Cycling

imgodsgrlAugust 13, 2008

One more question - how important is it to "cycle" the items in my beds. You know move the corn from bed a to bed b to bed c each year? I'd like it better (for purely selfish reasons) to just leave everything like I put it the first year.

Any thoughts...

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anniesgranny(6b)

I like to cycle mine yearly, and I find it quite easy using a numbered bed system. Not happening this year, due to the unfortunate maple tree crash, but normally I would try to plant nitrogen producing veggies (peas, beans) in even numbered beds one year, then in odd numbered beds the next. In other words, I basically keep the same planting guide, but move everything over one bed each year. Of course there are always some things that are perennial, so I try to confine all of those to their own bed(s). By doing this, you have less likelihood of diseases in the crops. If I'm growing in pots, I just dump the soil into the compost bin and start with fresh soil. My tomatoes have to go in the same garden each year, so I just try to move them from one side to the next on alternate years, and add lots of new compost before planting. seems to work.

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 2:54PM
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carolynp(z7)

I think it would be easier to leave them, also. Because tomatoes take so much out of the soil, I'm sure I need to move them. This year, I'm thinking that I will just plant a fall crop of beans and peas in every bed. Hopefully, that will replinish the soil, in addition to the extra compost.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 3:52PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

It is very dangerous to plant the same things in the same soil every year. Disease can linger and you will lose crops after a while as it gets worse. Further, if pests don't have to look to find the new spot, they will lay their eggs in the soil and become a major infestation. Not to mention the drain on the soil of the same nutrients year in and year out. Crop rotation has been the hallmark of farming for centuries because it works.

No doubt keeping things were they were would be easier. My corn bed is perfect for my corn. Moving it to another bed will mean less corn and a farther walk to my salad veggies. It also messes up the trellis system I made this year. But as corn is a very heavy nitrogen feeder, I couldn't replace it effectivey every year without heavy fertilization. I prefer to use a bit of compost like Mel suggests. I just hope every other year is ok, since it REALLY wouldn't work in the middle beds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:05PM
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imgodsgrl

Shoot, I kind of think I knew that it was going to be more important than my convenience was...it's the trellis that is going to mess me up. I am planning to have beds like this....

4x4 bed 4x4 bed

4x4 bed 4x4 bed
16x2ft bed with trellis

I was going to do tomatos, cucs, peppers, and beans in the long bed. Anyway, I'll think about how to make it work out...and I might have to change the garden look...darn, I liked this one alot.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:34PM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

the same reason farmers rotate crops - as already mentioned, some crops shamelessly take nutrients out the soils and some actually put nutrients back into it

1st interesting story for further curiosity: george washington carver - he's the 19th century black scientist in alabama who thunk up a million and one uses for the peanut - he did all this because their crops, particularly cotton, were leaving the soils lifeless, and legumes such as peanuts put all those nutrients back in - if they were going to grow gobs of peanuts, they needed to make a cash crop of it

2nd interesting tidbit: Old Testament laws - Hebrews were required to allow the fields to lie fallow the 7th year for this same reason

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:44PM
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