Crop Rotation Guide

Crop Rotation Guide fb

I’ve been studying crop rotation ideas in various gardening books and have found that everyone has a different opinion about how to do this.

At first, I was frustrated and overwhelmed at all of the options to choose from. However, I finally chose some ideas from a few of my favorite gardening book and put it all together and I think this crop rotation guide is clear to understand and very helpful….at the very least, helpful for me. 🙂


Here is my crop rotation guide.

I will divide my garden into four main parts (aside from two smaller areas for my perennials like asparagus and rhubarb) and then move the four parts clockwise to the next section in the following year. For example, after the first year, Group 1 will be moved to the area of the garden where Group 2 had been, Group 2 will move to Group 3’s old location, etc. I hope this makes sense! Add a question to the comment section if you are confused…

Group 1: Brassicas and Tomatoes

**These are heavy feeders. Plant them together because the tomatoes’ scent keeps brassica pests at bay. Put lime in the beds in the winter and prepare with a good compost or well-rotted manure. Feed with nitrogen-rich fertilizer in the summer.


Group 2: Legumes, annual herbs and flowers

**These are happy plants. Only add compost if your soil is poor. Peas and beans collect nitrogen and store it in their roots, so this nitrogen will be available for Group 1 in the following year. Plant herbs and/or flowers between your peas and beans, however, because they do not help each other very well.
  • Broad/Fava beans
  • French/String beans
  • Lettuces
  • Runner/Flat pole beans
  • Peas

Group 4: Root Vegetables

**Most of these plants do not like a freshly manured ground, so grow them in the next
year in the Group 1 section. Only add compost
if your soil is extremely poor and do this right before planting or sowing. Celeriac and Leeks are the exception: they enjoy a bit of additional fertilizer.
  • Beets                               
  • Onions
  • Carrots                            
  • Parsnips
  • Celeriac                          
  • Rutabagas
  • Chard                             
  • Lettuces
  • Garlic
  • Leeks

Group 3: Potatoes and the Cucumber Family

**These plants are heavy feeders, but unlike Group 1, this group needs a more balanced food intake. Four weeks before planting, work in compost or well-rotted manure. If any plants look needy in the summer, feed them with fish emulsion. These plants appreciate rows of annual herbs or flowers planted in between the rows to attract pollinating insects.


So there you have it, my Crop Rotation Guide. If you are looking for some of these products, look no farther, here are some suggestions for purchase:


What do YOU intend on growing this year?? Please leave a comment below! I love talking about gardens! 


Crop Rotation Guide


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Comments (32)

[…] every year to avoid disease and to benefit other crops from the nutrients they leave behind. Check out my Crop Rotation Guide for more information.   **The ideal soil for peas is a light and sandy loam that warms up […]

[…] have many options for where to grow this plant. For ideas on where to plant this crop, check out my Crop Rotation Guide for some suggestions.   **You do not need a lot of space for a celery crop. An 8-foot row will […]

[…] you start planting, however, you might want to make sure your garden is ready. Check out my Crop Rotation Guide to make sure your garden is organized properly. Then make sure you own some good fertilizer (like […]

[…] keep the plants as healthy as possible with plenty of water and fertile soil. Also, always use crop rotation as defense against […]

Hi, I enjoyed reading your articles, very interesting and informative. I have just began to try my hand at growing some vegies in a small garden patch in my backyard. I’m having some progress although it is slow going for a couple of them. I wish I had read your advise on carrots before I began. lol! I now know that I should have researched before I started instead of depending on my memory from childhood, when I’d help my parents with their “small seed” garden. They grew a wide variety of vegetables back in the day. Now my Dad just grows potatoes in a small garden close to their house . Even though I had a few short conversations with my Dad looking for tips, he couldn’t quite remember all the info I needed to begin, just some thoughts on thinning and soil. But as my partner says, “don’t get discouraged and inpatient…live and learn.” Mom just told me to stop looking at it everyday. But I can’t, every time I go out my back door, there it is, and there I am with my fingers in the dirt. But I do love it. Thanks again! “Grow on!!”

Thanks for visiting and commenting! Gardening is so awesome!

I have planted swiss chard, kale, collards, green beans, yellow squash, okra, hot peppers, 2 types of lettuce and tomatoes.

