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Being only in my second year of being what I like to call a 'proper' gardener (i.e. actually cultivating the earth and properly growing plants that I've chosen, rather than simply mowing the lawn and trying to keep the place tidy!), I'm also in my second year of crop rotation and in one particular bed I had garlic last year and this year I'm doing broad beans and sweetcorn but I wondered what category sweetcorn came under so I can start planning for next year (ok, maybe not actually 'planning', that's a bit too organised, but it's a question that's been bothering me for a little while now! :-) ). Does anyone know?
i have drawn op a plan in excel, mostly together with a book about combining vegetables to reduce diseases and pests. that's a headache in itself, but i'm not sure how i'll cope next year cos some of the plants that are staying in the same spot for years/ever like strawberries and gooseberries, rosemary and some others...i do believe it's better to rotate cos of diseases etc, but i'm not sure how to... yet ;-)
I'm still getting my head around this crop rotation thing, but this year I'm stealing the method outlined in my dad's royal horticultural society book. You just separate your crops into "roots", "brassicas" and "other"! Seems simple enough, right?

Unfortunately cabbage is about the only brassica I can stand, so my plot is going to be lop-sided :D

How nice to hear of another 'last minuter!' Me too. I make a rotation plan on the computer, colour coded. Have divided alotment into 5 - that's 4 rotation beds and a fruit bed. Oh, and a narrow flower border for the bees. Started with rows running north to south, but noticed most people had them east to west so have changed this year. Does anyone find the direction of rows makes much difference?


Hi Antonia. I have a sort of an answer about sweetcorn. The info I have from my Dad's book is slightly different to the blog. It groups legumes with onions etc, then it's brassicas, roots and curcubits, and fruiting veg (spuds, chillies, toms, peppers. (Not in that order). Sweetcorn is included in the fruiting veg. The great Bob Flowerdew says crop rotation is a guide and not to get too worked up about it, as long as you're not repeating crops within 3 years. There is, of course, good science behind what veg best follows another as per the blog article. I am also in my second year of 'proper' gardening so am no authority (but loving it). I hope it helps, but it may be worth checking out a book in the library.
Hello. Is there anyone who can tell me if i can put stale bread in my compost bin, and will it encourage vermin. Thankyou.
Under no circumstances should you add stale bread or any cooked food or dairy products to your compost heap as you will certainly attract vermin!
Gosh I seem to have stirred up a good few queries with this one! It's fine to group your crops into three, four, five or whatever suits you - as Andrew says crop rotation is more of a guideline than anything else so don't sweat blood over it please. But I find it a really useful way to organise my thoughts and my plot from one year to the next. You'll find it's something you get in the habit of! I really enjoy planning my plot - although I'm a long way from working it out on a spreadsheet!
Me again! One problem I have with crop rotation (although I am doing it), is the legumes. I don't eat them, so I won't grow them, but they are important for the soil to put nitrogen in. I also won't be growing spuds as they are cheap to buy, and we don't really eat that many. I want to put more of my allotment over to the veg I do like eating, and want more of. The allotment I have inherited has been divided into 9 strips - very useful, but 9 is not easily divisible by 4 (main crop groups).

Here's what I'm doing - 3 sections for my 3 favourite brassicas, one for onions and one for leeks, 2 for various curcubits, one for carrots and rocket and one for sweetcorn, flowers to attract bees and as a useful spare area for anything I want to do last minute (like the spicy salad leaves I got with the mag this weekend!). The tricky bit will be rotating this as best as possible next year - but that is the fun of winter, a piece of paper to makes plans, and the paper is the one thing the slugs won't ruin!

I agree with you, Andrew, about the planning being fun. In case my colour coded plan sounds too serious, I must add that I do it in the full awareness that I may well change my mind! It's meant to help, not to restrict, the 'creative process!'
Does anyone know where I can locate on the internet crop rotation, what to plant and when due to seasons. I am new to this. Have noticed potatoes sprouting leaves, very exciting in our house. Thanks
I'm writing from New Zealand - having just encountered yr mag for the 1st time via a visitor from the UK. I, too, like to plant my crop rotation using colour-coded tables and charts. It makes it fun (nerdy, huh?). We don't have allotments where I live and my vege garden is relatively small, but any rotation plan is better than none, even for small gardens. I work in a garden centre & have seen the results of disease & pest build-up in several customers' gardens - some very serious. Prevention via rotation is the best approach by far.
I have done a crop rotation on my allotment.the girls on their allotment have not done any rotation at all. i am getting a good crop from doing this. they are not. i am trying to tell them how important this is to do a rotation. and put goodness into your soil. and get a good crop from your allotment.but they just say we will do it next year.but will they?.


Andrew: To add beneficial nitrogen to the soil instead of planting legumes, you could try sowing a green manure in the autumn or spring and then digging in before flowering. You could choose to green manure one or two of your 9 beds as part of your crop rotation.
I cant get enough of hydroponics but my crops doubled since using this: see its not just how you do it- its what you use!
Hello Jane,I find it quite difficult to set up a crop rotation. It's the first year on my allotment. It has 3 sections. So I thinks in one I must put the potatoes, the second I set others and in the last there comes the brassicas (last year there were the potatoes. But... I heard that you can grow on the same sections as the potatoes the onions and the carrots. Can you confirm that? If not, what can I grow on the section of potatoes when they are harvest.

Thanks in advance for your answer.

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