Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is growing specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the vegetable plot each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest and disease problems and it organises groups of crops according to their cultivation needs.

Crop rotation is one way you can help prevent the buildup of pests and imbalances in the soil on your plot. Growing is never an exact science and some people don’t rotate at all, but it is probably the most common way of planning out your plot.

Vegetable groups should be rotated around the plot each season on either a 3 or a 4 year rotation. (You can miss out group 1 for a 3 year plan)

Group 1: Potatoes
Courgettes, marrow, pumpkins, tomatoes and peppers. (Potatoes can use up a lot of space so you can skip this group if you have a small plot)

Group 2: Roots and onions
Beetroot, parsnips, carrots, onions, shallots, garlic and leeks. Note: don’t manure where you plan to plant root crops.

Group 3: Legumes
Peas and beans fix nitrogen from the air into their root nodules. Group 4 vegetables appreciate this.

Group 4: Brassicas
Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale swede and turnip.

REMEMBER: Pot – Root – Leg – Bra


Here is a very handy guide to crop rotation from the RHS.