Thursday, 16 April 2009

Do you rotate?

Brief conversation with Bill the next door tenant about crop rotation earlier this week.

My question: "What do you think about crop rotation Bill? You always have your runner beans in the same place."

His answer: "I've grown runner beans in the same place on this allotment for 41 years. And on that allotment over there I've grown 'em in the same place for 25 years. And they've always done well. I just add a bit of manure, bit of compost, in the ground every year. I don't need to move 'em."

Follow-up question: "What about your other veg? do you move them?"

His answer: "Not really. Grow the onions pretty well the same place. I've had to move some of the potatoes this year. Otherwise everything grows where it's put. Just feed the soil and it grows."

He grows the most beautiful vegetables; wonderful crop of pumpkins and squashes, always plentiful greens, leeks, tomatoes, lettuces - everything he grows, grows well.

So what do you think? Do you rotate? Is it necessary on a small plot?


VP said...

My allotment next door neighbour's the same. Everything's always on the same spot and always crops well, including potatoes.

I know that if I did the same I'd get every single pest and disease known to man and more!

There just seems to be some people (or plots!) where the rules don't apply.

Scattered Gardener said...

It's not fair is it?

The other thing, especially about the beans in the same place all the time, is that they are supposed to add nitrogen to the soil and feed the greens that should follow them on. I spose it's likely that he follows his broad and french beans with greens, maybe there is some rotation over the season, just that the runners are always in the same patch.

Veshengro said...

I've had beans in the same spot for two years once but that was leaving them grow from the roots and they did well. As well in fact as those on another plot.

Otherwise I am for rotation. The Old Farmer's Almanac certainly is.