FoodProduction101

Crop Rotation and Companion Planting Schedule

It is vital that you are rotating your crops in your zone 1 annual gardens. If your garden features the same plants in the same places year after year, pest pressures will build, soils will become depleted, and disease will run rampant. I rotate my annuals in such a way that the soil and plants benefit. For example, I follow my greedy feeders of nitrogen in the plots where I was growing nitrogen fixing peas and beans.

 

Crop rotation schedule

Potatoes                             

Legumes (Peas and Beans)                             

Brassicas (Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower) & N-Feeders                      

Salad and Root Veggies                

Legumes                             

N-Feeders (Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucurbits)   

Keyhole Garden (Potatoes, Brassicas, Onions, Leeks)

I have (6) zone 1 plots where I can rotate annuals. In this schedule after year 1, those plants in plot #1 go to plot #2, plot #2 goes to plot #3 and so on. Plot #6 plants go back to plot #1. I break up each of my plots equally in two blocks, so plants in plot #1 block A will move to Plot #2 block A the following year. I try to loosely follow this broad crop rotation schedule to avoid depleting minerals and nutrients, understanding that it is impossible to follow the rotation schedule exactly when you are grouping multiple plants together.

 

Companion Planting

There are certain plants that benefit each other by being planted in close proximity to one another. One simple rule of thumb that mostly works is if they cook well together, they usually grow well together like basil and tomatoes. There are others that you should keep apart. For the most part, I like to group multiple plants together for the mutual benefits, but also the pest confusion. For example, a healthy dose of onions and leeks around my potato patch helped me to avoid the dreaded potato beetle.

 

Plot #1                 

Block A: Brassicas, Potatoes, Onions, Leeks                                                                                                            

Block B: Brassicas, Sweet Potatoes, Onions, Leeks                                                                                           

 

Plot #2                                                  

Block A: Beans, Spinach, Eggplant, Lettuce                                                                                           

Block B: Watermelon, Corn, Radish, Beans (Modified 3 Sisters, radish early season)   

                                                                                                                             

Plot #3                                                                 

Block A: Eggplant, Beans, Peppers, Nasturtium                             

Block B: Squash, Corn, Beans, Radish, Watermelon (3 Sisters, radish early)

 

Plot #4                                                                                 

Block A: Lettuce, Radish, Beans, Carrots, Geraniums                                                       

Block B:  Cucumbers, Radish, Nasturtium, Peas, Squash, lettuce

 

Plot #5                 

Block A: Spinach, Peas, Beans                                                                     

Block B: Corn, Cucumbers, Beans, Squash, Soybeans, Sunflowers (Modified 3 Sisters)

 

Plot #6                                                                                                  

Block A: Peppers, Tomatoes, Geraniums, Basil, Marigolds

Block B: Tomatoes, Carrots, Basil, Onions, Marigolds                  

Modified three sisters using short blue corn, watermelon, and bush beans. The watermelon needs more sun than squash so the short corn is a nice complement, and the bush beans work well as the short blue corn does not provide as steady of a trellis.

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