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crop rotation without brassicas?


 
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mrsbongo
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: crop rotation without brassicas? Reply with quote

Hi All

I understand the importance of crop rotation but what if I don't plant one of the types? Neither my husband or I eat cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts etc...can't stand any of them so obviously don't grow what we're not going to eat.

What can I grow in the brassicas bed to continue good rotation without leaving a bare bed? I was thinking of a green mulch as soil is still relatively poor although much better than when I started 2 years ago.

Any suggestions? I don't want to grow veg and give it away as most neighbours are growing their own as well.

Many thanks in advance
Moira
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:51 pm    Post subject: crop rotation Reply with quote

There is a basic rule you rarely see written down about crop rotation. As soon as I mention it, all my good buddies here will say "We knew that" but I always dive in where angels fear to tread.

The only plants that matter in this crop rotation mularky are pulses. All plants of the pea, bean, vetch family have a unique ability to nick raw Nitrogen out of the athmosphere and store it in nodules in their roots as they grow. After they are harvested and the ground is wintered, the soil will be high in nitrogen the following year.

Brassicas (anything that looks like or tastes like cabbage) are greedy for nitrogen so farmers tried to ensure that they organised their long term growing cycles to make use of this gem. There is no more basic food than cabbage and beans. All you need to complete the cycle is spuds and you have an almost totally balanced diet. And that would pretty much complete the cycle of rotation. It's a pity yourself ot himself don't like cabbage products.They are very good for you. lol

For 'ordinary' gardeners, growing a bit of this and a bit of that, recycling all veg waste into compost, which goes back into the soil, and really not cultivating intensely you don't have to worry about crop rotation, particularly if you don't like to eat cabbage anyway.

I use a rule of thumb learned from my Grandad (1875-1961) as follows Nitrogen(N) for green growth, Phospherous(P) for root growth and Potassium (K) for fruit or seed growth. My Grandad or his family never went hungry and he raised five children on ten acres. Get that balance right over the years and you'll do alright as he did.

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michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the brassicas that form part of the rotation could be, cabbage kale brussels sprouts broccoli calabrese cauliflower radish turnips white turnips swedes. The rotation rule is followed for several reasons, pest control disease control, nutritional(nutrients) balance, improvement of soil structure.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:51 pm    Post subject: crop rotation Reply with quote

Mrs. Bongo
There you have a list to help your rotation and avoid the dreaded cabbage by planting 'turnips'. Nitrogen is also fixed in the soil by clovers which is why you often find clover and grass growing together.! BTW, it is worth looking through ALL Michael Brenock's posts. He has produced a very worthy and reasonably priced book which you should find out more about! Michael's advice is always precise and accurate.
Shaun

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michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

walltoall
thank you very much. You have me baffled as to the flag, sessile oak Dungarvan and the banner. I always enjoy your comments and this forum is always enjoyable and informative and challenging.
keep up the good work.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:17 pm    Post subject: crop rotation Reply with quote

Haha Michael,
The "sessile oak tree" is my status on the forum. You are one also. I think it signifies we posted more than 250 posts or something. As for Dungarvan I was born there and though I grew up in North County Dublin have kept in close touch with it all my life. May Higgins wrote the song "The Old Dungarvan Oak" of course.

As for "the banner" I lived for many years in Clare (The Banner County) which is affectionately known to it's residents as "de banner" . The union flag in the Irish colours means I may have to live here but that does not make me English.

The original of that flag is an art piece by one Mark Wallingford. It flew from a mast near London Eye for a while. Best regards as always, Michael, and I hope life is treating you well.
Shaun

PS Mrs. Bongo pay no attention to us. We've known each other a while.

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