Crop Rotation in the Ecological Garden: Complete Guide

Good gardeners ! How is the week going? I imagine that you will be experiencing the changes of the season and the work in the garden will begin to change . In addition to continuing with the winter garden, planting lettuce, cabbage or garlic, I imagine that you will also be taking stock of your summer harvest.

See if the tomatoes have come out good, continue planting next year, see that the carrots have not sprouted very well and maybe move them around… these are things that you may be taking into account. These types of ideas and questions are part of planning and specifically the rotation of crops in the garden, it is something that we see that you are interested in and that from we like to discuss with you in order to learn more.

Well I am not entertaining you anymore, and let’s talk a little more about crop rotation

History of crop rotation

I like to place a bit of these ideas that we have current with History, hence I place you a bit. We have to think first about why we have to do a crop rotation. Far above, it is done mainly so that the earth recovers the nutrients , mainly nitrogen (N), which is what makes the plant grow; It can also help us to avoid pests and diseases that can appear if we do a continuous cultivation of a species.

Of these ideas, there is reference to Asian civilizations and here in Europe in Roman literatures , we are talking about more than thousands of years.

Advancing a little further in Europe , in the 8th century , during the reign of Charlemagne, a new novelty was introduced in the use of rotation that consisted in making a transition of three fields , that is; A plot is divided into three sectors, in one sector the winter crops were planted, in another the summer crops were grown and the other fallow, and then it was rotated, the winter would become summer, the summer to fallow and finally fallow to winter.

This was a revolution since the society came from using a two-field system, and it made it possible to further optimize production results and have a larger list of foods during the year.

Later, from the Middle Ages until almost today; This evolved in the field over the years , that is to say; farmers began to cultivate rainfed tracts and plant wheat, then barley, and then fallow. In this way, the productive soil was improved or restored.

What happened in the 20th century?

Although crop rotation is very old, in the 20th century with the appearance of chemicals, everything that crop rotation entailed was forgotten since it was easier for the farmer to buy a pesticide and eradicate a pest. The consumer saw no negative effects and everyone was happy. However, at the end of this century, it was reused with the implantation of biological and ecological crops, giving reasons for possible negative effects on both the environment and the consumer due to the effect of inappropriate chemicals.

Crop rotation and association

After knowing this, we must think that after sowing a certain plant in a space, this plant will take advantage of the soil in its own way and through the exchange that it will carry out through its roots it will absorb nutrients that perhaps another plant will not. need or vice versa, and it will also provide other elements that the soil accumulates.

In addition, we must consider that each plant has a different root and for example, if I plant alfalfa and then want to plant potatoes, it may be advisable to sow two years of barley in between, so that the rooting does not affect potato production. . It is an example perhaps brought from a lot larger than that of your garden, but I hope you understand me and if you have any questions, comment on it in the forum.

I also want you to be clear that the concepts of rotation and association go hand in hand. Knowing a little that with crop rotation we make each season have new crops in different areas of our land, the crop association is a term that refers to the good or bad relationship that exists between plants. As I told you in the head of the article, I refer you to the article that Lucía wrote from  ASSOCIATION OF CROPS IN THE GARDEN: COMPATIBILITY BETWEEN PLANTS   where you will see the different compatibilities.

Advantages of the association of crops

As I have quoted above, crop rotation gives us:

  1. Prevents the soil from becoming poorer
  2. Pests do not last in time
  3. Less use of fertilizers

We also have disadvantages such as the rotation pattern that is very strict and that there are crops such as raspberries, asparagus or some perennials that do not enter the rotation cycle. Despite this, I recommend that you read the articles that I have commented and for any questions you may have, you can write a comment at the end of this article. We are here to solve your doubts.

It is not the first time that we have dealt with this topic on the web, as you can see in articles such as PLANNING THE GARDEN and PLANNING THE GARDEN: CROP ROTATION ; and similar issues for the design and association between plants as can ASSOCIATION OF CROPS IN THE GARDEN: COMPATIBILITY BETWEEN PLANTS .

A big greeting already full in the orchard!

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