Crop rotation is a simple principle: don’t plant the same crop in same bed for 2 years running. Most importantly , crop rotation avoids the build-up of any crop’s particular pests and diseases. It also helps get the best value from your compost. The need to grow vegetables quickly to make them tender means they must have rich soil. But, not all vegetables need their soil equally enriched. Leafy vegetables like lettuce and cabbage need it richest, then fruit crops as tomatoes, peas and capsicums are not that greedy, root crops are less greedy still.
So, plant a root crop such turnips or carrots where you have just had a leaf crop such lettuce. Plant onions prior to a crop of tomatoes and, beans and peas after cabbages and silver beet. Avoid planting anything in the same family season after season in the same bed: do not plant tomatoes after potatoes or, cabbage after broccoli. Keep records of what you plant and where.
This list will help you to identify the vegetable groups:
- Cabbage, Chinese spinach (amaranth), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, radish, swede (rutabaga), turnip, mustard greens.
- Tomato, pepper (capsicum), chillies, eggplant (aubergine), potato
- Pea, broad (fava) bean, dwarf bean, climbing bean
- Pumpkin, squash, melon, cucumber, zucchini (courgette), marrow
- Carrot, parsnip, celery, parsley
- Swiss chard (silver beet), beetroot, spinach
- Lettuce, globe and Jerusalem artichoke
- Onion, garlic, shallot, leek, chives