Taking care of the garden beds all summer long, each of us certainly wants to feel the result of our efforts, having collected a rich harvest in the fall. But as the old proverb says: The clever cultivates the harvest, and the wise cultivates the land. Therefore, in order to achieve the desired result and get a crop with fragrant and juicy fruits, when cultivating the beds, one should not forget about the crop rotation of vegetable crops. This efficient natural gardening system helps not only maintain soil fertility, but also significantly reduce the number of diseases and pests affecting vegetable crops.
For intensive development and growth, plants need the predominance of certain macronutrients, since vegetable crops have a different ability to assimilate these elements. For example: root crops (potatoes, carrots, beets) require a large amount of phosphorus, and leaf crops (cabbage, lettuce) need nitrogen. And if roots, thanks to a well-developed root system for nutrition, are able to use the lower soil layers rich in potassium and phosphorus, then the roots of leafy greenery are able to get the trace elements necessary for development only in the upper layers of the soil ...
The main task that the crop rotation in the garden solves is the uniform distribution of nutrients in the soil.
Planting one type of vegetable crops in a designated area from year to year leads to a significant depletion of the soil and a tangible deficiency of one or another element.
Only a well-organized crop rotation on a personal plot makes it possible to use all the advantages of fertile soil in a balanced way.
When vegetables belonging to the same family are grown, pathogens and pests begin to accumulate in the soil, which infect this particular family. In the case of planting the same crop that grows this summer in the allotted bed, there is always a chance of getting fruits affected by diseases. If the planting sites of crops are alternated annually, then not finding suitable food, pathogens simply die. The best option is when representatives of the same family return to the old landing site no earlier than 3-4 seasons.
In addition, grouping plants in the garden according to their needs greatly facilitates planting maintenance. Thanks to a well-thought-out crop rotation in the country, you can even successfully control weeds. After all, experienced gardeners have long noticed that crops that grow a small vegetative mass (parsley, carrots) are not able to resist the growth of weeds as well as plants with a rapidly growing leaf surface (pumpkin, zucchini, potatoes).
Planting scheme, where horizontal rows indicate the year of planting (first, second ...), and vertical columns - to areas where crops are placed
Due to the alternation of beds, you can create the most favorable conditions for the growth and development of vegetable beds
Over the years of practice, many gardeners, taking into account the peculiarities of the development of the root system of plants, as well as their assimilation of nutrients from the soil, have learned how to optimally alternate vegetable crops in the garden. The simplest crop rotation scheme is based on the principle that no annual crop should grow in one place for two seasons in a row. More complex options for crop rotation schemes include the development of optimal plant replacement within one site for several years in advance.
When drawing up diagrams, specialists are mainly guided by two parameters: the alternation of families and a change in the crop group (root crop, fruit, leaf group)
It is successfully combined with large plants such as cabbage, zucchini and tomato, small vegetable crops: onions, carrots, radishes. Early ripening crops can be used as an intermediate planting between the main harvests: Chinese cabbage, radish, lettuce, spinach.
If, when drawing up a crop rotation scheme, we take the compatibility of plants as a basis, then the best options can be considered:
In the fight against pests of vegetable crops (leaf beetles, mites, scoops), spicy herbs act. Get along well with vegetable crops:
Properly selected vegetables can have a beneficial effect on each other. A successful combination of vegetable crops with herbs brings benefits and creates a harmony of beauty.
It is not recommended to plant relatives next to crops, who are often affected by common diseases. Tomatoes and potatoes planted nearby may suffer from late blight
When deciding to draw up a crop rotation scheme in a suburban area, you should first of all make a plan of the garden, where you indicate the location of vegetable and fruit crops.
When drawing up a plan, one should take into account not only the soil composition of the site, but also the degree of illumination of the garden beds at different times of the day
A feature of crops is that they have different requirements for nutrients. Depending on the degree of consumption of soil trace elements and nutrients, vegetable crops can be divided into 3 groups:
When drawing up a crop rotation scheme, the drawn plan should be divided into 3 or 4 parts, following which it will be possible to ensure that each of the crops returns to its original planting site only in the third or fourth year.
The first most fertile part of the garden is allocated for planting gluttonous crops (cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini). The second part of the site is used for planting eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, which are less demanding on soil fertility, or radishes, onions or greens. The third part is allocated for crops that are capable of producing a good harvest on relatively poor soil. Here are planted: turnips, carrots, beets, parsley. In the last fourth part of the garden, potatoes are planted, locally introducing organic fertilizer into each hole (rotted manure or compost with ash).
