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Maintaining a successful vegetable garden may seem like a difficult task to get right at first. Sometimes doing something as simple as not planting the same vegetable or herb variety in the same spot all the time can be exceptionally advantageous to your garden. This process is called crop rotation and it entails that you plant your crops in different places of your garden each time you plant. Crop Rotation replenishes the soil of nutrients it loses from time to time.

This may seem like a laborious task, but it can save you a lot trouble from pests and diseases. The following further explains exactly why you should rotate your crops:

Equally distribute the nutrients and balance soil fertility
Vegetables are classified into three groups according to how much of a specific nutrient or nutrients they require, or how much nutrients they give back to the soil through their stems and roots. They are classified as heavy, medium, and light feeders. Some examples of heavy feeders are tomatoes, cabbages, gem squash, butternut, and sweet corn. Not only do some of these heavy feeder vegetables take up a lot of space in your garden, they also rapidly take a lot of nutrients from your soil. It is therefore advisable that you avoid planting the same vegetable (or vegetables from the same family), herb or flower in the same spot year after year. This will deplete the soil of nutrients and affect the fertility of the soil. For example, sweet corn needs nitrogen and if you plant it in the same spot of your garden each time, the soil in that part of the garden will be deficient in nitrogen. The Solution: Plant a light or medium feeder such as peas or green beans in that spot the next year-this will help replenish the soil of the nitrogen that it has lost. Another remedy would be to plant beans or peas next to the sweetcorn, which is known as intercropping (growing vegetables that have different needs in the same space).
Confuse the pests:
Ever heard of the phrase “confuse the enemy”? Crop rotation works perfectly to confuse the pests that could destroy your harvest. Pests are clever and once they know where to find their plant host, they will keep going there. You should move your vegetables, herbs or flowers to different places in your garden each time you plant to confuse the pests.
Prevent soil borne diseases:
Some plants can be hosts to soil borne diseases, which means that planting that same plant at the same spot continuously ensures that the disease continues unabated and there can be a build-up of other soil borne diseases. Some of the soil borne diseases that can be kept in check through crop rotation are; bean blight, , cabbage back leg and club root.

We hope that you enjoyed reading our piece and that it helps you plan your vegetable garden better. You can get more information on crop rotation and more, when you purchase the Reel Easy Guide to Growing.