The Importance of Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is a garden planting technique traditionally used by farmers to help maintain prime growing soil by planting fruits and vegetables in a different area of their garden every year. Not only does this technique protect the soil and keep it in a workable condition, it also provides numerous benefits to your harvest.

Here are a few reasons why you should practice crop rotation in your own garden - no matter what you're growing.

Pest Control

It's not uncommon to find insects and rodents feeding on fruits and vegetables throughout the harvest seasons, threatening the health and appearance of your garden. However, practicing crop rotation every year can help prevent pests like slugs and chinch bugs from making their homes near your harvest. When pests can rely on their favorite meals to sprout in the same location every year, their population grows - which can put a halt to your plant's growth over time. Crop rotation also helps cut down on the use of pesticides that can dry out the soil and your vegetables, plus keeps the soil rich with nutrients.

Soil Fertilization

Some fruits and vegetables can deplete the soil of valuable nutrients as they grow. Vegetables like corn and tomatoes heavily feed off of the soil's phosphate and nitrogen, which in turn makes it difficult for them to grow in the same plot the following season.  Lighter feeding crops like peas and other beans put nitrogen back into the land, renewing the soil. Moving your plants around keeps your entire garden balanced and fertilized year after year.

Crop Rotating Tips

It's best to rest your plots once a year for 3 to 6 months to replenish the soil for your new crops. When creating a crop rotation plan, it helps to keep detailed records on where different plants are plotted each season. It's important to rotate your crops by plant family to prevent fungus and other plant disease from infesting your fruits and vegetables.