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Rotation and Who to believe

NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,743
I have for the last 3 seasons followed the basic 3 year rotation at the front of the Dr Hessayon book , The New Vegetable and herb Expert which shows Brassicas Roots and Others
Charles Dowding in his book called Organic Gardening The natural No Dig Way places Vegetables Page 25  in to different groups
Brassicas                                                      No
Alliums                                      Yes
Umbellifers                                Yes
Solanaceae                                Yes
Cucurbitae                                Yes
Leguimes                                                     No
Beet                                         Yes
Others                                                         No

I am going to grow the veg as shown above as Yes

I have 9 beds incorporated into the 3 year cycle and I am due to continue the addition of well rotted horse manure to this years chosen 3 beds

I still wish to continue the 3 year rotation but i would appreciate any comments you may have as to which of Charles Groups would fit into the 3 areas

This is a bit more complicated from my first post which asked which way up you " sow " potatoes so I must have learnt something in 7 years 

Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160
    I'm a Charles Dowding fan even though I don't grow veg. Have you looked at his Youtube channel

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,381
    edited October 2018
    I'm possibly not answering your question directly, but I believe you can work out a sensible rotation for any assortment of crops if you start from the principles rather than looking for a prescribed sequence or method. In your case:

    Alliums and Solanaceae both can suffer from soil borne diseases so should be moved around. Beets, cucurbits and umbellifers are less prone to soil diseases so, in theory, could be grown in the same place.

    Alliums are good companion plants for umbellifers as the strong smell can confuse root fly.

    Solanaceae and cucurbits want high fertility. Umbellifers want low fertility.

    Based on those, your rotation could be:
    Year 1: Add manure. Plant Solanaceae and Cucurbits. Overwinter a leguminous green manure.
    Year 2: Grow beet.
    Year 3: Grow alliums and umbellifers.

    That probably gives a rather uneven space allocation, so another option may be:
    Year 1: Add manure. Plant cucurbits: Overwinter a fertility building green manure.
    Year 2: Grow solanaceae and beet. 
    Year 3: Grow alliums and umbellifers.

    It is usually recommended that potatoes and tomatoes are in a 4 year rotation to reduce the risk of late blight. If you don't want to grow beans and peas to eat, you could add in a 'fallow' 4th year to the rotation by growing a leguminous green manure, or salads or cut flowers (or both). Or you could grow useful companion plants either to attract pollinators (borage) or deter pests (tagetes) in one section of the plot in order to extend the rotation by a year.

    Then again it depends a bit whether by 'solanaceae' you only mean potatoes, or if you are also growing outdoor tomatoes and aubergines or the like. As you have 3 beds in each 'year', you may be able to keep your potatoes in a different one of the 3 so you actually get a 5 year gap before growing spuds in the same spot in a 3 year rotation. You'd need to be very good at keeping records to do this  :)
    “It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it.” ― Terry Pratchett
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,743
    Thank you very much Raisingirl and I will study the info xx
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,127
    edited October 2018
    I divide mine into
    Other.. which includes sweetcorn and curcubits.

    That gives me five years of which two are heavy feeders, and two are light and one is a nitrogen fixer it also works out (for me) at about the same area used for each group which helps. I put the onions with the carrots to deter carrot fly, and it seems to work I don't get carrot fly (I have not tried not doing it so cannot say that is why I don't suffer)

    I am not religious about following this, the tomatoes are in a polly tunnel which is moved every year, but there are also some cucumbers in there so they are out of the "correct" rotation (they should be with the other curcubits under other) there was also a watermellon and some peppers in there this year.

  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 564
    I once saw a documentary about french onion growing and they said that they had been growing onions in the same field for a hundred years. How's that fit in with this idea? 
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 945

    I rotate potatoes then other crops ie, peas beans etc as I can, garden compost is being dug into the potato plot now, it is the only place I do enrich, all other veg crops grow well for me, except for this years weather which reduced most crops, onions to the delight of my wife were smaller, she doesn't like large ones.
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