Allotment Tips – Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is a term many new plot holders find a bit daunting and something most veteran plot holders swear by. Either way, it’s something which needs some thought. If you’ve set aside some of your plot for perennials, next you can put some thought into rotation of your crops.

You’ll find once you’ve decided what you’ll be growing on your plot, odds are they’ll all require their own nutritional needs and this is where crop rotation can help. Aside from this, educating yourself on crop rotation will help prevent your plot from disease and pest build up while grouping crops together which have similar needs in terms of what nutrition they need and you’ll soon have some very healthy and fertile soil. If you ask any fellow plot holders who follow crop rotation and you’ll find they usually follow a 3 or 4 year rotation plan, so below we’ve outlined a rotation plan based on 4 beds over 3 years. The below is only a guide, feel free to adapt to what you want to grow, just keep an eye on crop groups like brassicas, alliums etc so you can try and sick to the group type.

Year One – First, make sure your soil is enriched and healthy by adding your compost.

Bed One

  • Spring/Summer – Plant your tomatoes, potatoes and courgettes.
  • Autumn – Plan your alliums like onions, garlic and leeks.

Bed Two

  • Spring/Summer – Plant your root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beetroot along with spinach, parsley and chard.
  • Autumn – Mix in Green manure to help break up soil.

Bed Three

  • Spring/Summer – Add your compost before planting your brassicas like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
  • Autumn – Plant your winter brassicas like kale and sprouts.

Bed Four

  • Spring/Summer – Keep it simple with peas and beans.
  • Autumn – Don’t plant anything, but lime the soil if you plan to plant brassicas again next year.

 

Year Two

Bed One

  • Spring/Summer – This year plant your beans and peas here.
  • Autumn – Lime the soil after harvesting your beans and peas and leave.

Bed Two

  • Spring/Summer – Add some good compost and plant your tomatoes, potatoes and courgettes.
  • Autumn – Plant your alliums like your onions, garlic and shallots.

Bed Three

  • Spring/Summer – Plant your roots like celeriac, carrots, beetroot, parsnips and your spinach, chard etc.
  • Autumn – Mix in green manure to break up soil.

Bed Four

  • Spring/Summer – Plant your summer brassicas like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and radishes and turnips.
  • Autumn – Plant your winter brassicas like kale and sprouts.

Year Three

Bed One

  • Spring/Summer – Add your compost before planting your summer brassicas like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and radishes and turnips.
  • Autumn – Plant your winter brassicas like kale and sprouts.

Bed Two

  • Spring/Summer – This year plant your beans and peas here.
  • Autumn – Lime the soil after harvesting your beans and peas and leave.

Bed Three

  • Spring/Summer – Add your compost before planting your tomatoes, potatoes and courgettes.
  • Autumn – Plant your alliums like your onions, garlic and shallots.

Bed Four

  • Spring/Summer – Plant your roots like celeriac, carrots, beetroot, parsnips and your spinach, chard etc.
  • Autumn – Mix in green manure to break up soil.

Take a look at all of our allotment tips and tricks here.

 

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