How to Rotate your Beds

B from the blog Epona Report asked a great question about how to rotate through your crops.

Do you do a crop of fall veggies? Or do you just let everything go fallow over winter?

I live in Florida, zone 8b, and I feel it just gets too hot too quickly for some of my favorite veggies during the spring.

My plan is to plant my brassicas, peas and other cool-weather crops in the fall, but I’m nervous about turning around and replanting the same areas for my spring/summer veggies.

I’d love to hear if you have any advice for me. 

I do both. I don’t have every square inch planted at every moment. This not only allows the soil to rest, but it also allows any compost you add to continue to break down and become less hot, which is important when adding chicken manure like we do.

I also live in Zone 8 so I can understand it getting hot so early. Fortunately for you, it means you can actually plant Spring Veggies in the Winter. You can determine the timing if you use my guide on scheduling plantings.

But with super long seasons there is definitely an overlap, which makes it impossibly to use every square inch of ground if you want seasonal plantings. So what I do is plant my spring crops in half of my beds and then when it warms up plant the rest of the beds with summer crops. When the spring crops are done allow the ground to be fallow until it’s time to put the fall crops in. When the summer crops are done allow that ground to remain fallow until it’s time for the spring crops to go in. The cycle for one bed would then be:

Spring —> Fall —> Summer —> Spring

This also ensures that you will have a proper crop rotation as well. Good luck and happy planting!

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