The Q&A Archives: How Much Distance Is Needed When Rotating Beds To Avoid Blights?

Question: I have three raised beds in my yard for vegetable/flower planting . For two years I had wonderful tomato crop yields from the larger of the three beds. Last year, the wet weather plus replanting in the same spot spelled disaster for the tomoatoes. I will plant the tomatoes this year in the smallest of the three beds , which has only had flowers grown in it for three years. However , it is only two feet away from the other beds which have had veggies (including the blighted tomatoes) in them.
Is this far enough away? They are separated by a sidewalk.
What else should I do to ensure a good crop? We need a new supply of salsa desperately!

Answer: For avoiding soil based problems, the distance you have is fine. Three years would be a minimum rotation time, with five years being even better. Maintaining healthy soil is also very important. Make sure to add organic matter on a regular basis and test your soil every few years to make sure things are in balance. Finally, clean up plant debris, especially if there have been problems, during the growing season and at the end of the season. Put diseased or insect ridden plant wastes in the trash, not the compost. Enjoy that salsa!

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