tomato crop rotation

deanriowa(4b)July 13, 2007

I know that farmers rotate their crops for example one year corn and then the next year soybeans, because each replaces nutrients that the other plants uses.

Is their something like this for tomatoes?

I would like to use the same ground I am using this year. I grow mainly Tomatoes and Peppers. If there is not a good rotation what can I do? I will have access to city compost, and I could get manure from a relatives farm(Cow manure).



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How big is your plot, and how much stuff do you grow?

What I do when I have enough space (as opposed to where I'm currently living, where I have about 15 sq ft in the back against a fence and about 40 sq feet along the south side of the house) was plant half the plot in a cover crop and the other half to vegetables and flowers, and rotate that every year. Depending on what you need to do to the soil, you would select an appropriate cover crop. Example, I needed to break up heavy clay soil and add organic matter, so I planted buckwheat for a cover crop. I could mow it, it would self seed, and I would get at least 3 crops in a growing season (four if I was reeeeeeeally lucky). If I timed it right I could still get rye in (for winter cover) before frost.

Check out ground covers, such as clovers, vetches, etc. It just depends on what you want to do.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 5:17PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I would like to use the same ground I am using this year.

That's fine. ;) Many of us do. If you have room and the inclination to move and rotate tomato plantings it's good. But many folks have neither and use the same garden space over and over each year.

Turning over the soil in the fall and amending the soil with lots of good compost each year really helps as does planting a fall cover crop to be tilled in in the spring. Any legume plant works well as a green manure crop.

There are many discussions here on using the same spot over and over as well as on crop rotation. The link below will take you to many of them to review for more info. Good luck. ;)


Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato crop rotation

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 5:34PM
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Amend. Amend. Amend.

That's it in a nutshell. Keep the soil healthy and you'll have no problems.
Dig in that compost and manure (after composting it).

Lots of us don't have the luxury of rotating. If you ain't
growing tomatoes there, you're wasting space is my opinion.

Commercial growers grow in the same plots every year, why can't we?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 1:35AM
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I'm growing tomatoes in the same place I did last year. It is an area with a trellis and I was not able to amend the soil well. So far, three out of twenty plants have died - they grew really well at first, but then wilted up like they are getting no water (when they are getting plenty) and just die. Several others are showing signs of the same things. Is this likely disease from last year in the soil? Anything I can do to hopefully not lose the whole crop? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:19AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Is this likely disease from last year in the soil? Anything I can do to hopefully not lose the whole crop? Thanks!

There is a long list of possible causes of what you describe and a disease is well down the list of possibilities. Odds heavily favor an environmental or growing conditions as the cause. For example you don't mention any feeding of the plants or any of the symptoms on the plants.

Far more information and details would be needed to even begin to ID the problem much less what to do about it. Photos of the plants would be ideal. And I'd suggest you start with a new post.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 9:43AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Dave, 36 pages of crop rotation in that link you put up.Impressive but I'm too darn lazy to go thru them and I know I've posted in several of them, so I'll just post to Dean here and he knows that I know he knows who Carolyn is. LOL

There's no need to rotate tomatoes unless there's a continual buildup in the soil of the spores and bacteria shed by plants that have had foliage diseases, which almost everyone does.

Dean gardens near SSE in IA and at SSE they don't rotate unless there is that kind of diease buildup.

Nothing wrong with improving the soil, but IMO the best thing to do if a person has limited space is to turn the soil over in the Fall, I don't mean a tiller, I mean a spade and turning it over deeply which buries those spores and bacteriaso they aren't available for splashback infection the next year.

Nutrients each year for the plants can be fertilizers, organic or not,personal choice. but if you start adding amendments to soil you've already turned over, not so good.

After I moved back home from teaching in Denver to initially the old family farm in upstateNY, I now had all the space I'd ever want, with a field near the house that was 250 ft X 90 ft, for the many hundreds of tomato varieties I used to grow plus rows of potatoes, melons,all different kinds of squash, broccoli, cauliflower, well you get the picture.

And a side garden about 50 X 50 feet where I grew the small stuff likecarrots and beets and beans, and greens, and lettuce and turnips,etc.

At the timemy father could no longer farm, so we let another farmer use our fields.

Charlie would plow deeply for me in the fall, plant a cover crop of winter rye, disc that in in the Spring, smooth everything out for me so I could start planting my tomatoes, etc.

For fourteen years Charlie did that for me, and I never rotated anything and had very few problems with diseases, mainly from spashback infection/

Summary? As long as the soil is turned over deeply each fall I can see no need to rotate tomatoes.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:50PM
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woodyswife(z5 OH)

We had some problems with blight in recent years and found that being more careful to rotate did seem to help. This year our main garden is getting a year of rest and we're planting in alternate areas--hoping that a year off for the main garden will be beneficial for next year.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 6:40AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Woodyswife, it depends on which disease(s) you refer to when you say blight b'c that word is used a lot to just indicate a sick tomato plant.

Most of the foliage disease ones caused by fungi and bacteria can exist in the soil, as shed from the plants, for many years,which is why I don't think just leaving an area for one year will help solve the problem/

Turning over the soil deeply to bury those spores and bacteria, as I posted above, can help.

Just my opinion (smile)


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:26AM
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