The Q&A Archives: Crop Rotation, Broccoli

Question: I plan on following your suggestion of 3-year alternating crop rotation (root, leaf, fruit). I am, however, not sure where broccoli and cauliflower fit into the rotation. Also, I have a small asparagus plot. Do I need to transplant my asparagus on a regular basis? Thank you for your great catalog and gardening hints.

Answer: Asparagus should be left in place for as long as the patch produces well, sometimes as long as 20 years! Strawberries and the cane fruits such as raspberries are also usually left in place for a number of years. Broccoli and cauliflower along with other cole crops such as cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts should not be grown in the same location for at least three years. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes form another such group. Yet another major group are the cucurbits, including melons, cucumbers and squashes. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard and lettuce make up another group, as do carrots, parsnips and beets. Legumes such as peas and beans would be yet another group to rotate. By keeping track of what you have grown where you should be able to meet or exceed that three year goal with ease assuming you grow a good variety of vegetables. Another way to think of it if you plant the same veggies year after year and like rules of thumb, is just try to
put root crops in a place where you had leafy crops, leafy
crops where you had above-ground crops, and
above-ground crops where you had root crops.

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