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Ideas
Frequently Asked - and Interesting - Questions
How am I going to improve my impossibly stony soil?
How can I grow food, when I have so little time at home?
How Do I Start Composting?
Since I can't rotate my asparagus and alpine strawberries, how can I prevent pest infestations?
What if my neighbors don't like the appearance of a vegetable garden?
What is a green manure?
Why do some gardeners recommend crop rotation?
Handling Unstable Weather
Hugelkultur
Remember Waste Not Want Not? It applies to the garden, too!
Variations on Three Sisters
Vermiculite versus Charcoal
When Neighbors Use Toxic Materials

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Hodgson Biologic
2 Klarides Village Drive
Box 205
Seymour, Connecticut
06483

203-529-7293

In Connecticut's
Naugatuck Valley

Why do some gardeners recommend crop rotation?

Crop rotation is a way to prevent or minimize pest infestations. The principle is to avoid putting plants from the same family in the same soil two plantings in a row. Rather, one rotates plants from three or four families through one section of the garden.

This requires knowing which families your plants are in, and keeping some records.

Eliot Coleman has a nice list in Four Season Harvest that gives examples of some frequently grown plants and their families.

The reason to rotate crops is to keep the pests and diseases that affect the crop from building up in the soil and becoming worse each year until the crop is decimated. It takes time (usually) for the pests to find their favorite foods. It slows them down when the food is a moving target.

Beneficial organisms in the soil take time to find and eat bacteria that infect susceptible plants. Crop rotation gives healthy soil the time to balance out the population of microoorganisms.

Different crops take up different amounts of nutrients from the soil. In a well fed, healthy soil, this is not a big problem. But rotating plants evens out the uptake of nutrients, to an extent.

Some crops, like legumes, actually leave the soil more rich in certain nutrients which is beneficial to the crop that follows. Grains following legumes is a common rotational practice.