I subscribe to ABC Gardening Australia magazine. I find it quite interesting & a good companion to the tv show.
In this issue (well…the August issue – subscribers get it a bit earlier than when it appears in the shops), there’s a good wee article on crop rotation. Inspired by this & spurred on to be more productive in the garden, I’ve decided to plan out the this year’s crops (& beyond).
The general plan for crop rotation (based on a 4-bed rotation system) goes in this order:
root crops & alliums
curcubits & corn
solanaceae & annual herbs
legumes & brassicas
So with this in mind, my plan would be as follows…
Location of Beds:
Plus one more bed? Maybe RHS bed once drainage improved or arbor bed for now?
Spring ’10-Winter ’11 (this year…Year 1):
Bed 1: Solanaceae & annual herbs…herbs, eggplant, tomato, capsicum…By end of 3 years (as part of whole rotation process), bed has not been limed, so slightly acidic soil good for solanaceae plants. Cover soil between rows with lime (in prep for next rotation of legumes & brassicas).
Bed 2: Root crops & alliums…garlic & shallot, carrot, potato, radish, parsnip, beetroot, celeriac, swede, spinach, onion, spring onion, leek…as winter & spring brassicas are harvested, plant root crops. Most root crops can be left in till next winter, lift spinach & alliums by late spring & apply manure & leave to weather in.
Bed 3: Legumes & brassicas…beans & peas, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, strawberry…(soil has already been prepared with lime during autumn as part of solanaceae crop), sow broad beans in autumn &later other legumes (peas, beans, etc). After harvested, cut plants off at ground level & leave roots to rot. Put leafy winter & spring-flowering brassica crops (eg broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage & sprouts) in as beans finish.
Bed 4: Cucurbits & corn…pumpkin, corn, squash, cucumber, watermelon, zucchini, lettuce…After well-rotted manure has been worked into soil (as part of root crop & allium planting), plant sweetcorn & cucurbits. In summer, plant late crop of cucumber & zucchini to ensure continual supply through year. After harvesting, sow a green manure crop, such as lupins or rye, & dig in at end of winter.
Spring ’11-Winter ’12 (Year 2)
Bed 1: legumes & brassicas
Bed 2: cucurbits & corn
Bed 3: root crops & alliums
Bed 4: solanaceae
Spring ’12-Winter ’13 (Year 3)
Bed 1: root crops & alliums
Bed 2: solanaceae
Bed 3: cucurbits & corn
Bed 4: legumes & brassicas
Spring ’13-Winter ’14 (Year 4)
Bed 1: curcubits & corn
Bed 2: legumes & brassicas
Bed 3: solanaceae
Bed 4: root crops & alliums
Note: strawberries currently in own bed. Lettuce, potatoes planted in pots. Many herbs planted around entire garden (as are edible flowers). Also note companion planting for some veggies/flowers/herbs/fruit trees.