vegetable garden crop rotation

Asked February 4, 2019, 7:09 PM EST

hello. i have 2 raised beds and want to start following a vegetable crop rotation. the categories i am using are roots / shoots / leafy (including brassicas) /fruits. The question i have is a don't grow the same amount of each of these categories. i grow just a couple of shoots, a small amount of roots, and a ton of fruits. So i don't want to give the shoots a huge section this year, but when i eventually want to have fruits there, i don't know how they will fit. I assume other gardeners also have favorites when it comes to crops, is there a solve? or are some sections just fuller then others? also..where does corn fit in to this? thank you!

Multnomah County Oregon fruits and vegetables

1 Response

By rotating vegetable types in your garden you avoid a buildup of diseases for that vegetable. Your categories actually help achieve that end. The categories actually end up many grouping vegetable families. Rotate vegetables every 2-4 years so the pathogens gradually die out without their preferred host.

In a garden with limited space, rotating crops can be a challenge. Since you want to have enough space for fruits, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc. You can reserve one raised bed just for these plants. Use the other raised bed for them next year. You can also plant this bed now with lettuces and/or peas before it's warm enough for the tomatoes. Later, when you set out your tomatoes, the bed can be interplanted with root vegetables like carrots that grow well between the tomato plants. In the other raised bed this year you can grow lettuces, peas/beans, onions etc. Evaluate the amount of space each plant takes up - broccoli and cabbage take up alot of space. I like to plant vegetables that are extra special fresh - like peas and vine-ripened tomatoes. Other vegetables that take up alot of space, and store better I buy from other sources. You'll find your family will like some vegetables better than others, and some varieties more than others. Exploring these preferences is part of the fun of vegetable gardening. Corn takes up alot of space, but is a real treat freshly harvested.

This is an excellent resource on growing vegetables in our unique area with its unique climate, Vegetable Gardening in Oregon https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec871.pdf