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in Fruit & veg
I've just created two raised beds, each 4 feet by 4 feet. I've designated one for brassicas and the other one for the rest. I'm a bit worried that a two year rotation won't be enough to keep down pests/diseases. Any experience? I don't want to use less than one complete bed for brassicas, as I want to grow Chinese veg (Kailan, etc.) in addition to purple sprouting broccoli.
I don't think it should be too much of a problem Laura - practice good garden hygiene (removing dead foliage etc and weeds that can harbour pests) and mulch each year with well rotted farmyard manure and/or good homemade compost. Should be fine.
Thanks, Dove. I'll do my best. If the growing goes well this year, I might put in another bed anyway.
Potatoes ideally prefer a three year rotation, but are a great follow on from the brassicas.
I'm not planning on potatoes - my current thoughts are to have one bed for brassicas, the other for peas, carrots salads, beetroot and turnips.
You have to go with what you like to eat - potatoes take a lot of room, and I'm meant to be watching my carbs!! although the rest of the family love them. I grew perpetual spinach in my first year, but nobody else wanted to eat much of it, so I dug it all up. If you are doing carrots, do what you can to avoid carrot fly. I didn't have it in my first year, but got it the following year, and they can live on in the soil, so I have had to rotate where they go. Would have been more sensible to take precautions not to get it in the first place, but I was over confident after the first year's successful crop! It's so exciting though. My husband took very little interest in my raised bed making at first, but once he started going out and helping himself to free veg, I had the last laugh.