What is Crop Rotation?
Simply put, crop rotation is not growing the same crop (or ornamental) in the same spot year after year.
Why Do It?
Lots of reasons. Here's what can happen if you don't rotate your crops and grow everything in the same spot each year:
- many crops will yield decreasing amounts of produce each year they're grown in the same spot
- diseases build up in the soil
- pests multiply in the areas with their favourite foods
- soil nutrients become depleted
If you do rotate your crops you can prevent these things from happening but sometimes you can also take advantage of certain other benefits that some plants have. For example, have a look at this article about how a particular type of pepper produces chemicals that repel some nematodes. Not only does this pepper plant repel nematodes, it also helps protect the next crop planted in the same spot from these nematodes.
What To Do
Take a note of the annuals you plant this season and where you plant them. Then, after you have removed these plants and it is time to sow your next crop (or ornamental), plant something else. To have the best affect however, you should plant something from a different plant family.