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Crop rotation, sequential cropping tips and hints

With my first season growing veg, having taken it over from the OH,  I fell into a bit of a trap thinking everything had to be done by winter.

It's all bare now apart from a few parsnips (well dozens of huge ones lol) and carrots left in the ground.

Reading up on crop rotation I think I had quite a rigid model in my head of it being on a yearly basis, when it could be more of a sequence of crops and less bare ground in winter.

So to help me and others new to veg how is it done?

I read leeks can go in where the first early spuds are grown as soon as they are lifted. Which is good 'cos I like a bit of leek image

I also came across green manure for times when the ground would be just left bare for winter (stops nitrogen being lost).

It is more info like this of what can follow straight on from what and around about which time in the season that would help a noob like me I think.

I should still have brassicas, but they were a disaster, started so well but once they got too big for the fleece hoops I had spent a fortune on, the cabbage white caterpillars destroyed them. image

But if I had grown beans, could the brassicas have been moved straight into the same ground once they were harvested? This is the sort of thing I don't know enough about yet. image




  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Thanks Runnybeak. Scan read it several times and have started to follow it. It can be difficult to find the answers needed at times in 34 pages of forum posts though!

  • Mel MMel M Posts: 347

    Each year, when I plan out my triple allotment plots for the following season I draw a map of the beds and what is to grow in them. These maps I keep, which is a good past reference for 3 year rotation and things such as limed areas etc.

    Relying on memory alone is not a good idea - especially for me at my age!! 

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Thanks Mel, I think that would help me a lot too. image I spent the afternoon yesterday with some books and have figured it out more now. image 

    It was simpler than I thought because I'm sticking to veg we eat a lot of, so I just need to add some winter greens and beans and peas to make it more complete throughout the year. Will try celery and leeks too.

    Hoping for better luck with the brassicas in 2015 but I've realised they really needed much better prepared soil than I started with.

    This year I just bunged in some seeds to see what would happen and we've had onions, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, radishes plenty of potatoes, marrows and pumpkins galore! Growing veg is a wonderful thing!

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 10,920

    Celery can be a bit of a challenge too Gemma.  Seems OK in some gardens but not others.  Over the years I've tried just about everything veg-wise and now know what grows well here and what doesn't.  Your own experience is the most valuable thing there is so my advice is to give everything you fancy a go and see how you get on! image

    I agree with Mel - nothing quite as useful as a running 'garden diary' complete with sketches of what you planted where and when.  That works for the whole garden and, apart from being an invaluable future reference, stops you slicing through those lovely tulip bulbs you forgot you planted right just there! image 

    I'd also never remember which of my 40-odd clematis were which if I didn't have a diagram.  Labels just don't work around here (and I'm not keen on seeing them anyway)!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 28,507

    Thanks for the name check Runnybeak. I'm flattered. 

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Best start my garden diary straightaway! Put in about 250 native bulbs, eerrr well here and there... and already can't remember which fruit cordon is which, it only seems like a couple of weeks ago I put them in.image 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 70,309

    I've bought myself one of these

    It was cheaper on Amazon image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 7,740

    hello , I do have a folder for the allottment and I try and do crop rotations but I do mix some things up "but" I do check what grows well together and what dosn't

    I have found this site really good for specific questions and general chats image 

    Happy allotmenteering image

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Thanks for all the tips, I've gone for doing a 'digital diary' in a word document. Glad I got the advice to do it whilst I remembered what worked and what didn't do so good, and where I grew them. I've done a record of this year and started a new page to plan for next. 

    It is really helping a lot, still got memories of varieties that didn't do as well as others, so a bit of research on the web for logical replacements such as slug resistant spuds. As it is in a word document I've got live links in there to where I can buy things in from too. image




  • OdisOdis Posts: 6

    I've also been reading into crop rotation and I'd be careful about what you plant after another has finished as both can be susceptible to the same pests or diseases. Otherwise those white caterpillar moths you mentioned will just be changing their diet to something else without having to leave or forage for something more. You'd essential be bringing them the entree' after the appetizer.

    I do know corn can't be followed by potatoes but planting clover before corn is a good idea as it ad's nitrogen to the soil that the corn will need during growth. Any clover will do but I thing red is supposed to be the best.

    Have you looked into companion crops to help prevent or at least help with the pest problem? Rosemary is a good example to be planted next to cabbage to repel white caterpillar moths because their so fragrant. Or you could try sage, hyssop, peppermint, thyme, or southernwood. Hope this helps.

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