Diary Facts


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Article by David Marks.

Raised beds and containers can support more dense planting of vegetables compared to the open ground because the soil is perfect and feeding and watering is easier. Crop rotation is easier too because if tomatoes and potatoes are grown in containers the compost can be disposed of at the end of the year avoiding a major source of contamination.

This website is aimed at the amateur gardener who wants to grow crops in raised beds, containers and grow bags. It assumes you have two 1m (3 ft) square raised beds, three grow bags and two large containers forĀ  potatoes. If your equipment is larger simply increase the quantity of veg planted / sown

If you grow some types of vegetables (not all) in the same soil year after year, disease will inevitably build up in the soil and the vegetables will quickly become diseased. The prime vegetables which can cause disease build up in soil are the brassicas, potatoes and tomatoes. Other vegetables can be grown in the same soil for two or three years before disease will build up and others can be grown in the same site almost ad infinitum.

Crop rotation is a system whereby vegetables are never grown in the same soil for two three or sometimes four years. for example, if you have three raised beds, grow brassicas in bed one in year one, bed two in year two and in bed three in year three. In year four the system repeats itself with brassicas in bed one in year four and so on.

Note that crop rotation is only required for raised beds not containers or grow bags. The reason is that the soil for containers and grow bags should be replaced annually when growing annual vegetables.

For our purposes we can divide vegetables into four groups:

Brassicas (e.g. cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower etc.)

Tomatoes and potatoes

Other affected veg (e.g. carrots, onions, garlic etc)

Vegetables which can be grown anywhere (e.g. radish, lettuce etc.)

With the equipment list we have given at the beginning of this article we will grow tomatoes in grow bags and potatoes in potato bags so these do not require crop rotation.

Vegetables which can be grown anywhere do not necessarily affect our crop rotation plan

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