Guidelines for Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is the process by which land is kept arable by planting different crops at different times, so as to maximize the makeup of the soil for each individual type of plant you intend to grow. While rotating crops is not mandatory, it goes a very long way toward keeping a fertile area producing high yields without relying too heavily on additive chemicals. While chemicals can be harsh and even dangerous, crop rotation is a fairly natural and utterly harmless operation that lets annuals do what they do best individually. Crops can be harnessed for maximum advantage, both to you and to each other, Here is how this is done most effectively.

Have a Clear Target in Mind

Some crops are very good for adding oxygen, while other crops add something like nitrogen. Still other crops are very useful for breaking up the soil and making it looser for the next crop in the circuit. No two types of plant do exactly the same things, and you need to have an in depth knowledge of what plant does what to the soil. But just as importantly, to not waste the power of individual plants you should also keep your needs firmly in mind. While it's great to do all kinds of extra things for the land, there is little use to it unless it somehow benefits what you are trying to accomplish.

Keep Your Seasons Straight

Sometimes crop rotation can occur during different seasons within the same year. If, for example, you are planting a crop that puts nitrogen into the soil during the winter and it matures quickly enough for a spring harvest, you may still have enough time within the same year to plant another crop that will devour that nitrogen. This way, you can get far more crops planted and harvested for your benefit using the same land and a little bit more work. That is definitely worth your trouble.

Rotate Everywhere

Some people are of the impression that when they rotate crops, they can only grow one at a time. Sometimes you can break up a space into halves or quadrants, and merely swap crops around every so often. This actually works very well, as the effect in one part of the soil can creep over somewhat, further enriching the other plant. Of course, you still wnat to plan this carefully, or all of your work may amount to very little ultimate impact. Crop rotation takes at least as much thinking as actual doing to work properly.



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