The Q&A Archives: Planting In The Same Spot

Question: Help!!! I'm a new gardener and I have a VERY small garden area that get's sun... Last year I planted tomatoes in my two little spots and now I have no where else to put this year's tomatoes!!! I've been told that you can't put the same thing on the same spot two years in a row! Help!!! I really want tomatoes this year but now what am I going to do? I tried "container" tomatoes but it didn't seem to do too well for me... now what?

Answer: We always recommend that you rotate garden crops each year and be careful not to plant members of the same family in the same spot year after year, to help avoid disease problems. If you removed the plants and all the plant debris at the end of the season, and if your plants were disease free last year, you can probably tempt fate and plant tomatoes in the same spot again. Be very careful to remove the spent plants at the end of the season so no insect eggs or disease pathogens remain to infect next year's crop. The only other concern with planting the same thing in the same spot year after year is that eventually you'll deplete the soil. You can avoid soil depletion by adding organic matter to your garden during the "off" season. Spread compost, peat moss, leaf mold, or aged manure over your garden in the fall (helps suppress weeds!) and then mix it into the soil in the spring before you plant. With a little extra attention, you should be able your garden plot so you can continue to growyour favorite vegetables.

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