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Crop Rotation – Get the most from your Vegetable Plot

crop-rotation-trials-ground

Ideally crops should be rotated within a plot so that the same family group is never in the spot every year. This not only helps to keep soil nutrients at their optimum but also helps to avoid soil based pests and diseases which are often attracted to the crops within the same family group.

Firstly decide on the vegetables you enjoy, giving consideration to the amount of space available. Aim to produce vegetables all the year round without shortages or gluts. The area chosen should be divided into three equal sections.

Year 1

  • Section 1 – If you can, dig in well-rotted manure or garden compost in the autumn or early winter – it’s not essential but it will give you better crops; in the first year grow Beans, Leek, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, and Tomatoes.
  • Section 2 – A general garden fertiliser should be applied 10 to 14 days prior to planting or sowing. This area can then be used for growing Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages, Cauliflower and Kale.
  • Section 3 – Apply general fertiliser prior to sowing and planting. The crops to be grown in this section include Beetroot, Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes, and Swedes.

Year 2 crop rotation As above moving all crops on one section.
Year 3 crop rotation Crops and treatments are rotated once more so that all sections have grown all plants over a three year period.

Tip! – Design the perfect Vegetable by downloading the Suttons garden planner

Examples of a 3 year crop rotation plan shown in tables format.

Year 1
Manured with Dung or Compost Fertilisers and Lime* Fertilisers
Section 1 of Plot Section 2 of Plot – Brassicas Section 3 of Plot – Roots
Peas Cabbages Potatoes
Beans Sprouts Carrots
Onions Cauliflowers Beetroots
Leeks Kales Parsnips
Lettuces Broccoli Swedes
Tomatoes Seed bed for Green Crops
Spinach
Spinach Beet
Celery
Succession Crops Succession Crops Succession Crops
Carrots Onions Spinach
Beetroots Lettuces
Cabbages
Year 2 Crop Rotation
Fertilisers and Lime* Fertilisers Manured with Dung or Compost
Section 1 of Plot Brassicass Section 2 of Plot – Roots Section 3 of Plot
Cabbages Potatoes Peas
Sprouts Carrots Beans
Cauliflowers Beetroots Onions
Kales Parsnips Leeks
Broccoli Swedes Lettuces
Seed bed for Green Crops Tomatoes
Spinach Spinach Beet
Celery
Succession Crops Succession Crops Succession Crops
Onions Spinach Carrots
Lettuces Beetroots
Cabbages

* Only lime if soil is known to be acid

Year 3 Crop Rotation
Fertilisers Manured with Dung or Compost Fertilisers and Lime*
Section 1 of Plot – Roots Section 2 of Plot Section 3 of Plot – Brassicas
Potatoes Peas Cabbages
Carrots Beans Sprouts
Beetroots Onions Cauliflowers
Parsnips Leeks Kales
Swedes Lettuces Broccoli
Tomatoes Seed bed for Green Crops
Spinach
Spinach Beet
Celery
Succession Crops Succession Crops Succession Crops
Spinach Carrots Spinach
Lettuces Beetroots
Cabbages

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