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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at my garden and wondering what the best rotations for veggies would be for next year. There are 2 plots, actually.
One is now growing corn, squash, beans, and melons. Most of these would be heavy feeders obviously, so I'll amend the soil with more manure/compost after harvest. Haven't decided what I'll want to plant there next year, yet.

The main garden, in rows, which some of that may turn into raised wider beds. But, an overview of it is like this:
The first 3 rows are brassicas, some leeks, onions, and swiss chard.
The next row is tomatoes, then leeks, then another row of tomatoes.
After those rows is a row of peas and carrots, lettuce, then more onions and a row of brassicas, then more onions, then more brassicas, another row of leeks, and finally a row of peppers at that end.

How do you pay attention to rotating veggies from one year to the next, if you had this arrangement. I know there are links, books, and reference material about rotating crops. It would be interesting to know from gardeners experience here how that works out for them, and if you had plots like described above, what would you rotate with?
 

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Metal melter
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I don't really do any major planning for crop rotation. I just keep the drawing that I make during the winter so I can look at it the next winter. Then, I make sure I move stuff around. There is no effort put into making sure I have a nitrogen-fixer after a heavey feeder or anything like that. I just move the crops to a different spot.

Also, I plant several different crops during the growing season, so it's likely that everything is fine anyway. For instance, what started out as a row of mixed greens was then planted to a row of beans and is now a row of overgrown mixed greens again. I'll probably chop that into the soil in a day or so and plant some radishes or some other quick-growing crop. Where the corn is growing will probably stay empty for the winter, but I'll cover it with a hearty helping of chicken manure. In other words, I just do whatever the heck I feel like doing!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
lol,
way to go! and if it's working, that's all that matters.
I pretty well also do whatever the heck I feel like doing. Compost and chiken manure help a lot! lol
I like to use manure cover crops also at the end of, or beginning of the season. Especially if there isn't enough manure. It takes a LOT of manure, and I only have available the 'cleanings' from about 30 chickens right now...and a few turkeys by fall.

I'm trying to think what I'll plant where the brassica's grew. In the 3 sisters plot, I'm thinking along the line of growing peas there next year, probably move the tomato plants there, and maybe that's where the brassica's should grow. :shrug: The main garden where the onions and brassicase were, I'm thinking to fortify with good fertilizer and plant the corn/squash. The beans, I'm thinking some bush beans that I missed having earlier this year... to the front where I think they would do the most good after the tomatoes, leeks. good plan? :shrug:
 

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Accidental Farmer
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I make a drawing, that usually helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
NickieL said:
I make a drawing, that usually helps.
I agree, or at least an outline. I keep notes of the rows planted and the varieties there now so it will be easier to know what to 'move' next year, or mark which areas might need something like wood ashes to spread, or not. Kind of 'micro managed' on a macro level. If that makes any sense. lol
 

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Island of Blueb
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The best thing that works for me is a yellow legal pad with the rows marked out on it. Each year I write the name of the crops in the drawing.

To the side I write the rotation progression. I have been using the same sheet for, 6 years so far, I think.

I use thin Post-its when something is first planted, in case the slugs wipe it out. Then when it takes off I write it on the sheet. Pencil works well too.

The main thing I pay attention to is not planting potatoes where I have limed a bed the year before.
 

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I'd forgotten I heard that--I have a dandy organic fertilizer recipe, but it has lime--guess I cant use it where potatoes grow? and I dont think I'm supposed to use manure either? So that leaves??
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I forgot to mention that my potato patch is in a seperate area. There I grow potatoes without rotation. Each year add more addition of composted manure. chopped corn stalks is good to till in. The best is oak leaves if you have them. I don't, so if I get enough pine needles this fall, I'll work that in under the mulch. You want to keep the soil a bit on the acid side for potatoes. Never alkaline. That means no lime, nor wood ashes.
 

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Hello Moonwolf-Hope you're gardening is well. I too keep a separate potato patch. I don't rotate that because I don't think it's really that necessary, plus the other factor is that this patch doesn't have electric fencing around it and the deer doesn't bother the potato plants.

Oh, the other rotations, lets see, I do try to move things around from year to year especially the beans/peas and corn. Move the beans/peas to the corn area. Sometimes will put the cabbage family where the beets or carrots were the previous year.

I don't plant onions where corn was the previous year.

Trying to rotate, "precisely" sometimes it can be tough especially when you have a couple crops that take up a lot of area, versus some that don't, so I get some overlap each year. I just try to make up for it in spring with tilling in heavy layers of dry cow dung/mixed with rotted hay. I do lime in the fall especially areas where I might think the cabbages, tomatoes, onions and beans will go.

I don't know if this is right or wrong, but that's what I do.

I do plant a cover crop over the gardens in fall. I plant winter wheat. Why WW-the seed is reasonably priced, I can buy it locally/very easy to find, and I know how to sow it compared to other covers. In spring, I turn it under.

I do try to keep things mixed up a bit-trying to stay ahead of the bugs or blights-that's tough to do.

I have a calendar that hangs in the same place from year to year-I sketch my gardens on backside, keep my calendars from year to year, plus I can see what varieties I planted as well as the dates planted.

Your garden pictures are beautiful. Don't work too hard. The heat has been a killer this week. I feel fried. -Take Care.
 

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The easiest rotation I've ever heard of is to divide crops into what part of the plant you eat: root/tuber, leaf, fruit/seed. Then make sure the types don't follow each other. Simple, and makes sense!
 

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I have 7 garden beds... two very very long ones (40' X 4' wide), one good sized bed (20' X 4'), two medium sized beds (12' X 4') and two smaller beds (8' X 4'). In addition, I have two permanent beds for the strawberries and asparagus. The seven beds are kept in crop production most of the year with a cover crop during the summer (buckwheat) or winter (crimson clover) as works with the planned crops. I keep one type of family or general category per bed and just rotate the next year - making sure not to double up with related items... such as tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes (all nightshade family). For instance, one of the large beds is currently planted MOSTLY in potatoes, with dry shelling beans on the remaining large sections. In the other large bed, I had rotations of brassicas (cabbage, brocolli, kohlrabi, and kale etc), spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets, dill, and more green beans. Next year I will just SWAP which bed has these items. Same drill ... just switch beds.

I do the same with the other beds..... just rotating which beds have what family and moving them at least every other year - and often 3 years betweens family plantings. I also have at least one planting of cover crops per year cycle for each bed - some end up with a mid summer green manure crop and some end up ready for the green manure/cover crop in the winter.
 
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