What is crop rotation and how is it put into practice?

What is crop rotation? The rotation of crops or horticultural plants is a practice that aims to maintain adequate soil fertility and prevent the appearance of pests and diseases in our garden (a fundamental aspect in organic farming ).

Not all vegetables behave the same with the soil. Different species have “preferences” to extract a particular nutrient. Some can even improve soil fertility.

Knowing how to take advantage of these differences, we can benefit our garden. This is the basic principle of what we call “rotation.”

We also advise you which organic seeds to use , the best planters, growing boxes and tables for your garden and essential books to learn everything about organic gardening .

With an adequate rotation of plants we not only preserve fertility, but also, by changing planks year after year, we prevent the attack of pests and diseases.

How is crop rotation put into practice?

If we are interested in preserving and increasing the quality of the soil, we can set up a rotation in which the following groups of vegetables occur:

Replenishment plants

We call them that because they are plants that enrich the earth, giving it fertility.

We sow them at the beginning, so they improve the land to sow, later, vegetables (which are more delicate crops).

They are legumes, for example: beans, beans , soybeans.

Rustic consuming plants

We call them that because they can grow well in soils where the organic matter did not reach its total decomposition (raw organic matter).

Among them are vegetables such as cabbage , tomatoes , chard and squash or squash .

Fine consuming plants

These need the organic matter to be well decomposed, the soil to be fine and crumbled.

For this reason it is not advisable to sow them in bad lands or in soils that have never been cultivated. We will only be able to do them when we have improved the land and it is in adequate condition.

In this group are lettuces , carrots , spinach .

> Read more interesting articles about organic garden

We can also make beneficial rotations taking the following crop succession as a rule:

  • Root vegetables (carrots, beets, etc.) the first crop.
  • Leafy vegetables (lettuce, chard, spinach, etc.) as a second crop.
  • Fruit vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, squash, etc.) as a third crop.

This will allow the succeeding plants to take better advantage of all the layers of the earth and the nutrients it has (for example, root vegetables consume more potassium, while leafy vegetables consume nitrogen).

Knowing this will allow us to do the associated plantings (more than one species per plank or bed), by sowing varieties that do not compete for the same nutrients and thus make the most of our land .

Finally, if we want to prevent pests and diseases from spreading on the planks or terraces, we must be careful not to produce crops that are related by nature, that is, that they belong to the same botanical family.

They cannot succeed each other:

  • Spinach, beetroot, chard.
  • Tomato, pepper, eggplant, potato or potato.
  • Lettuce, chicory, endive.

Below is a table with the different crops that we can plant in our organic or ecological garden, and the botanical family to which it belongs, valuable information to carry out crop rotations in the garden:

crop rotation

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