DIY / Grow

Crop Rotation

Keep your soil and plants nourished by rotating your crops seasonally.

Crop Rotation
Scott Sporleder, Photographer

Not all crops crave the same nutrients. You can help keep your soil and plants nourished by rotating your crops seasonally.

Not all crops use the same amount or crave the same nutrients. You can help keep your soil and plants nourished by rotating your crops seasonally.If you have time, try planting light-feeders or soil-building crops before or between plantings of heavy feeders. If you are short on time and space in your beds, you may want to try planting soil-builders (legumes) among heavy feeders all at once – known as “intercropping,” and then follow by amending everything with compost.

WRITE IT DOWN

The best way to experience crop rotation is to take a look at the chart below and just start playing! Your best results will come from observing and experimenting over seasons as you develop a deeper relationship with your garden. Maintaining a journal will help you keep track of what you planted and where so that you know what to plant next. This journal is also a good place to record successes, failures, what worked, and what didn’t.

KNOW YOUR CROPS

The chart below gives a few basic crops, their feeder styles, and the seasons in which to plant them.

CROP FEEDER STYLE SEASON
Spinach Heavy Winter
Potato Light Winter
Pea Soil Builder Winter
Carrot Light Winter
Fava Bean Soil Builder Spring
Cucumber Heavy Spring
Lettuce Light Spring
Tomato Heavy Summer
Corn Heavy Summer
Green Bean Soil Builder Summer
Squash Heavy Summer
Swiss Chard Light Fall
Pepper Light Fall