After harvesting, it is advisable to plant the vacated beds with green manure plants, which, better than any fertilizers, will increase the fertility of the soil composition
The next season, the plants that grew in the first section, evenly shifting in a circle, move to the fourth, from the second to the first, from the third to the second, etc.
When drawing up a crop rotation scheme, one should also take into account the structural features of the root system of plants and the depth of their penetration into the soil. Thanks to this, nutrients will be evenly used from different soil layers. For example: cucumbers, onions and cabbage can be eaten from the topsoil, tomato roots grow to a depth of a little less than a meter, and corn - up to two meters.
Knowing the characteristics of each crop and taking into account the successful combination of them with each other, you can not only achieve a rich harvest, but also protect the plants from many diseases.
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If there is a decrease in yields on the site and diseases multiply, then this is a sure signal for the gardener: the soil is tired. And the sooner he starts to fight this phenomenon, the better.
How to heal the soil if it is tired? There is only one way out - let him rest.
Soil fatigue (as scientists call this condition) is a complex phenomenon. Pests and diseases accumulate in the soil, the balance of nutrients is disturbed, acidity changes, microflora suffers from one-sided development, etc. How to resist such a disaster?
The first remedy is crop rotation on the garden plot.
When plants of the same species grow in one place for a long time, their own root exudates poison the soil, the yield begins to fall sharply. Beets and spinach are especially sensitive to their own secretions, to a lesser extent - cabbage, radish, radish, parsley, celery, peas, carrots and pumpkin crops. Rye, corn, beans, leeks are well tolerated. Therefore, they can be grown for a long time in one place.
The soil is especially badly poisoned under old fruit trees. Therefore, after uprooting in their place, it is advisable to grow green manure or green fertilizers for several years. An experienced gardener will never plant an apple orchard in the place of an old one. But after stone fruit crops, you can do it. It has been noticed that currants and raspberries are good predecessors for apple trees, and pears for plums. Currants and gooseberries grow better after raspberries and strawberries.
With constant cultivation in one place of cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce, beans, celery, pathogens of bacterial fungal diseases accumulate in the soil. Root and leaf nematodes, cabbage, carrot and onion flies become a scourge for the gardener. You can fight all these pests only by alternating crops belonging to different families. For example, when a keel appears on cabbage, this crop can be returned to its original place no earlier than after 5-6 years.
The owner of the site also needs to take into account how much vegetable crops deplete the supply of nutrients in the soil during the full cycle of their development. All types of cabbage and celery are very demanding on nutrition. Then there are vegetables from the pumpkin family: cucumber, zucchini, melon, pumpkin, squash. Then nightshade: tomato, pepper, eggplant, potatoes, all kinds of onions and lettuce, as well as spinach and corn. Less demanding ones include carrots, parsnips, root and leaf parsley, turnips, radishes, radishes and beets.
Perennial legumes not only do not deplete the soil, but, on the contrary, improve its fertility due to nodule bacteria that assimilate nitrogen from the air. Of course, with a high culture of agriculture and on fertile soil, this nitrogen, after the death of plants, is assimilated by crops in crop rotation. And also the long roots of alfalfa and lupine are able to absorb potassium, phosphorus and calcium from the deep layers of the soil and enrich the upper arable layer with them. This is why legumes are excellent precursors for most vegetable crops. By the way, the structure of the soil is improved by such plants with a powerful and deep root system, such as caraway seeds, buckwheat, flax and rapeseed.
Our ancestors also knew what a three-field crop rotation is. Let's give an example of a vegetable crop rotation, i.e. what is planted and grown for what:
1). The most demanding crops (cabbage, celery, pumpkin, nightshade).
3) Less demanding (potatoes, onions, salads, spinach, corn, carrots, parsnips, root parsley, melon, radish, radishes, beets).
Then this cycle must be repeated.
This is what a crop rotation in a vegetable garden is.
Another means of fighting soil fatigue is green manure. This is how the ancient Greeks healed the land.
Many gardeners today practice organic farming (complete rejection of chemicals). Experienced ones, for example, plant blue and white lupines in their garden plots. Or such a wonderful culture as white mustard. It not only improves the structure and fertility of the soil, but also helps to get rid of the wireworm. For this, the sowing must be denser than usual, the seeding rate is high - 6 g / m2.
Ideally, in case of serious soil fatigue, it is worth sowing the entire plot with this green manure at once, or at least half of it. Many agronomists guarantee after this a significant improvement of the soil, but most likely not every gardener will go to such a radical measure.
