Rotational beds. Tell me your ideas on dividing up plants.

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by waynemus, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Plumtree

    Plumtree Junior Member

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    Your right about the original vegie patch, it was mainly a summer thing! My present garden is very much the same because we are on the dividing range and high enough to experience cold winters.

    It may make a difference!
     
  2. IntensiveGardener

    IntensiveGardener Junior Member

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    4 bed crop rotation

    I have been using a four bed rotation system for years and would be lost without it. It you intend to maintain your soil's fertility while importing as little fertilizer and organic matter from outside as you can then crop rotation is essential.
    I divide annuals into 3 categories and also grow one grain crop.


    Legumes:
    Peas, Beans and clovers etc.. Grow well in soil which has just grown grains because the Nitrogen has been used up by the decomposition of the straw refuse and stubble.

    Heavy feederw
    Include corn, cabbage family, tomatoes, leaf vegetables, melons, pumpkins and other fruit or flowers.

    Light feeders
    include all root crops including potatoes, also bulbs and anything which doesn't need heaps of Nitrogen.

    Grain
    Makes use of the rested soil and produces large amounts of organic matter both above and below the soil. Most grains also cleans soil of soil pests and diseases. Using the straw to make compost is much more efficient that digging it in.

    The main principles of a sucessfull crop rotation are:

    * A Grain to send its huge root systems into the subsoil. This adds organic matter through the soil and deepens the soil.
    * A legume to fix nitrogen before heavy feeding vegetables
    * A fallow period to rest and regenerate. (This is provided by the "light feeder" section because crops like carrots take a long time to mature and take little from the soil.


    My rotation system is also carbon efficient By growing crops that produce a large amount of organic matter (legumes and grain) in half of the available area, very little organic matter will have to be brought in from elsewhere to make compost or mulch.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Forest Fairy

    Forest Fairy Junior Member

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    Does all of this mean that I shouldn't just plant where the seed falls????

    I have a designated area which is about 50m x 50m.
    I have heavily mulched it, and just recently installed drip irrigation along 4 seperate rows.
    I am planning to plant fruit trees approx 4 metres apart and was going to interplant in between the trees with vegies and herbs.

    Will this be OK???
     
  4. IntensiveGardener

    IntensiveGardener Junior Member

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    rotation cropping vs companions etc

    Forest Fairy.
    They rotation system I described above is tailor made to my needs. I plant intensively, one crop at a time and mostely grow short lived anuals. I live in a very cold area so often season prevents plants from reseeding themselves at the correct time.

    In General you can either companion plant over time (crop rotation) or in space. Provided you have a diverse range of plants which complement each other in some way you could safely allow them to reseed where the seed falls.

    I would recomend that you make sure there is a legume growing \
    throughout the area.

    You might also want to consider having a grain crop every few years to give the soil a break from vegies and prevent the buildup of diseases. This is also a usefull addition to a permanent mulch system because it provides material to add to the mulch and airates the soil well when its roots decompose.

    When i grow a crop out of rotation i often find it necessary to add extra compost and/or fertilizer.

    cheers,
    jb
     

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