Crop rotation

Hiya, my 'hubby/digger/potato lover' and i are just finishing our first season as new allotmenteers having battled vast swathes of couch grass (actually we are still battling it) and had fab results with everything except radish which continually bolted no matter what we did - next year i will buy it!  My question is this - can we have a 3 year rotation where onions and roots, follow beans, which follow potatoes - the digger doesnt like brassicas (too much space)!  I'm working on him.... Thank you. for anyone interested we have had amazing results with our beans (french runner & broad) which were interplanted with marigolds, they attracted huge numbers of bees etc and were noticed by people who know far more about allotments than we do!

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  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Rotation was the way they did things when I was a lad, the garden was divided into four sections (it was a large walled garden). Section one Onions Leeks Garlic scallions shallots and pickling onions. Next section Potato's all root vegetables, celery, outdoor Tomato's. Third section Cauliflower, Cabbage, Sprouts, Broccoli Swedes. Fourth section all kinds of beans and peas. With the garden being large we had a fifth section kept fallow for a year.

    Each following year we moved round in rotation, that way the same crop only went back into its original position every five years. We had horses so plenty of old straw and manure would be dug into the second section for the Potato's and roots. It is not always as easy as that in reduced room you would need to plant closer together in some cases. Cabbages can be grown if you only plant what you will need for your own use, a mixture of spring summer winter and red cabbage in pots allowed to grow and then plant when a position comes free.

    You will learn what is best for you and even a small rotation helps in that any disease is not carried on to the same crop year by year. Some crops such as beans self fertilise the ground for the following crop. Potato's and root crops have been fertilised and break up the soil for the second years Onion type crops so each helps the next. Once used to doing it you will wonder why you never did it before. Good luck.

    Frank.

  • Nic14Nic14 Posts: 12

    Thanks ChrissieB, wouldnt have thought to wait that long for the pods, but by that time my Digger had dug them all up but its interesting to know that even when all is finished there is often something left over of benefit.  

    Thanks Frank, yep we have a friend with two horses so we have access to loads of manure - great spuds this year.  I think i shall follow the 3 year rotation. Many thanks

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