In organic farming, gardeners add all the necessary nutrients to the soil with compost, humus, vermicompost. At the same time, it is advisable to send various crops to the compost. Buckwheat, for example, accumulates calcium, datura leaves are rich in phosphorus, melon stems and leaves - in calcium, nettle - in iron.
In small doses, add chamomile, valerian, dandelion, yarrow, oak bark. They speed up composting and improve the quality of the compost. By the way, it was noticed that the compost heaps, arranged under the birch and elderberry, do not overheat, the compost ripens faster in them.
Garden crop rotation and green manure - green manure will help improve your soil.
Crop rotation is the order in which crops are grown over the years in a certain area. Even a novice gardener knows that it is impossible to grow one crop for a long time in the same place. By correctly alternating vegetables in the garden, you can achieve excellent results: increase soil fertility, protect plants from pests and diseases, and improve agricultural technology. It is useful for any gardener to know what crop rotations are and how to draw up your own crop rotation plan.
The soil on which the same plant species is grown every year gets tired and yields decrease. Crop rotation is designed to prevent soil fatigue. If you grow crops for several years in a row in the same place, the following negative consequences arise:
Correct crop rotation allows:
In organic farming, crop rotation is extremely important, since this system does not use chemical protection methods and mineral fertilizers. A high yield is achieved not through the use of "chemistry", but with the help of competent and well-organized agricultural technology.
To comply with crop rotation, the site is divided into three zones. The first is occupied by crops demanding on soil fertility, which require a lot of nutrients: cabbage, pumpkin seeds, celery. In the second zone, legumes are planted, which in organic farming should occupy large areas. These are peas, beans and asparagus, beans, peanuts. The third zone is reserved for root crops.
In each zone, the alternation of crops is in the following order: demanding crop - legumes - root crops. If you need to include potatoes in circulation, the alternation will be as follows: potatoes - demanding crop - legumes - root crops. Strawberries can also be introduced into circulation. Then the garden will have to be divided into 5 zones, and the area occupied by strawberries should be planted with potatoes in the fifth year.
There are plots where I grow the same crop year after year. Most often these are potato or cabbage plots.
The field should be divided into 3 parts and annually sow each part in turn with green manure - herbs that cleanse the soil of soil pests and increase fertility. A good green manure for potatoes is winter rye. It is sown in August-September, and in the spring or in the middle of next year, it is embedded in the soil. Part of the field, resting in the current year, can be sown with marigolds, calendula, nasturtium. These plants heal the soil, suppress weeds, and decorate the site. In autumn, after flowering, they are buried to a depth of 15-20 cm.
If there are areas heavily overgrown with perennial weeds on the site, you can plant a pumpkin in them. This aggressive vegetable crop occupies a large area and with its large leaves oppresses the weeds, preventing them from making their way to the light.
The gardener can make a crop rotation based on his own needs. This is not a difficult task, you just need to try.
To draw up a crop rotation you will need:
To simplify your work, you should create a separate folder. A plan of a garden with lined beds is put into it. A tracing paper is placed on the plan and the types of vegetable crops are recorded on it. In this way, predecessors can be easily monitored and alternation planned.
The second way is to make a table of crop rotation in the garden in Word, putting down the years in the columns. The number of rows should correspond to the number of beds on the site.
To draw up the simplest crop rotation, you can focus on the belonging of vegetables to botanical families. For a home garden, this is enough, but there are other, more complex options.
Vegetable crops are divided into 4 groups:
The alternation of crops at the summer cottage will be as follows:
The next year, the beds are shifted by one counterclockwise, that is, the fruit beds go to the fourth, the leaf beds to the third, and so on. It turns out that each culture returns to its old place only after 4 years.
In this case, vegetables are divided into groups depending on their organic needs:
In such a crop rotation, humus or compost is applied only to the beds with cabbage, pumpkin and sunflower. Tomatoes and other nightshades are planted in this place next year. These crops love well-rotted organic matter. In the third year, crops are planted that do not tolerate organics. This is primarily carrots. In the fourth year, the place is given to legumes - they do not need organic matter at all, they themselves enrich the soil with nitrogen. In the fifth year, organic matter is introduced into the garden, cabbage or pumpkin crops are planted, and the cycle repeats.
Fertilizer requirements of crops
This is the easiest crop rotation option. From the gardener, only knowledge is required to which family each vegetable belongs.
The belonging of garden plants to botanical families:
Plants are returned to their original place not earlier than after 3 years.
Crops are planted in the following sequence: nightshade - legumes - cabbage - umbrella.
