5 simple crop rotation rules
Often you have to hear complaints about poor harvest from gardeners. And the seedlings were good, and watered all the time, they gave top dressing, weeded and loosened, sparing no energy, but in the end there was nothing to brag about. Similar problems arise mainly in inexperienced farmers. Yes, of course, all of the above techniques of agricultural technology are very important, and without their implementation it is unlikely to get an enviable harvest. But there is another condition that allows you to create the most favorable environment for the development of plants - crop rotation. In this article, we will tell you about five simple crop rotation rules, following which you will greatly help your plants please you with a crop.
What is crop rotation?
In simple terms, crop rotation is an alternation of plantings. For garden plants, the predecessor culture is very important, and it has long been observed that after some plants, vegetables grow better, and after others, they grow sick or even die.
Knowing some features of vegetables, herbs and berries, you can choose the most favorable predecessor for each crop, which means that you can organize a competent crop rotation on your site.
The need for crop rotation arises, at least for the following reasons:
- Diseases and pests. Many of them are dangerous for certain plant species and do not harm others.
- Nutrients. All plants during the time of growth and ripening of fruits take a significant amount of macro- and microelements from the soil, but each vegetable "specializes" in a certain set. Therefore, if you plant tomatoes from year to year on the same bed, the soil will be depleted, having lost the nutrients that the tomatoes absorb.
- The root system of plants during the growing season emits some harmful substances, which, accumulating in the soil, may adversely affect the growth of subsequent crops, but may not have any effect. It is important to find out who is not the enemy.
Only by learning how to correctly determine the consequences of the predecessor, you can expect that the plants following them will receive all the necessary nutrients, will not hurt and suffer from pests. This means that labor costs for the struggle for the harvest will decrease. During planting, experienced gardeners strictly adhere to the crop rotation rules outlined below.
1. Continuous crop rotation
Plants can be planted in the same place no earlier than three years later. During this time, the earth will rest, replenish the supply of mineral elements and get rid of pathogens and harmful insects. An exception to the rule are strawberries and beans - these plants can be grown without losses for several seasons in a row on the same beds.
Recently, mixed plantings are widely used. Our garden plots are small, and the gardeners who have come to taste want to grow everything a lot, but there is often not enough space. Therefore, many practice planting in the garden to the main culture of a suitable neighbor.
With such plantings, it is necessary to take into account the maturation dates of the neighbors, and the size of the plants (the sun should be enough for everyone), and the power of the root system, and species compatibility.
Perhaps the soil with this method of cultivation will not be depleted to a critical state, insects / pests will be confused by the variety of food, and the yield, due to a good neighborhood, will increase. But mixed crops still cannot replace crop rotation. You will have to alternate plants on such beds, but already taking into account several crops.
Experienced gardeners mark all their plantings in a notebook or notepad - draw a layout, sign crops and the year of cultivation. This simple technique eliminates confusion and helps plan your landings correctly.
2. Use of green manure
Siderata will help reduce crop rotation. It is proved that the sowing of green manure affects the soil in the most favorable way. Different groups of these plants have different effects on the soil:
- Cereals - oats, rye, wheat - improve the structure of the soil, increase the presence of potassium and nitrogen, inhibit the growth of weeds.
- Crucifer family siderates - white mustard, rapeseed, oil radish - heal and improve the soil, turn phosphorus compounds into an accessible element for absorption by roots of garden plants. An important point - you can not sow the area on which it is planned to grow cabbage in the future, with cruciferous siderates, since these are plants of the same group.
- Bean siderates are often compared with the introduction of manure - their beneficial effect on the soil is so beneficial. Peas, lentils, beans, and beans saturate the soil with nitrogen, make its structure light, prevent weeds from growing, and rid the land of the nematode.
Read more about the use of green manure in the area. Which green manure to sow in spring? and which siderata to sow in the fall?
3. Consideration of predecessors by kinship
Crop rotation is based on competent selection of predecessors. You can not plant related cultures one after another. For example, if this year cabbage grew in the garden, then next year it is impossible to plant radishes or plant broccoli or kohlrabi seedlings at this place.
These plants belong to the same family and pests that most likely annoyed cabbage by overwintering in the soil will not even let the radish grow root crops. The same applies to diseases that affect related plants.
In our gardens, many representatives of various families are successfully grown, and here it is important to know which group a particular vegetable belongs to:
- Family of paslenovyh - potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.
- Cruciferous family - cabbage of all varieties, radish, radish, turnip, horseradish, mustard.
- Bean family - beans, peas, soybeans, vetch, chickpeas, lentils, clover, clover.
- Pumpkin family - cucumbers, zucchini, patissons, loofah, pumpkin, melon.
- Umbrella family - carrots, parsley, coriander, celery, anise, parsnip, fennel, dill.
- Hazel family - beets.
- Onion genus - different types of onions, garlic.
Having dealt with the families, one can easily plan the sequence of landings.
For example, potatoes and tomatoes will turn out to be good predecessors for cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, and bad ones for eggplant and bell pepper. After cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas will grow well, and radishes, radishes and broccoli will most likely not be surprised by the harvest.
4. The alternation of "tips and roots"
In addition to the separation of plants according to family characteristics, the type of plants is also taken into account during crop rotation. Tops - vegetables, in which the aerial part goes into food, it is best to alternate with roots - root crops. The same roots of certain plants, for example, legumes, will saturate the soil with nitrogen, improve the structure, and generally make the soil favorable for many crops. The roots of others, going deeper, loosen the earth and make it fertile, transferring potassium, phosphorus and other elements to the upper layers.
Therefore, plants with a shallow, superficial root system will grow well after crops with a powerful root. For example, after planting cucumbers after a tomato, the conditions of crop rotation will be observed and the features of the root system will be taken into account - superficial for cucumbers and deep for tomatoes. After sowing beets after cabbage, the main condition will also be taken into account - the alternation of crops, as well as the top-roots.
5. Sowing taking into account soil fertility
The soil on the site is heterogeneous - somewhere fertilizer was added or green manure was grown, somewhere poorer - gluttonous predecessors brought out everything that was possible during the season, and it takes time to restore the balance. Therefore, when sowing, these nuances are also taken into account.
On poor soils, with a minimum amount of fertilizer, root crops and legumes can be grown, although they will also need fertilizing. Cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage and other vegetables with high nutritional requirements are planted on well-fertilized fertile beds.
Read more about crop rotation in the article Tips for beginners: the main vegetable crops and crop rotation.
We draw conclusions! Using these simple crop rotation rules, you can achieve an increase in yield without increased doses of mineral fertilizers and pesticides. Skillful actions will help to better manifest and use the properties of cultivated plants - to prevent soil depletion and the accumulation of various toxins in it, to prevent the development of pest colonies and reduce the risk of spreading various diseases. A competent approach to the alternation of plants will save you from unnecessary work, and this is no less important than a rich harvest.