[…] a healthy garlic harvest, practice careful crop rotation. Check out my crop rotation guide for more info on where to place garlic in your […]

[…] a spot where broccoli has not grown for a few years. (See my Crop Rotation Guide for […]

[…] well-drained spot where other cabbage-family vegetables have not grown recently. Check out my Crop Rotation Guide for suggestions and further […]

[…] Crop Rotation: Another way to keep your garden soil healthy and happy is with crop rotation. Various fruits and vegetables fall in different plant families. Each plant family is susceptible to certain pests and bacteria. If you keep planting your cucumbers in the same spot every year, that soil can become stressed, weak, and very poor. Careful crop rotation is actually beneficial to your garden because some plant families gets boosts from the stuff that other plant families leave behind. Click here to learn more about how to do proper crop rotation. […]

I’m a bit confused by the comment in the Legume rotation:

“Plant herbs and/or flowers between your peas and beans, however, because they do not help each other very well.”

Peas and Beans can compete a bit with each other (for the attention of bees, etc.). You can still plant them near each other, but you should add a barrier to keep things healthy. Hope that helps!

[…]  **Diseases are best controlled by crop rotation. Click here to learn more about crop rotation. […]

[…] want a spot that has not been limed heavily or recently. Plan your potatoes properly by studying a Crop Rotation Guide […]

[…] **Choose a very sunny spot where plants in the tomato family have not grown recently. Click here to read my post about crop rotation. […]

[…] rotational gardening. You should let a garden bed rest from that family of plants for 4 years. Check out this article to see what I […]

Hi, I found this on Pinterest and was wondering, there are so many ways to do crop rotation on the Internet. Some seem to plant all the same family of plants together where this method mixes them up a bit. Would you say that because the tomatoes are planted with the brassicas or the cukes with the potatoes/peppers helps with deterring of bugs or is it for nutritional benefit of the plants that you mix it up? Is this better than planting the same category together and supplementing their nutrition either via compost or crop rotation as in other rotation theories. I’m new to this and hoping to determine which method to use for my own garden.


I combed over tons and tons of crop rotation guides and info and carefully came up with this system. I made sure to include companion planting and nutrition when I came up with this plan.

We operate a small, grassroots charity in the highlands of Guatemala. We focus on nutrition and organic garden. I am going to try your crop rotation guide in Guatemala and at my home garden in Canada. Bon apetite

Wonderful! I hope it goes well for you. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Thank you! I recently moved and designed my raised beds around the idea of using your method. I loo forward to applying your methods and seeing what works.

[…] your own compost here) in the garden beds and plant cover crops in them. In the spring, use proper crop rotation guide strategies in your garden and then turn the cover crops into the […]

I have a vegetable garden for 24 years by now and always paid attention to companion vegetables (that like each other)and flowers but all plans for rotation in the books were very complicated…. I only changed places every year.
So I find your plan very simple and interesting. will try to follow it next season!!
thank you

Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed my information. 🙂 Hope your garden goes well!

[…] Plan out your garden. I remind myself about proper Crop Rotation and I try to make sure that all of my new seeds will have the best location as possible in my […]

Thanks for the great information!
Can you make a recommendation about which cover crops to use in each of the four areas of your crop rotation guide?

Also, I grow my cucumbers up a lattice attached to my house. So I cannot move them each year. Do you have any suggestions on how I could use crop rotation without actually moving the cucumbers? (I do have some room to plant other things in front of the cucumbers.)

I’ve been using nitrogen-heavy cover crops (like legumes) in the 2 blocks that could use a good nitrogen boost (#1 and #3), and the grass cover crops (winter rye, etc.) in the other 2 blocks. I also use a trellis for my cucumbers. I switch their place with my peas to keep things rotated. Since peas are an earlier crop than cucumbers, you might be able to make this work! Also, try different varieties of cucumbers from time to time to keep the bugs guessing OR plant cucumbers for 2 years, then take a year off (otherwise, bad bugs that like cucumbers might nest nearby and decimate your crops, if you take a year off, they leave!).

Hope that info helps!

Charlene from Tennessee

I just want to say thank you for sharing because if I didn’t have people like you, I would be in the dark on this stuff. I noticed that I had no problems with bad eaters on my plants until I brought in a huge load of mushroom compost from the nearby co-op. Never again. Now I do need to change up my plants all the time, it seems, so this is very helpful as I incorporate what you’ve learned into what I’m doing. I don’t want to give you more to read, but I want to most of all express my gratefulness for your help!

Aww…thank you so much for the wonderfully kind comment! 🙂

Isiaka Adio Abibu

I’m just a beginner.
I like to plant apples, Peas, kale,pistachios,almond and things like that.
Please,what do you advise?

Hi, well, apples and almonds are trees, they will be planted once permanently. I have not written on either of these, or on pistachios, so I don’t have much advice besides the basics: get varieties that do well in your climate, give them a place with good sun, good soil/drainage, and good air circulation, and keep them pest free as naturally as possible. Hope that helps! My crop rotation guide should help you with the kale and peas! 🙂

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