How long should you keep growing a crop before you rotate them?



  1. 0 Votes

    You should rotate crops after one year or season–however, you may have to wait longer periods between plantings for some crops, as some crops use more nutrients than others.  For the “greediest” crops (such as nightshades: tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplants), you should grow the crops for one season, and then allow the soil to recuperate for three years before attempting to plant similar crops.  For others, such as legumes, the crop actually adds nitrogen to the soil and requires less nutrients to thrive.  These are ideal for replenishing the soil after the “greedy” crops have grown there for a season.  It is usually a good idea to add compost and nitrogen to soil before restarting the crop rotation.

  2. 0 Votes

    Rotating crops every year is a good idea. The concept is based on the idea that the crops use up the nutrients in the soil and replanting the same crops in the same place year after year is not a good idea due to nutrient depletion. George Washington used to divide his field into four quadrants where in three he would have crops and the fourth he would leave to go fallow. He would rotate his quandrants every year.

    Tilling in the old dead plants and other organic matter to the soil once the harvest season is a good idea as well to help compost plants and thus restore nutrients to the topsoil. My dad also had a huge compost pile he would periodically put into our garden every spring before he planted his masses of tomato plants.

    Rotation isn’t necessarily required if you don’t have the space, but you need to do extra work to put the nutrients back into the soil.

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