Growing with crop rotation
When growing with crop rotation – or crop sequences, as it is also called there are two ways of doing it. One way is that plants are planted sequentially on the same cultivation area within the season. For example, one can first grow lettuce, then dill; which also peaks quickly, and finally winter lettuce, which will finish growing late in the season. Another form of crop rotation is the one that runs over a number of years, and where the plants change their place of planting from year to year according to set rules.
In the past, this was a matter, of course. It was unthinkable to deplete the soil, and thereby expose the crops to diseases and insect attacks. One could still cultivate with nature. Since the 1950s, this knowledge has slowly but surely disappeared due to all the artificial fertilizers and other chemicals. Fortunately, it has started to swing back in to favour again, with old know-
ledge being dusted off.
It is not at all as difficult as one might think at first glance. By dividing the crops into four parts, which are then cultivated according to the 4-year crop rotation, you are already up and running. To keep track of what you grow and how it is progressing, it is excellent to keep notes.
Of course, you do not have to blindly follow these suggestions. As always, you have to adapt your cultivation to what you want to eat yourself. The basis of crop rotation is that plants with similar nutritional needs are cultivated together in each bed, while at the same time ensuring that the plants thrive on growing together.
Depending on how many different plants you want to grow, how large the area you have available is, and how good the soil is when you start your cultivation, you can choose between different amounts of years in your crop rotation cycle.
The benefits of growing with crop rotation
⇾ Reduced soil fatigue
⇾ Healthier soils
⇾ Reduced number of diseases
⇾ Fewer pest infestations
⇾ Optimal nutritional conditions
⇾ Different amounts of years in a crop rotation
4-year crop rotation
Year / Bed 1 – Plants that provide nutrition
Year 1, you grow legumes and other green manure plants that feed the soil themselves, which means they do not need any extra nutrients. If the soil is impoverished, you can give a moderate dose of liquid manure or treatment of grass clippings in the spring. In late summer, when harvesting the peas and beans, the remains of the plants are worked into the soil.
If you grow pure green manure plants where you do not take a harvest, it is advisable to cute these down a couple of times during the season. Some of the cut off mass will also be an excellent cover material for the other crops.
⇾ Green crop plants such as clover, vetches, and lacy phacelia
Year / Bed 2 – Nutritionally demanding plants
Here you will feed the soil properly with fertilizer, covered with grass clippings, and water with nettle water, all done to ensure that the nutritionally demanding plants thrive. This group includes pumpkin plants, some onion plants, and cabbage.
Year / Bed 3 – Moderate requirements for nutrition
Here you can add a little fertilizer in the form of mulching, but absolutely no new fertilizer – because these plants are not particularly demanding. Root vegetables grow for so long, and they utilize the mycorrhiza. Therefore, they manage with less nutrition. This includes root vegetables, lettuce, parsley, dill, and onions. Both root vegetables and onions will have …