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Dig it!

Vegetable Garden Crop Rotation

 
  Vegetable Crop Rotation  

While it's cold out and snow is on the ground, there is not much to do in the way of gardening. You may not have seeds started or be able to dig in the dirt (Read up on gardening soil preparation) but you can start planning. One important task in the planning process is deciding where to plant the crops this upcoming season. It's time to talk about crop rotation!

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Vegetables that are related to each other are grouped into plant “families.”  While some families of vegetables are obvious, others may not be as easy to recognize. And just like human families, when one member gets sick, the disease is easily spread among other members of the group. For plants and veggies, soil bound diseases, once found in your garden, will cause problems for all vegetables in that family.

Most soil born plant diseases are plant family specific.  For example, there may be a plant disease that affects all members of the beet family, but will not harm members of the potato family.  By rotating your vegetables’ planting location, you will reduce the chance that your vegetables will contract a soil born disease.  Crop rotation is also helpful in reducing nutrient deficiencies.  It is best if you rotate crops so that related vegetables are not planted in the same location more than twice every three years.

Below is a list of vegetable families that can be used to plant your vegetable plant rotation this season.

           
  • Cabbage Family – arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rutabaga, turnip
  • Potato Family – eggplant, pepper, potato, tomato
  • Gourd Family – cucumber, melons, pumpkins, squash, watermelon
  • Onion Family – chives, garlic, leek, onion
  • Beet Family – beet, spinach, chard
  • Composite Family – chicory, endive, lettuce, radicchio, sunflower
 
  • Pea Family – beans, peas

  • Parsley Family – carrot, celery, parsley, parsnip
Extra Bonus Vegetable Gardening Tips from the Pros
    1. Start from the ground up!  For a healthy, bountiful vegetable garden make sure you add plenty of organic matter such as composted manure or soil for vegetable gardening.

   2.  Inter-planting flowering annuals with your vegetables will help to attract pollinators.

    3. Add Tomato Tone and follow a regular watering pattern to prevent blossom end rot and/or cracked tomatoes. This is critical to prevent blossom end rot.

    4. Mulch vegetables to help control weeds and retain moisture.  

    5. Vegetables need plenty of sunlight, 8-10 hours per day is best.  

    6. Plant your vegetables in raised beds or mounds for better drainage & warmer soil temperatures.  

    7. Plant short season crops (such as lettuce, snap peas, spinach, carrots, and radishes) in two week intervals.  This way, you can harvest them over time as you need them, rather than harvesting them all at one time.

    8. Don’t forget your supports!  Trellises work great for supporting beans, squash, or cucumbers.  For tomatoes try the adjustable Ultomato.  The cross bars can be moved to exactly where you need the support.  It’s always easier to start with a support and allow the plant to grow around it than it is to add one once the plant is overgrown.   

 Click the button below to download a copy of our Vegetable Planting Calendar!

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