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Do My Own Gardening - How to Rotate a Vegetable Garden

By DoMyOwn staff

It's time to get our garden back up and growing! In this episode, we focus on rotating a vegetable gardening and building a new raised garden bed.

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Video Transcript

Anyone remember how we use to have a big beautiful garden growing right here?

Well, not so much anymore. Matter of fact, we kind of let it go and it looked something like this...

So today we're going to start the process of bringing the garden back. But, we have a bit of work to do first.

So yeah, we built another box for good reason, and I"ll get into that. But first, lets, go, lets go over a few things.

So just like before over on that box, we bought three, two by twelves in eight foot long sections, and we cut one of those up into four foot long sections to make up our sides here. And just like before, we took our landscaping fabric, stapled it to the bottom, then flipped the bed over, and moved it into place.

And again huge high five to my co-worker again for helping me out this year. Just, just pretend like he was there.

Ok, so, why two garden boxes? It's because we want to practice crop rotation. And what is crop rotation? Let's get into that.

It's actually pretty easy. All you're doing is you're simply taking your crops that you grew in one area or box and moving it to another. So for example, in the new box that we just built today, that's where we're going to be planting our tomatoes, and in the old box, where the tomatoes use to be, we are going to take a stab at planting some zuchini, hence the trelis system, there, right there!

And then the next year, we'll just switch it back and grow tomatoes in the first box that we built, and that's really crop rotation in a nutshell. The two biggest benefits to crop rotation is it helps keep the soil healthy and fertile. So if we keep planting the same thing in the same place, year after year, we're really going to drain the nutrients in the soil those plants need to thrive and give us the big harvest. It's all about balancing the nutrients within the soil.

The other thing that it's going to do is really reduce the risk of any kind of soil borne diseases that we might have or any kind of soil dwelling insects from popping up in our garden. Both disease and insects prefer certain kind of plants. The longer the plants stay in the same soil, the higher likely hood that those diseases and pests are going to creep into your beautiful garden you've worked so hard to get.

And there are a variety of physically different ways that you can go about rotating your crops, I suggest just using whatever method works best for you, and the area your gardens in, or your boxes, whatever kind of situation you've got, just use the method that works best for you.

One way to plan out your crop rotation is to base it off of plant families instead of nutrient needs. This is a great way to reduce any kind of disease and pest problems that might pop up. And we might make a video on that in the future, how to plan out plant groups, let us know! Sound off in the comments section below.

Another thing to consider when doing crop rotation, let's say you've got four boxes like what we've got back here. You can leave one of them fallow. And basically that's a fancy way of saying, just leave one box empty for a season, just with soil in it, so that that soil can rest and refuel.

And another option that you have on your plate, you can plant a cover crop to help fertility and improve drainage, and we, we probably should have done that here, but we didn't.

Alfalfa, rye, or clover, those are all great options if you want to go the cover crop route.

We still got a bit of work we got to do in this bed right here. Clean it up a little bit better and get it ready for planting. We got to get a soil mix planned and ready for this box right here, we got to get our seeds started inside. Yes! You heard me right, we're going to start seeds inside and then transplant them outside.

But, those are other videos for another time. If you have any questions on anything I touched on in this video, as always drop those in the comments section below, email our customer service staff, or pick up the phone and give us a call.

Also, if you're not already, subscribe to the channel by clicking this button, you can click this playlist to see all the videos in the Do My Own Gardening series, and click this playlist to see all the videos in the Do My Own Lawn Care series. And as always, thanks for watching!