Tuesday, 23 March 2010

organic rotation

Organic gardeners use rotation to help limit disease in their gardens. Lawrence Hills, the founder of the British organic gardening movement suggested this four year rotation in his book 'Organic Gardening' (1978).
All organic rotations are not the same. Some follow a three year cycle. In our case, it means that plants in the same group are not planted again in a space for another three years.

The photo shows the four year rotation we use.

Front left sees the potato plot for this year with ground mulched ready for planting.

Behind left is the bed given to legumes. These follow potatoes in our rotation. The ground was enriched by compost in the previous year and the legumes thrive on the extra fertility and add to it with their roots that add extra nitrogen to the soil.

Behind right you see the area that will follow with brassicas and leaf crops that love the fertility left in the soil by the peas and beans.

Front right you see the area given over to roots and onion family.

This rotation and limited disturbance of the soil should mean that fertility builds year on year. Green manures preserve fertility and protect soil structure during the winter. That's rotation sustainable garden style!

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