Growers Calender

Crop Rotation
Crop rotation is a tried and tested gardening method which if used correctly should help your plants flourish and prevent build up of soil borne pests. Divide your vegetable garden or allotment into sections of equal size (depending on how much of each crop you want to grow). Don't include herbs and fruit such as  rhubarb and berries they will be put in the communal beds. Group your crops as below:

  • Brassicas: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohl-rabi, oriental greens, radish, swede and turnips
  • Legumes: Pea, broad beans - French and runner beans suffer from fewer soil problems and can be grown wherever convenient
  • Onions: Onion, garlic, shallot, leek
  • Potato family: Potato, tomato, (pepper and aubergine suffer from fewer problems and can be grown anywhere in the rotation)
  • Roots: Beetroot, carrot, celeriac, celery, Florence fennel, parsley, parsnip and all other root crops, except swedes and turnips, which are brassicas

Move each section of the plot around every year so that, for example, brassicas follow legumes, onions and roots, legumes, onions and roots follow potatoes and potatoes follow brassicas. Here is a traditional three year rotation plan where potatoes and brassicas are important crops:
Year oneSection one: Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips
Section two: Legumes, onions and roots
Section three: Brassicas
Year two
Section one: Legumes, onions and roots
Section two: Brassicas
Section three: Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips
Year three
Section one: Brassicas
Section two: Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips
Section three: Legumes, onions and roots

Dont forget to label your plot or keep a record so you remember where you planted each family type.

Brassicas: Add manure/compost and garden lime if soil is alkaline.
Potatoes: Add a small amount of manure/compost in winter.
Roots: do not add manure /compost.
Legumes and Onions: Add manure/compost.