Fall crops and crop rotations

I planted rutabaga seeds today for a fall crop. I completely blanked on what else I can plant as a fall crop. So I went to the internet. The following is some of the info I found. Also, as I’m planting the fall crop, I’m planting them according to a simple crop rotation to keep my soil and garden healthy. I’ve included sample crop rotations that I’ve found.

Fall Crops

HumeSeeds.com has some good info on fall crops and when to plant. According to them, now (mid-July) is the time to plant beets, carrots, rutabagas, onions, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, fava beans, cabbages, and cauliflowers. They also have a list of crops to plant in August and mid-September.

RareSeeds.com has fall crop suggestions on their home page. Makes it easy for shopping. Just bought some squashes, garlic, spinach, and arugula for my fall crops.:)

Mother Earth News has a great article about planting and growing fall crops. According to them you should start your fall crops indoors (oops!) just like you did with the spring crops to give them not as hot conditions for germination. They also say to provide some shade to protect the young seedlings from the hot sun when they’re in the garden.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is planting families of plants in sequence (each year or season) in the same space to help improve the soil and keep pests and diseases at bay. The crop rotation I’m following is pretty basic: roots->fruits->leaf->legume. But I’ve been reading about more complicated rotation schedules that I might want to try in the future.

Mother Earth News has a great article about crop rotation. One take away from it is the Eliot Coleman rotation:

tomato family->peas->cabbages->sweet corns->potatoes->squashes->root crops->beans.

It makes sense to increase the time between crop families in a rotation, I just don’t have the space right now to implement this.

Using both these ideas, I planted (or will plant):

  • rutabaga where the European Mesclun Mix was
  • beets where the spinach was
  • arugula where the sweet peppers were
  • garlic where the peanuts were
  • onions where the borage is
  • spinach where the carrots were
  • carrots where the mustard was
  • cover crop everywhere else

I love the idea of multiple seasons a year to grow crops.

-Lorelei

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