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Crop Rotation

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Crop Rotation

Post  Bud Alexis on 3/6/2013, 5:08 pm

I know that in farming rotation of crops are important, but I am not sure about gardening in Mels Mix. thinking One other thing. Is it normal that when I water MM for the first time, there is a layer of vermiculite left on top. Even tho it is mixed well, that stuff seems to float to the top. Should I mix it in again before I plant? :scratch:

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Re: Crop Rotation

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/6/2013, 5:23 pm

I don't think it is necessary. The reason for crop rotation is because different crops pull different nutrients out of the soil. The SFG method you add new compost with each new planting so there shouldn't be any lack of nutrients. Some still do rotate or move their plants around from year to year. I have read how some people move their squash to different places each year because of squash vine borer problems the previous year. They will still be able to find your squash plants but there might be SVB cocoons in Mels Mix where the squash was planted last year. I would say it is not necessary from a nutrients stand point but there are other reasons where it might make sense to rotate the crops.

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Post  Hardcoir on 3/6/2013, 6:03 pm

We always rotate our squares. We use a four-year rotation, and still we have to watch for those nasty pests. It can be hard to use biodynamic and organic farming methods because of pests, but rotation is one thing that can help. We always leave one section empty, which is where we set a lot of our containers.

For example, we rotate tomatoes and peppers to the squash and cucumber section; the squash and cucumbers to the lettuce, radish, and onion sections; the lettuce, radish, and onion sections to the empty section, and the empty section to the tomatoes and peppers section.

All of our herbs, except basil, make it through our mild winters, and we plant our basil with our tomatoes. This year, we made an 11th-hour decision to try Jerusalem artichokes, and they will go in the new square. We decided against potatoes.


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Re: Crop Rotation

Post  quiltbea on 3/6/2013, 7:53 pm

In theory crop rotation should not be necessary in SFG because each square has a different crop unlike row gardens where you plant 25 feet of turnips or 25 feet of tomatoes. In a 4 x 4 you plant probably 12 to 16 different crops and the following year you do it again but not in the same squares. In theory, the squares are used by different crops.

Nonetheless, I still rotate at least a little. All my vining crops are in the northside squares so one year I have tomatoes in some and peas or pole beans in the others. The following year I swap, putting peas where the tomatoes grew, etc.
Then I basically just don't put cole crops in the same squares as the year before and instead might put peppers, eggplant, chard, spinach, bush beans instead. I also try to not follow a root crop with another root crop. It means keeping last year's plan so I know where I last planted something but it works well for me.

I agree that adding fresh compost at the end of each season and then more when I plant a square is the best process, but I like a little added insurance.


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Re: Crop Rotation

Post  CindiLou on 3/6/2013, 7:57 pm

**wonders if QB can plan my garden** rofl You are soo much more organized than I am! I do still have last years plans..and this year is planned. Maybe I better go take another look! rofl


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Re: Crop Rotation

Post  camprn on 6/12/2013, 10:29 pm

Not necessary in the SFG, but in the event of disease or pests in the soil, such as SVB I like to move things around. Here is a link to some more information about rotating crops.



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Re: Crop Rotation

Post  lzalvis on 6/16/2014, 10:52 pm

I just found this thread by searching, as I'd recently posted a problem about my carrots not producing.  Their first year in their box was *amazing* - but each season since (3 seasons) I've gotten less and less production from the carrots.  Someone said that I should not replant root crops in the same box repeatedly, as was suggestd above.  Makes sense to me.  
I fill whole 4x4 boxes with one single kind of veggie, so I will begin to rotate crops.


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Re: Crop Rotation

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