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All views expressed are the opinions of the author and are not necessarily those of the Society

  January 28th, 2019
Lichfield & District Allotments Society

High Peak

Crop Rotation

I was reading an interesting article the other week regarding crop rotation (sad or what) and questioning the general view that a very strict and structured rotation is necessary to minimise soil- borne pests and diseases. The argument went that many allotmenteers on small plots got into a spin when trying to plan the basic four year cycle advocated by the books.

Whilst grouping related vegetables together and moving the groups around is good practice, on many small plots these rotations come around too quickly. If this rotation is not practical on your plot, try at least to leave two years before repeating crops from the same group, another approach and this was the interesting bit, if you don't have the space you could always repeat the same crops in that space until you have a problem, this would then limit the spread of the disease such as onion white rot.

It seems to me that a benefit of this approach is that you can then make the soil perfect for that particular crop, this would often take more than one season anyway. For instance "Robinsons" the mammoth onion people state that they have been growing their large onions on the same ground for 140 years albeit with a strict health routine. For myself, I think I will continue to rotate crops as much as possible, but when I find that I have to overlap or repeat a group in the same ground I will not worry unduly about it.

Pat Bardon

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