Sunday, May 12, 2013
I saw this in Urban Farm magazine by Mary Lou Shaw and thought it was another easy way of looking at crop rotation.
Divide your garden, or pots, into these 4 groups:
Group 1-Leaf Plants-the ones you eat the leaves of like lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc. These need high amounts of nitrogen.
Group 2-Cleaners and Builders. The cleaners are corn and potatoes. The builders are beans and peas because of the nitrogen they add to the soil.
Group 3-Root plants like garlic, onions, carrots, beets, turnips, radishes. These need high amounts of potassium.
Group 4-Fruiting plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, squash, and cucumbers. These need high amounts of phosphorous for fruiting.
Mark down on a piece of paper where you planted each group. Next year, just rotate them around with Group 4 going into Group 1’s spot, Group 1 going into Group 2’s spot, etc. Just keep moving them in that order each year and write it down each year so you don’t forget!
I liked this approach because you can add the extra nutrient that the group of plants need.
Don’t worry if you can’t keep them all exactly in these 4 groups. Just make sure you don’t have the same type of plant going into the same spot or pot every year. Interplant with companion plants to keep each strong if you don’t have the space to do full blown crop rotation.