In these crop rotations, onions are planted before winter after nightshades.
Each crop extracts the necessary trace elements from the soil, and in different proportions.
Table: the needs of vegetable plants in trace elements:
The most intensively extracted element from the soil
Iron, manganese, cobalt, boron
Cabbage and root crops strongly deplete the soil. Legumes enrich the soil with nitrogen. If, after harvesting the grain, the stem and leaves of peas, beans and other legumes are embedded in the soil, the earth will be saturated not only with nitrogen, but also with many microelements. Onions, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and eggplants are moderately depleting of the soil. Spinach, lettuce, cucumbers hardly deplete the soil.
For the most demanding crop, they bring in the full norm of organic matter. The rest of the vegetables are fertilized taking into account the aftereffect of the main fertilizer. In the first year, plants remove from the soil 30% of nitrogen and phosphorus introduced with manure and half of potassium. The rest of the nutrients remain in the soil, so it is not advisable to apply manure annually.
Crop rotation can look like this: demanding on fertility - medium demanding on fertility - undemanding on fertility - enriching the soil.
This is the most difficult type of crop rotation. When compiling it, it is assumed that each plant has good and bad predecessors. If the plants are planted after a good predecessor, the yield will increase, after a bad one, it will sharply decrease. The table will help to compose the crop rotation.
Table: selection of predecessors:
Radish, cucumber, peas, carrots, annual herbs
Peas, garlic, carrots, potatoes
Radishes, beets, carrots, peas, tomato
Beets, onions, zucchini, potatoes, peas
Tomato, zucchini, beets, cabbage
Tomato, zucchini, beets, potatoes, peas, cabbage
Cabbage, tomato, beets, carrots, zucchini
In small areas, it is irrational to include such an important crop as potatoes in the crop rotation. Potatoes are grown in large areas as a monoculture. To prevent the soil from depleting, a large amount of rotted organic matter and mineral fertilizers are annually applied to the field. Once every few years, the field is sown with green manure to heal the soil from bacteria and phytopathogenic fungi.
It is worth removing corn from the crop rotation. Maize is undemanding to its predecessors and itself is a good predecessor for most crops. However, the land under corn is quickly depleted and a large amount of organic matter is required annually.
Many crops have a short growing season. In order to use the area rationally, it is necessary to apply repeated crops, placing several crops on the same bed during the season. You need to know which cultures tolerate the neighborhood and which do not.
Rules for combining plants:
An example of a crop rotation with a combination of crops:
So, the crop rotation of vegetable crops is a necessary agrotechnical method that allows you to protect plants from pests and diseases, and increase yields. When compiling a crop rotation, various factors can be taken into account: belonging to a botanical family, the degree of need for organic matter, the removal of trace elements from the soil. There are ready-made crop rotation schemes, but in a small area it is better to draw up a rotation plan yourself based on the needs of your family.
To obtain high yields of good quality, it is necessary to alternate them in time, over the years, when cultivating vegetable crops on a personal plot. If the crop rotation is observed, soil fertility increases faster, it is better cleared of weeds, and the likelihood of plant diseases and pests affecting them decreases.
When considering the issue of crop rotation of vegetable crops in the garden, it does not hurt to turn to the scientific foundations of crop rotation, which necessitate annual crop rotation.
Almost all crops react negatively to re-growing them in one place. Some crops react to this with a slight decrease in yield (corn, potatoes), for others, repeated crops of death are similar, up to the complete death of the plantings. Such crops include sunflower, sugar beet and some others.
The reasons why it is necessary to rotate crops annually in crops can be divided into three groups: physical, chemical and biological.
Physical reasons due to the different effects of each plant on the structure, density, structure of the soil, which can be adjusted by applying the appropriate tillage.
Chemical reasons can be explained by the following uncontested truths. With the permanent cultivation of the same crops in one place, there are disproportions in the provision of plants with useful nutrients, and the balance of organic matter in the soil is disturbed. With the permanent cultivation of legumes in one place, the nitrogen accumulated in the soil becomes simply unnecessary and is wasted in vain. And growing after legumes, pumpkin or nightshade crops, would have a positive effect on the productivity of the latter.
Biological causes with permanent plantings, they are explained by the accumulation of the same pests, diseases and weeds in the soil, which significantly reduce the yield of cultivated crops. The effect of soil fatigue and the accumulation of phytoactive substances in it is manifested.
The impact on the state of the soil of the above reasons causes a sharp decrease in yield with permanent cultivation of vegetable crops in one place.