeks in after the early potatoes and find that dwarf beans make a good gap filler, so usually have some started in pots for popping into gaps as and when.
Other empty beds can be sown with Phacelia green manure, which you can sow up 'til September. Most years the tops die off Jan/Feb in a cold spell, so I don't even have to dig the tops in; their remains get taken down by the worms, the roots rot in the soil to improve it.
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sunshineband

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 09:17 »
I try to avoid sowing some crops in the same place two years in a row...potatoes, tomatoes, brassicas, onions, garlic, shallots leeks for example as these are the "disease prone" ones.

Other, like carrots, parsnips, beetroot, peas & beans, squashes get fitted in around these, and I try to move them about each year as they take different nutrients from the soil, but sometime that isn't that easy so I do the best I can. Short term stuff like lettuces, summer radishes, spring onions etc go in where they can.

I aim for a for year rotation, with some follow-ons planned in, like leeks, dwarf beans, late brassicas, florence fennel etc but it never quite works and somehow everything grows OK as long as I look after the soil
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Goosegirl

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2019, 12:04 »
If it's any help, peas and beans can be grown in the same place each year which is helpful because you can build a permanent structure for them. If there's space you can fill it with spring onions, dwarf French beans, beetroot and anything else that will fit in.
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rowlandwells

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2019, 19:33 »
its was drummed into me when I was learning gardening rotation rotation rotation you must do rotation the father in law a gardener  could put veg on the table for twelve months but although crop rotation plays a large part of my garden plan I can't achieve veg on the table for twelve months  :(

so we have 2 plots totalling one acre so half acre one year potatoes planted sorted the other half  has a quarter filled with 20 raised beds the other quarter for open ground planting


and so  20 raised beds to fill "simple's"  on  rotation the  beds from 1 to 20 the R/B are  planted with veg  I call it the R/B  plan  the following year. year 2 we go back to R/B 1 on the plan and  planted with another veg  and so on as listed on the R/B plan so by following the plan its easy to do rotation and most R/B that are manured ecxept  for the root crops are also added to the R/B plan


its sounds complicated but its easy to follow provided you follow the R/B rotation pan as for the open ground planting usually planted with stick beans peas broad beans and cut flowers then back to a potato  crop next season


your relplies  on this topic most welcome  :D



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DHM

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 08:40 »
Thanks for your replies folks, as usual lots of great ideas and opinions!

The Green manure idea is very appealing as our soil is very heavy clay and weedage still rife so there could be many benefits by sowing it. It's not that I can't bear to see the bare earth, but weeds take over very quickly and 6 months is a long time to have land you pay for sitting idle.

Some of the crops suggested below are definately going in though some are already being grown somewhere else already, we're not keen on or start too early/finish too late. Having said that I did consider staggered sowing originally but as I'm growing so many varieties, keeping track of it would be a nightmare to be honest!

My tendancy to overplan comes from my tradecraft, I'm a statistical analyst so tend to take a pretty OTT approach to planning most things! I go spare if I don't have a personal project on the go... drives my wife mad.

Dowdings book sounds good, I'll keep my eyes peeled for that one ;)

Thanks for your responses folks, all the best.


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sunshineband

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Re: Rotation system vs succession sowing
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2019, 08:53 »
I draw a plan (yes, by hand) for each calendar year, write in what is already growing in January, what will follow on in those beds, what will be sown/planted, in the ones empty over winter, with arrows to show what (if anything) will be the next occupants that year.

Helps me see where manure, BFB etc should be added to the soil and when. Pretty straightforward really, and we have fresh veg all year round.

I now do the same for the polytunnel beds, which usefully there are four of... saves planting tomatoes in the same place every year, ad actas as an accurate record of what went where for the previous three years if required too



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