Crop Rotation on Small Garden - Knowledgebase Question

Stamford, CT
Avatar for siciliano
Question by siciliano
November 26, 1997
I have a small plot of land 9 feet by 20 feet for a garden. I know crop rotation is the best but I only grow tomatoes and eggplant. What can be done to the soil to insure an abundant flavorful crop.

Answer from NGA
November 26, 1997
Both tomatoes and eggplant are members of the same family and, if grown in the same garden space year after year, can deplete the soil of nutrients. Diseases can overwinter in the soil and infect the plants, as well. Have you considered growing plants incontainers on deck or patio? Or interplanting your vegetables with flowers in other garden beds? How about alternating crops? For instance, grow vegetables in the plot one year and flowers the next. Do you have a friend who likes to garden? Consider trading crops, and swapping veggies. There are probably other strategies - but these most readily come to mind.
If you do plant only these two crops, be sure to clean up all garden debris at the end of the season. Add lots of organic matter--compost, well-rotted manure, etc.--every year, and mulch plants well to help reduce infection from diseases spread by soil splashing. Also, consider periodically testing the soil to check nutrient availability.

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