Rule one of successful sustainable farming: ROTATE YOUR CROPS EVERY SEASON!
Why rotate your crops?
- Because you are smarter than the bugs! If you change the menu every season, last year’s bugs will always starve this year while your new crops grow.
- Because different plants need different nutrients. If you grow the same crops every year, you will exhaust your soil.
So rotate your crops every planting season. This means, every season, choose a crop from different family than the crop you planted this season. Never plant from the same family in the same field one season to the next. Ideally, leave three seasons between crops from the same family in the same field. You may download this chart for your personal reference at the bottom of the page.
Families of Common Crops for Rotation
Grass family (Gramineae):Rice, corn, sugar cane, oats, wheat, and other cereal crops.
Cabbage family (Cruciferae):Bok choy, Chinese cabbage and other Asian greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, turnip.
Legume family (Leguminosae):All beans, pulses and peas (long bean, mung bean), peanuts
Cover crops such as kudzo, Brazil nut, alfalfa, clovers, and vetch.
Perennials legume shrubs – rensonii, flemingia.
Trees- kha farang, phak krathin, flame tree.
Allium family (Alliaceae):Garlic, leeks, onion, shallots
Daisy family (Compositae):Chamomile, chicory, dandelion, endive, globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, lettuce, salsify, sunflowers
Carrot or Parsley family (Umbelliferae):Carrots, celery, celeriac, coriander, caraway, dill, fennel, parsley, parsnips
Beet family (Chenopodiaceae):Beet, spinach, Swiss chard, lamb’s quarters
Gourd family (Cucurbitaceae):Cantaloupe, cucumber, gourd, calabash, honeydew, luffa, pumpkin, squash, watermelon
Potato family (Solanaceae):Potatoes, Tomatoes, Aubergines, Peppers
Got pests plaguing your garden?
Learn how to avoid the need of harmful chemical pesticides with our Companion Planting guide.
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