This is the 4 Year Crop Rotation System we follow.
- Apply lots of muck and plant potatoes.
- When the potatoes are lifted we plant brassicas which will all be harvested by very early the following spring.
- Sow peas and beans along with some spring sown brassicas for harvesting in summer-autumn
- Traditionally you would apply lime to the soil before sowing.
- This is time for the miscellaneous crops (anything not included elsewhere). Melon, cucumber, peppers, aubergine, tomatoes, lettuce and onions are all included in our miscellaneous crops.
- We apply a mulch of well rotted compost for these crops.
- We plant root crops – carrots being the dominant variety.
Many gardeners would include tomatoes, peppers and aubergines in Year One along with the potatoes to which they are closely related. This is not that practical for us so we split them and it is working well.
We bend the rules at times, particularly for quick crops and those that will be good companions. For example we plant beetroot and radish between onion and garlic as they grow well in their shade.
Don’t be afraid to modify systems to suit your situation. The main thing is to mix things up and avoid repeat plantings of the same crops year after year.
We owe much of our gardening knowledge to lots of practice and the late great John Seymour. If you’re starting out growing your own vegetables I cannot recommend his book The Self Sufficient Gardener enough. If you do not have this book you can get a copy at Amazon via the links below.
For a more self sufficient future