Rotating vegetable crops is a standard way of helping prevent disease
from being carried over from one year to the next. Rotation means that
crops are moved to different areas of the garden each year. Planting the
same crop, or a related crop, in the same area each year can lead to a
build-up of disease. Also, different crops vary in the depth and density
of the root system as well as extract different levels of nutrients. As
a rule, cool-season crops such as cabbage, peas, lettuce and onions have
relatively sparse, shallow root systems and warm-season crops such as
tomatoes, peppers and melons have deeper, better developed root systems.
Therefore, it can be helpful to rotate warm-season and cool-season crops.
As mentioned earlier, it is also a good idea to avoid planting closely
related crops in the same area as diseases may be shared among them. For
example, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant are closely related.
Also, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts share many
characteristics in common. Therefore, do not plant cabbage where
broccoli was the previous year or tomatoes where the peppers were.
So, why is this important to bring this up in the fall? Now is the time
to make a sketch of your garden so that the layout is not forgotten when
it is time to plant next year.
By: Ward Upham