Every year, the cultivation of the same species or related species on the same site leads to one-sided depletion of nutrients and reduction of the yield.. This phenomenon is called soil fatigue. It is often accompanied by the intensification of diseases infecting plants belonging to the same family and the accumulation of dangerous pests. For optimal use of the soil surface and a healthy and fertile crop, we should use crop rotation, that is, the rational change of species, planned in advance for several years. In practice, crop rotation works best on large areas, in field crops. In a small garden, in which the flower beds are most often adjacent to each other, getting the right crop rotation is much more difficult. Still, it is worth using, especially then, when vegetables are grown on elevated beds and we do not mix the soil from different beds.
Four-year crop rotation
The use of crop rotation requires us to properly plan the succession of plants for a given cultivated area. In order to achieve the best Carpenter's results, we have a sufficient floor space), We divide the area into four separate parts and we apply a four-year crop rotation on each of them. Here's what the sequence of rotation groups in one part of the vegetable garden might look like:
First year: before sowing legumes (group 1) enrich the soil with manure and a small amount of mineral fertilizer. After harvesting, we apply manure and mineral fertilizer again.
Group 1: legumes – pea, bean, broad bean, Soy, lentil.
Second year: we sow / plant bulbs (group 2). After harvesting, the soil is fertilized with mature compost and a mineral fertilizer suitable for root plants.
Group 2: onion – onion, Garlic, for.
Third year: cultivation of root crops (group 3). After harvesting, fertilize the soil with manure and mineral fertilizer.
Group 3: root and nightshade – carrot, seler, parsley, burak, scorzonera, pasternak, tomato, pepper, Blackberry.
Fourth year: cultivation of cruciferous plants (group 4).
Group 4: cruciferous – cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, brukselka, radish, turnip, brukiew, kalarepa.
If the surface of the garden makes it impossible to apply a four-year crop rotation, We can combine bulbs and root crops into one crop rotation group and use a three-year cycle.
• Some gardeners create a separate garden area for perennial crops. Personally, however, I prefer to grow such plants among other fields (anyway, I do the same with fruit bushes).
• Another method of crop rotation is the so-called. coordinate cultivation, which involves the simultaneous cultivation of different plant species in the same field. This solution is worth considering especially in small gardens. On one bed, we can simultaneously cultivate e.g.. carrot as the main crop and radish as a mid-crop. Important, that the catch crop has a fast growth rate and is harvested, before it is overshadowed by the main crop.