Question: vegetables rotation
I have a small family garden and I can't do the rotation for more than 2 years. What do you suggest I do? thanks bye.
Answer: vegetable rotation
not everyone knows that, even in the vegetable garden, crop rotation is very beneficial to the soil, and therefore also to the production of our vegetables; generally it is practiced in the span of three or four years, and it works like this: if this year I sow beans in a plot, next year I will sow tomatoes, and the following year salad; if I have space and I want a ground that is always healthy, the fourth year I will sow nothing, or leave the land at rest, or green manure crops, or small leguminous plants that, once the vegetative cycle is finished, I will leave to compost directly in the ground, digging it without eradicate them, since their presence on the plot visibly and considerably improves the soil.
Rotation is practiced for the simple reason that every plant cultivated in the garden has particular nutritional requirements, so if I continue to sow the exact same plant, over the years the land of that plot will certainly become deficient in a certain type of mineral salts , which I will have to add.
Generally the rotation is done following some precautions:
1 Never repeat planting the same vegetable year by year;
2 Never grow plants of the same family;
3 Never grow plants that have the same needs regarding the amount of mineral salts.
For example, tomatoes are vegetables that remove large amounts of mineral salts from the soil; if this year, in a plot of land, I lay down tomatoes, next year it would be advisable not to re-use the same plot for tomatoes; as even the courgettes are plants that require strong fertilizing, well, then it would be better to avoid even the courgettes; tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae family, such as aubergines, so it would be advisable not to use the plot even for aubergines.
There are also those who proceed in sowing in the garden by dividing the vegetables among: fruit vegetables (tomatoes, aubergines, strawberries, courgettes), leafy vegetables (spinach, salad, aromatic herbs), flowering vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli), root vegetables (turnips, radishes, carrots).
So what can I use the plot for?
For vegetables that require little fertilization and do not like so many mineral salts in the soil, such as salad, head or leaf.
Or I can put beans or string beans in their homes; like all legumes, even those that we grow in the garden live in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; therefore the soil in which we grow beans, string beans and snow peas is enriched with nitrogen after this cultivation.
Since your garden is very small you have two options; or subdivide the plots into mini flowerbeds, so as to be able to rotate the crops; or alternate always a legume with any other cultivation.
Another method to keep the garden soil healthy consists in the intercropping: instead of rotating the crops, it sows in the same plot plants that can live close together, because they particularly like different mineral salts, or that develop at different depths in the ground; and associate them if you can always have a legume.
Clear that in this case it is better to choose plants that have similar needs, such as you can combine carrots and salad, but not salad and zucchini, as the very high need for nitrogen from zucchini would ruin your salad.