The Q&A Archives: Soil

Question: I want to plant more tomato plants where I had some last year. A friend of mine said you can't plant tomatoes in the same place year after year. Is that true?

Answer: Your friend gave you good advice. We always recommend that you rotate the crops in the garden and not plant members of the same family in the same garden plots year after year. First of all, some plants can deplete the soil of necessary nutrients if planted in the same spot over and over. Secondly, insect pests and diseases can remain in the soil over the winter and get a jump-start on your newly planted veggies in the spring. So, to be on the safe side, always plant crops in different areas each year (athree-year cycle is usually enough). If your space is limited, try container gardening every other year. Homemade compost also keeps soil organisms in balance, so be sure to add some to your garden every year to minimize disease and pest problems.

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