Crop rotation

David Hurrion explains how rotating crops can keep soil healthy, and increase crops, too.

Practising crop rotation will prevent a build up of pests and diseases on your veg plot, while helping to increase yields. Find out how to rotate your crops in our No Fuss video guide with David Hurrion, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

Crop rotation involves dividing crops into different types (usually roots, beans and peas, leafy crops and ‘other’), and growing them on different patches of ground in subsequent years. David explains how plant diseases can over winter and re-infect plants the following year. He uses white onion rot as an example, which can remain in the soil for up to seven years.

David explains why moving crops in a four-course rotation is best practice. He demonstrates which vegetable plants fall into which groups, and the best order in which to rotate – leafy crops should always follow beans, for example, as bean roots lock nitrogen in the soil, which aids leafy growth. He also suggests growing potatoes in the first year, as these require a lot of soil preparation, which benefits other crops in subsequent years.

More advice on growing vegetables:

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