Vegetable Crop rotation

Before planting out each year in the veg plot, the first decision is what to grow, and what is going  to be planted in which bit of the plot, and how to rotate Crops year on year. 

Crop rotation is important; it quickly becomes obvious when growing vegetables, disease and pests are the enemy. Crop rotation seeks to prevent a buildup in the soil of diseases and pests which commonly attack that type of vegetable by not growing the same vegetable in the same soil each year. In addition, some vegetables, the pea and bean family, fix nitrogen in the soil and so the next crop should be one that thrives with the extra nitrogen. There are good reasons to organise crop rotation, which does its bit to help keep disease at bay.

Traditionally crops fall into 4 groups

Legumes →


All the Peas and Beans, including Brocolli,

Runner, Broad French Beans and Brussels sprout

Kohl Rabi

Turnips and Radish

Alliums →


Onions, Spring onions



Leeks and Garlic

Roots →


Potatoes Tomatoes  Beetroot

Aubergines, Celery, Celeriac

Sweet Potatoes and Peppers

Parsnip and Carrots

Brassicas →


Kale Cabbage 


Pak Choi 


Each year, if you are planting a veg from one of above groups, it needs to be planted in a different bed from the previous year. The best way is to draw a plan/take photos and compare it with last year to make sure the crops are rotated. Salad vegetables should also be planted in a different bed each year. A plan helps to decide how many of each veg to grow and track the crop rotation from year to year. By moving the crops around you will reduce the incidence of disease, which can be a problem when growing vegetables, particularly in wet summers.

When planning the veg plot, don't discount last year's seeds. Seed is increasingly expensive and for some vegetables such as courgettes, a couple of plants are often enough, and often last year's seeds will be viable and it is always worth trying to germinate from the previous year's seed. It varies from seed type to see type. Ideally if you are storing seed over the winter put in a cool place in airtight tin, the fridge is ideal if not a cool garage. 

Last updated 15.12.2021