Small Vegetable Garden Crop Rotation
Not always practical

In a small vegetable garden

Crop Rotation is not always possible.

 Although an important basic vegetable gardening principle ....

.... it is not always practical in a small vegetable garden.

Broad beans can be eaten and the plants fix nitrogen in the soil

Cover crops ... green manure ... organic compost ... rotating vegetable garden soil are

Crop Rotation Alternatives

in a raised bed garden or a small vegetable garden.

Our gardener's ideal site for growing vegetables makes no sense for this go around.

His previous vegetable gardens had ....

.... ample vegetable gardens size ....

.... lots of sunshine ....

.... practical for us vegetables to take turns in each corner of the garden plot.

crop rotation chart

What is rotating crops ?

.... an age old good gardening practice

.... a planned revolution of growing vegetables in different garden locations

.... a three or four year cycle

Leafy Cabbage family  ..  to ..  Root Vegetables  ..  to  ..  Legumes, Fruits and Seeds .. and ...

 ... back to Leafy

Benefits of this annual succession ....

.... balances soil nutrition

.... natural pest control

.... prevents spread of plant disease

Plants of the cabbage family should be grown in a different location every year

Although small vegetable gardens  would benefit from this process ...

... In the new backyard garden the decision was made ... Crop rotation alternatives were on.

... This ideal raised bed garden site

      was going be home to the same growing vegetables year after year.

... We vegetables were happy !

... Alternative plans needed to be developed.

Rotate soil mixing it up instead of rotating crops

Vegetable Plant Rotation Alternatives ....

                                 .... for our small vegetable garden and raised bed gardens.

  •  some of the growing vegetables will take turns in different areas
  • some of the bed soil will be switched
  • organic compost will be used .. lots of it
  • soil nutrients will be monitored .. our gardener will get to use his garden soil test kit
  • he will be growing green manures and cover crops.

Fall rye ... dig it in before it forms sod or seed heads

     Green Manure and Cover Crops ... What are they ?

  • These are not crops eaten by people.
  • The zillions of creatures in the underworld eat and process this organic matter.
  • The nutrients produced is food for us vegetables.
  • A cover crop is a green manure grown to protect the garden soil from the elements ...

          ... and helps prevent growing weeds.

  • When dug into the garden the cover crop acts the same as green manure 

        Vegetable plant food !

These easy to grow grasses, grains, and legumes turned .... 

.... into the raised bed garden provide on the spot organic matter.

Our gardener grows fall rye ...

... other choices include broad beans , alfalfa, clover and other legumes.

Add lots of composted animal manure

Benefits of Green Manure and Cover Crops

  • Creates nutrents and soil balance
  • Prevents spread of garden disease
  • provides natural pest control
  • on  the spot organic fertilizer

Broad beans (Fava Beans)

How to Grow Green Manures

  • select a variety suited to the growing area ...

         ...The local garden supplies shop will know.

  • Read and follow the package directions ... for our gardener's benefit.
  • planted by broadcasting the seed after fall garden cleanup
  • our gardener plants in the fall
  • tamp seeded area pressing seeds into the soil.
  • Water and mulch for moisture retention if needed.
  • Dig in before the roots turn to sod and prior to the seeds setting.
  • after turning in give it a few weeks for the green manure to begin breaking down
  • The Garden Soil ready for planting

If the potatoe location is the same year after year move some of the soil to a different location and replace with composted soil

We have heard our gardener say of all the small vegetable garden ideas he is aware of ...

... These crop rotation alternatives work in a small space garden.

Green peas and beans are nitrogen fixers too

Rotate soil between beds .... this means work .... but it is only a small space !

Cover crops ... green manure ... and Organic Compost are the best ...

... alternatives to crop rotation in our Raised Bed Garden.

Miss Something ? Return to top of Crop Rotation Page

More articles about Building Garden Soil that may interest you.

Organic Compost

Raised Garden Beds

Garden Mulch

Organic Fertilizer

› small vegetable garden crop rotation alternatives