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Rotating crops

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Rotating crops

Post  Bec on 8/26/2010, 8:08 am

Maybe I'm making this too hard. Anyone have a better idea? Most of my trellises are used to support winter squashes (butternut and pumpkin). The only way I can think of to still have the winter squashes on the trellises when rotating crops is to rotate the dirt. I know that sounds really dumb (and a lot of work) but I don't know what else to do. All of my winter squashes suffered from powdery mildew so I'm afraid to not rotate the crops. Most of my boxes are trellised on one side so adding trellises isn't feasible. (Moving the trellises to the other side would cause shade issues.) Any ideas?


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Rotating Crops

Post  GloriaG on 8/26/2010, 8:51 am


This is my first year gardening so I'm certainly not the expert - but that's what I'm doing.
I have six specific spots where I can plant trellised crops. I'm can move the plants a little, but it's not enough because they will be in the same plant family (squash and melons).

So I moved most of the soil from those area. Since it really only involves a few squares, it wasn't such a bad job. I used two pieces of plastic on the ground to move the soil around. I swapped it with the mels mix I had my beans in. I also added more compost.

I really couldn't think of any other way to "rotate" those crops.



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Re: Rotating crops

Post  SFG in Chicago on 8/26/2010, 4:08 pm

I'm a first timer too. I only have one 4x8 box so crop rotation really isn't an option. Best I can do is rake the mix around a bit.

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Rotating crops

Post  Bec on 8/26/2010, 5:38 pm

Maybe there just isn't a better answer. I guess I'll just rotate the "dirt". The positive tradeoff with SFG is that there's no weeding! Very Happy


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Re: Rotating crops

Post  pattipan on 8/26/2010, 7:12 pm

We rotate dirt, Bec. And on this SFG forum it doesn't sound dumb! It's the only way to do it when there's only one side of the garden that's North. thinking



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Re: Rotating crops

Post  jenjehle on 8/26/2010, 8:10 pm

Funny timing for this topic!! Just today I sent in a question to my local gardening radio show asking the Horticultural Educator what I should do next year since I can't really rotate crops with raised beds and trellises.

His first answer of course was that ultimately rotating is best. But if that's not possible to do just what you're all suggesting... rotate dirt. He mentioned tilling in new compost but of course, tilling isn't really an option w/raised beds is it Smile??

I had a bad cause of powdery mildew on my cucumbers last year and this. So I'm going to try a few things next year. First, I'm going to use only disease resistant cuk seeds. Then, I'm going to add fresh compost after turning the soil and mixing it all up as much as possible.

After all that, if I STILL get powdery mildew then the next year, I'll just plant flowers!

Take care,


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Rotating Crops

Post  Ray'ssfg on 8/26/2010, 11:18 pm

Smile Hi Bec,
Here where I live in Australia we are fortunate that we can grow veg's all year round so I have 3 crops in each square so you can get a rotation naturally.
That said I still have the issue of disease and fixed trellis as you do because of shading etc if I rotate. Pumkins need to be on a corners so they can run off onto the lawn, that sort of thing.
I have found that I can plant the same things each year in a square but I need to pay attention to the compost and make sure I put plenty in and also regularly feed with fish or seaweed fertiliser. Some plants like Tomatoes are heavy feeders so I really pile in the compost after them. If you can keep your plants growing strongly it seems to help greatly.
Not perhaps ideal, but does work and most of us have restrictions because of our garden size.
The interesting and fun thing about sfg is you can continually experiment and you have not wasted your whole bed if it dosn't work. I have never had a year where everything worked, mostly does which makes it worthwhile.
cheers Cheers Ray Down Under cheers


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