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My Crop Rotation Vegetable Garden

Updated on February 3, 2014

Crop Rotation Vegetable Garden Diary and Plans

In July 2010 (Winter in Australia), I decided to convert some of our back lawn into vegetable garden. We already had raised garden beds on the sides and one out the front. But I wanted to try at home some of the no-dig gardening techniques I had learned in my Tafe course.

Some of the goals I wanted to achieve with this garden were:

- decoratively shaped garden beds

- to grow some veggies I haven't tried growing before

- to grow some veggies I haven't been successful in growing before

- to be self-sufficient in our vegetable and herb needs (minus potatoes)

- to have a plan for rotating my vegetable garden crops

Above photo - my own photo of produce from my garden

Crop Rotation Plan

My veggie garden is made up of basically 7 crops (not all present at one time) in 5 sections:

1) (semi) permanent section - strawberries, herbs

2) root and leafy green crop

3) corn and vine crop

4) green manure crop

5) tomato crop

6) legume crop

7) brassica crop

Based on this crop rotation schedule. (Note: this is an Australian website. In the Northern hemisphere you will need to flip the seasons)

Vegetable Garden Diary (Late Winter) - July-August 2010

setting up the crop rotation veggie garden
setting up the crop rotation veggie garden

Started seedlings in toilet rolls in my mini greenhouse:

- silverbeet (Swiss chard)

- cauliflower

- beetroot

Made a no-dig vegetable garden using grey blocks, I filled the gaps in the blocks with soil so that they could be planted with various plants.

All the vegetable garden plans on this page were created using this vegetable garden planning software. Try it for free.

My Vegetable Garden Plan - Spring - Summer 2010-2011

spring - summer vegetable garden crop rotation
spring - summer vegetable garden crop rotation
spring seedlings
spring seedlings

Vegetable Garden Diary (Early Spring)

September 2010

Started seedlings in toilet rolls in my mini greenhouse:

- silverbeet (Swiss chard)

- carrots

- lettuce (cos and leaf lettuce)

- beans

- tomatoes

- sweet corn

- zucchini

- vegetable spaghetti

Planted straight in the garden:

- peanuts (from a packet of raw, unsalted peanuts bought from the supermarket)

- leeks (a whole bunch of small leek plants from my brother)

- spring onions (the bases cut off some I bought from the shops)

- garlic

Planted seedlings in the garden beds:

- silverbeet

- cauliflower

- beetroot

Garden Notes

The birds scratched out the peanut seeds I had planted. Only one plant came up. So I will plant more peanuts in toilet rolls and place in the greenhouse,

None of the garlic came up, I will try again at a better time of year

first harvest
first harvest

Vegetable Garden Diary (Mid-late Spring)

October - November 2010

Planted seeds in toilet rolls and left in greenhouse:

- peanuts

- sweetcorn

Planted out the seedlings in their toilet rolls:

- silverbeet

- carrots

- lettuce

- tomatoes

- sweetcorn

- zucchini

- strawberries - some new plants and some moved from another garden bed into my new beds

- peanuts (much more successful germination rate without the birds!)

Planted bought seedlings:and seedlings from friends

- green/red capsicum (pepper)

- yellow capsicum (pepper)

- black (!) capsicum (pepper)

- eggplant

- chilli plant

- sage

- thyme

- yellow parsley

- sweet basil

Transplanted seedlings coming up from the compost I put in the veggie garden beds:

- pumpkins

- tomatoes

Garden Notes

The peanut plants started flowering. They haven't grown as high as I was expecting. Hopefully we'll get some peanuts :-) Next time I will try planting the peanuts around the beans. and grow some sugar snap peas.

I planted too many lettuces all at once. We had warm wet weather and most of them bolted to seed.. My goal was to do succession planting, starting a few new seedlings every couple of weeks. (Oh dear - I was too lazy and did a whole lot all at once)

I planted out 4 zucchini plants which all started bearing fruit. Next time try only 2 plants!

Starting to harvest some beans.

Constantly using silverbeet. But we probably didn't need this many plants.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Early Summer) - December 2010

Summer crop rotation
Summer crop rotation

Planted bought seedlings:

- coriander

- parsley

- rosemary

Potted up some oregano plants from another garden bed.

Transplanted strawberries from another garden bed into the centre garden bed. Now it's full of strawberries!

Garden Notes

Large harvests of beans, zucchini and silverbeet (I just pick the outside leaves). I let some zucchini grow too big and they were a bit woody,

Several sweetcorn have grown tall and are fruiting, but the ones I planted later were swamped by the pumpkins and haven't grown very tall and consequently have no fruit.

The grass on the paths between the garden beds has been a constant pain - it is difficult to mow and it keeps invading the garden beds. We plan to mulch the internal paths,

I didn't have enough stakes for my tomatoes. Poor little things! Many are lying down, We have started harvesting tomatoes (which are very tasty) but the fruit flies have also found them. I plan to buy a fruit fly trap.

A potato has popped up amongst the peanuts. I didn't pull it out soon enough so now I am reluctant to pull it out because I think I may disturb any peanuts that may be forming. We have had warm wet weather, so everything is growing really quickly,

Harvested some of the carrots but they were very short and stumpy. I suspect this is because the garden soil has gradually settled and shrunk down so there is not much depth to the soil (above the newspapers). Carrots here are usually pretty cheap to buy, so until I can get more depth (maybe another course of bricks?) I may not bother with growing my own carrots.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Mid Summer)

January 2011

Seeds planted:

- cos lettuce

- loose leaf lettuce

- sweet corn

Garden Notes

We were away on holidays for the first half of January, so I only started working in the garden mid January. We returned to find a tomato crop completely destroyed by fruit fly. The flies also found my zucchinis. I'm trying the following methods for eradicating fruit fly:

- water+sugar+vanilla essence+ammonia - ineffective, but I did use imitation vanilla essence!

