Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Rotation help please  (Read 2740 times)


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Rotation help please
« on: August 24, 2015, 11:52:09 am »
We have 5 raised beds, 1.2m wide x 18m long for growing veggies. Dan and I are are taking over the veg growing from Dan's dad next year, after a break of a few years, and I'm looking at the rotation.

As it stands, we have potatoes in one; oniony type things and roots (garlic, shallots, spring onions, leeks, carrots, beetroot and parsnips) in the second; brassicas in the third and peas / beans in the last two. We eat a lot of peas  :)

Is there a problem with having peas / beans in the same bed two years in a row?

And advice on which bed should follow the other? I wondered about putting peas / beans after the spuds to take advantage of the manure on the spuds, then the oniony / carrot bed to take advantage of the N fixed by the peas / beans, then the brassicas then back to spuds.



  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Rotation help please
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 11:58:29 am »


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Rotation help please
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 12:39:45 pm »
Perfect, @henchard - thank you! Order replaces chaos  ;)


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Rotation help please
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 02:07:13 pm »
That's pretty much the same rotation I do although I've not gone through the full rotation yet. I think successive peas/beans is not as harmful as brassicas or potatoes since they're less prone to disease and they take less from the soil. Pea and beans act as nitrogen fixers so they're a useful lead for other crops. It also depends how much of each you use and your local conditions - we get blight so badly I've only been growing tomatoes inside this year which meant I could fit more potatoes in (which also get blight but give a decent crop anyway). We also eat fewer root veg - lots of carrots and some beetroot/parsnips which don't take up much room so I can combine them with legumes.  Oh, and timing - autumn planted onions and garlic are lifted at about the time things like sweetcorn and pumpkins go out so you don't need to find space for both....It gets a little complex but you can plan that sort of thing whilst sat by the fire in winter!


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Rotation help please
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 04:37:17 pm »
The answer is to come up with a 5th class of veggie <g>... hesterf gives the clue with sweetcorn. I've also grown physallis though you need a good year for it to ripen well. then perhaps sunflowers for the seeds, pumpkins. chard, yacon, oca, quinoa....


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Rotation help please
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 07:57:41 pm »
We did envisage the fifth bed as being green manure and sunflowers and we did do that a couple of years. You can never have too many peas though  :)

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Rotation help please
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 11:46:55 pm »
Runner beans can be grown year after year in the same bed. No sure about French beans or peas but I would have thought they'd be the same.


  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Rotation help please
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 12:29:29 am »
Putting the legumes in a new bed each year sees the high nitrogen nodules that they develop on their roots stay in the old bed, giving a free low dose rate of nitrogen

Operating a five bed rotation I tended to use the following five bed system

 (1 ) Potatoes ,
(2) legumes ,
(3) brassica inc swede, turnip & kohl rabi  ,
(4) salad stuff & other crops that don't need manuring that year
(5)  finally in the fifth bed all your root crops such as parsnips carrots  as these need quality loam but with no trace of fresh or decaying manure in them lest they grow forked roots.

In later years I added separate beds for leeks , one for onions and a separate bed for garlic & brought these into the system .

The manuring then became one barrow of well rotted farm manure for each yard of a double dug trench row . Manuring like this is quite adequate , for such a style of manuring last for seven or more years.

The Rhubarb was moved every three years by splitting them in mid autumn . Finally I developed a deep asparagus bed with 20 male plants in it.

 Your biggest enemy is you forget what you have done so draw up/write down a simple plan and date it then file it in the gardening tasks folder .
 So you can refer to what you did last time round  to enable you to correctly rotate the manuring & cropping.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting


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