Do I need to rotate crops in my home veggie garden? If yes, which crops and how often?
Crop rotation involves changing the planting location of vegetables each season in order to reduce damage from insect pests, limit disease development, and manage soil fertility.
Plan your rotation based on plant families. For example, the carrot family includes carrots, celery parsley and parsnips; the curcubit family includes squash, cucumbers, and melons; the brassicas include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, radishes, turnips; and the nightshade family, which includes eggplant, tomato, pepper, and potato.
Another way to think about this is to do the four step system.
Group 1: Plants grown for leaves of flowers – salad greens, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts
Group 2: Plants grown for fruits – Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, corn cucumber, potatoes
Group 3: Plants grown for roots – carrots, beets, radish, onions, turnips
Group 4: Plants that feed the soil – beans, peas, cover crops