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Question as I plan for next year...

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Question as I plan for next year...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/28/2015, 10:01 am

OK, I know some plants are recommended to be rotated location-wise in the SFG, specifically I believe is the nightshade family (tomoates and potatoes in my case). This will not be hard in my garden situ, however, my pole beans must be on the North back of my boxes due to sun exposure.

Is it detrimental that I really can't rotate my pole beans from their present location? I planted Swiss chard in front of them this year, and they have cohabited just fine, although some of the chard got shaded out.

I can rotate squash, peppers, and my greens, etc., just not those beans. Should I rotate what I plant in front of the beans?

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  sanderson on 7/28/2015, 11:26 am

Sometimes it is what it is. My beans and peas go in the same boxes on the same trellises each spring and fall. The winter squash, cantaloupe and cucumbers, likewise. The backyard limits complete rotation.

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/28/2015, 11:45 am

@sanderson wrote:Sometimes it is what it is.  My beans and peas go in the same boxes on the same trellises each spring and fall.  The winter squash, cantaloupe and cucumbers, likewise.  The backyard limits complete rotation.

True. Maybe it won't impact the garden so bad as they are at least nitrogen fixers.


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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  trolleydriver on 7/28/2015, 2:34 pm

This may be a stupid question/suggestion but here goes.  Rather than rotating crops from year to year can we simply rotate the MM or even replace the MM with new MM in squares that have to be planted with the same crop (e.g., next to a trellis)?  As for "rotating the MM", what I mean is removing the grid (if there is one) and then just mixing up the MM in the box.

BTW I've been planting tomatoes in the same place in my regular garden for years and have not had a problem getting a good healthy crop each year.

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/28/2015, 2:49 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:This may be a stupid question/suggestion but here goes.  Rather than rotating crops from year to year can we simply rotate the MM or even replace the MM with new MM in squares that have to be planted with the same crop (e.g., next to a trellis)?  As for "rotating the MM", what I mean is removing the grid (if there is one) and then just mixing up the MM in the box.

BTW I've been planting tomatoes in the same place in my regular garden for years and have not had a problem getting a good healthy crop each year.

I don't think that is stupid at all, TD! Because I am going to have to mix my boxes this Fall after harvest, due to the fact that I did the initial fill with maple leaves from my perennial garden, and they are deflating big time. And will need to add a bunch of MM again, because of the composting of the leaves. I like the theory! thanks

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  sanderson on 7/28/2015, 4:16 pm

I mix the squares all around within a box when I add the spring compost.

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  boffer on 7/28/2015, 4:27 pm

It's recommended to rotate crops to avoid depletion  of nutrients, and to avoid conditions that create or promote disease.

Amending squares with compost should address the nutritional requirements.  If one has a soil borne disease, rotation makes sense.

But if there are no diseases present, I have no idea of the value of rotation.  Many of us have limited options for rotation due to various plants' requirements for a trellis and the  amount of sun and heat needed, and due to the depth of boxes and number of squares.  

I've been growing a year's worth of carrots in the same box for 8 years with no issues.  The same for beans and peas for 5 years, tomatoes for 4 years, and corn for 6 years.    Maybe I'm just lucky.  But until I have  problems, I'll continue to put rotation for disease control  in the  same category as other generalized gardening information:  I'll worry about it when it happens.  

We all have unique gardens and environments that create a unique list of nemeses that each of us  must contend with.  I find that I'm a happier gardener for dealing with the problems that do exist, rather than stressing over problems that may or may not happen.

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/28/2015, 6:33 pm

We get a ton of diseases, so I try to rotate when I can. But my buckets and other containers are not suitable for growing as many things as a raised bed is, so I tend to repeat crops a lot more in them.

The thing is, the diseases are garden wide anyway, so there's no way to prevent their spread anyway.

One thing I do, though, is move plants from places where they faced infestation from bugs. I used to grow in a spot that had tomato hornworm. Now I don't plant tomatoes there anymore. I used to plant cucumbers in a place that was completely overrun by cucumber beetles; I don't plant cucumbers there anymore. I hope a year off can convince that type of crop-specific bug to go elsewhere, or even starve them out.

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/29/2015, 7:29 am

Interesting, thanks for everyone's input!

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  Turan on 7/29/2015, 11:40 am

My garden has each bed in one type of plant, nightshades, brassicas, roots, legumes, cucurbits, corn.  My rotation is partially disease paranoia that gets reinforced on occasion (wilt in potatoes, root maggots in carrots and onions hurrah for nematodes!) and mostly about laziness with compost making and spreading.  I add compost heavily where corn and broccoli and cucurbits will be planted.  Nothing where root crops and legumes will be.  So the rotation is really heavy feeders followed by medium feeders followed by light feeders.

It all gets a bit moot if each bed is a mixture anyways.

An added thought on trellis, in the north country a trellis does not cast much if any shadow during the summer because the sun is traveling directly over head.  I put my pea trellis on the south side of beds all the time with no noticeable shade.  Shade happens from east to west so it is nice for plants in areas with strong afternoon sun to plant tall things on the west side to shade the rest of the bed.

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  momvet on 7/29/2015, 2:49 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:We get a ton of diseases, so I try to rotate when I can.  But my buckets and other containers are not suitable for growing as many things as a raised bed is, so I tend to repeat crops a lot more in them.

The thing is, the diseases are garden wide anyway, so there's no way to prevent their spread anyway.  

One thing I do, though, is move plants from places where they faced infestation from bugs.  I used to grow in a spot that had tomato hornworm.  Now I don't plant tomatoes there anymore.  I used to plant cucumbers in a place that was completely overrun by cucumber beetles; I don't plant cucumbers there anymore.  I hope a year off can convince that type of crop-specific  bug to go elsewhere, or even starve them out.
I thought the hornworm came from moths laying their eggs early in the season. I have never, ever, not had a problem with the worms ( I just pick them off - but easier said than done!). Just curious because I am trying to think about what to do next year in my limited space (and I need to consider sun, trellising, etc.). I got hornworms on my container plants in an area away from other plants where I never planted before. Would love your input.

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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/30/2015, 4:14 am

Kathy, when I said I don't plant tomatoes and cucumbers anymore (or won't for a year or two) where they had their worst tomato- and cucumber-specific plants, I didn't mean that I just planted them in the next bed over or something like that -- I mean I moved them out of the garden completely!

The tomatoes infested with hornworms were ones I used to grow in a neighbor's garden. Now I grow tomatoes only in a different neighbor's garden. (I'm lucky I have two neighbors who both heard I love gardening and asked me if I'd like to use their unused garden space!)

The cucumbers infested with cucumber beetles were at my house. I stopped planting cucumbers there because it was pointless; the infestation was too severe. I planted them instead at a neighbor's place.

It's always possible bugs will find whatever I plant wherever I plant it, but there's quite a separation between the houses I'm talking about. In your situation, trying to keep everything in the same garden space, it's a lot tougher. I think you would have to grow the plants you are trying to protect under tulle or some other sort of insect barrier ... and of course some bugs overwinter in the soil so not all bugs can be prevented by covering up a bed during the height of growing season.

I've only covered low-growing plants that way. Covering up vining tomatoes wouldn't be as cheap or easy. But I don't know that it's not a good idea. I think jimmycee, on this forum, has a tomato in a covered bed, and the stuff in his covered beds looks great.


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Re: Question as I plan for next year...

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