Garden planning – crop rotation

ASimpleHomestead.com - pea snitcher

As I mentioned in parts 1 and 2, I’ve had my little garden planning system in place for a few years now. But there’s always room for improvement. For example, I haven’t really spent time looking at companion planting. I tried once or twice, but it’s tough in a small space so I haven’t worried to much about it.

I also knew that I needed to be concerned about crop rotation. Especially for nightshade plants like tomatoes and potatoes – to reduce the risk of blight. But my rotation scheme has been rather willy-nilly. This year I found a great infographic that shows the best way to rotate your crops. It’s available over at Back to Basics (update: unfortunately this link no longer works.  Sorry!). Four types to rotate: so simple!

 

ASimpleHomestead.com - garden planning with crop rotation

 

In my little garden planning map, I added colors this year to indicate which of the four groups apply to the plants we like to grow. That way I can make sure that I’m grouping like-crops together and it will make it easier to rotate each section.

This isn’t going to be a perfect plan this year – unless I can get that third (or fourth) garden bed set up. Last year we had the equivalent of a full bed dedicated to peas and beans, because we love them so much (see our sneaky pea-snitcher?!)

 

ASimpleHomestead.com - pea snitcher

 

That means some sections will be re-planted with the same types of plants as last year. Also, I know I’m going to struggle trying to fill an entire 1/4 of our beds with greens – I just don’t have much luck with lettuce and spinach. I’m going to try though and have an idea to perhaps put a sun shade to reduce bolting. We’ll see.

Right now this is all semantics. I’m way behind in my own garden planning. I haven’t started any seeds yet and probably won’t for at least a week given this is Easter weekend and we’ll be busy. But also because this arrived overnight:

 

ASimpleHomestead.com - March snow storm

 

The NWS (National Weather Service) couldn’t decide how much snow we’d actually get – estimates said it could have been up to 18+”. I don’t think we got half that overnight … although it’s still snowing. Good thing we didn’t get more than a foot because Silly Papa took the plow blade off the tractor already!! He debated if it should put it back on but after today, the next several days it will be 10+° above freezing so we’ll have several days of slush facing us.

Anyone else facing snow – or are you ready and preparing for spring?

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