- apple cider vinegar+chopped up tomato - have managed to catch some females

- commercial male fruit fly bait - seems to be effective

- picked and discarded all the tomatoes - even the green ones

We harvested our first corn - beautiful! And I've noticed that an eggplant (aubergine) fruit is growing.

We are having a lovely crop of beans. I'm freezing most of them.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Late Summer)

February 2011

Seeds planted in punnets:

- cabbage

- chinese cabbage

- broccoli

- cauliflower

Seeds planted directly in the garden bed

- carrots (I know I said I wasn't going to try them again until the beds were deeper, but I topped up one section with some mushroom compost and I had the space and the seeds (out of date though))

Garden Notes

Harvested the eggplant. Only one but still nice. The plant continues to flower, so maybe we'll get more.

Continue to harvest strawberries

Bean plants dying off after a great bean harvest. I have saved some for seed for next year

I've noticed a tiny black capsicum forming. I wonder if it will get any bigger...

Planned Autumn / Fall Crop Rotation - March - April 2011

Autumn - Fall crop rotation
Autumn - Fall crop rotation

I plan to add the brassicas - broccoli, cabbage, pak choy, Chinese cabbage.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Early Autumn / Fall)

March 2011

Planted seeds in punnets:

- cabbage

- cauliflower

- pak choi

- chinese cabbage

- beetroot

- lettuce

Planted:

- mustard seedlings

- rainbow chard seedlings

- leek seedlings

- mizuna seedlings

- spring onion seedlings

- leek seedlings

- pineapple sage

- more carrot seeds (yes, I bought some more!)

Garden Notes

None of the carrot seeds came up. Will try with new seed (in date!)

My little black capsicum is getting bigger.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Mid Autumn / Fall)

April 2011

Planted seeds in punnets:

- cabbage

- beetroot

- pak choi

Planted in the garden bed:

- new carrot seeds

Garden Notes

Grrr. I found caterpillars on my brassica seedlings which completely destroyed them.

I have several black capsicums (peppers), several yellow capsicums, and several green / red capsicums forming

I have quite a number of large green chillis growing on the plant

There are 3 shiny, black eggplants on the bush

Yay! These carrot seeds are coming up.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Late Autumn / Fall)

May 2011

I haven't been able to plant the peas yet because the we're still harvesting tomatoes. I also haven't been able to plant the green manure crop because I can't bring myself to pull out the pumpkin vine which has baby pumpkins. Our mornings are getting very cold now though, so I don't think it will survive much longer! Infact this morning (mid-May) there was a slight frost.

Planned Winter Crop Rotation - May - Aug 2011

Winter Crop Rotation
Winter Crop Rotation

I plan to add a green manure crop and my Winter legumes - peas, sugar snap peas.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Early Winter)

June 2011

As I pull out the old plants, I am adding manure and compost to the beds before planting new seedlings.

Harvested:

- a lovely quantity of peanuts

- the last of the zucchinis and pulled out the last remaining plant

- the last of the eggplant fruit

- more capsicums

- plenty of silverbeet

- plenty of mustard

- spring onions

Planted in the garden bed:

- cabbage seedlings

- beetroot seedlings

- cauliflower seedlines

- brocolli seedlings

- celery seedlings

- garlic cloves

Vegetable Garden Diary (Mid Winter)

July 2011

Garden Notes

I am paying the price for my procrastination. I was so slow at clearing out the pumpkin section of the garden that there was not enough time to plant my green manure crop. So I have just left that section fallow. Also, because I was so reluctant to pull out the tomato plants (those green tomatoes never ripened!), I was late in putting in the peas. So I just put in two rows and plan to plant my Spring crops around them. Got to get back to my original calendar plan.

On the bright side, we have finally mulched those paths in the middle of the garden. I now plan to mulch on the fruit tree side of the veggie garden.

Harvested:

- more mustard

- more silverbeet (everything I cook gets mustard and silverbeet added!)

- more mizuna

- leeks

- spring onions

- parsley

- sage

- oregano

- sweet potato

Planted

- more garlic

- sugar snap peas

My Vegetable Garden Layout (Actual) - Spring / Summer 2011 - 2012

Spring vegetable garden plan
Spring vegetable garden plan

Well. This is embarrassing. I planted all my Spring vegetables without consulting my plan. Now I've realized that I have rotated the garden beds the wrong way! I'm not sure how crucial it is to rotate the other way. This plan shows the way I have planted my vegetable garden beds (or the way I intend to plant it once I can bring myself to pull out the silverbeet and celery which is still growing well. I have also included the fruit tree side of the patch, showing a couple of smaller beds and the citrus trees.

Vegetable Garden Diary (Spring)

Sep, Oct, Nov 2011

Garden Notes

Oh dear. I've been a bit slow in updating this page this spring!

I did get to mulch on the fruit tree side of the veggie garden and I am back to the spring garden where my whole plan has been rotated 90 degrees.

Harvested:

- more mustard

- more silverbeet

- carrots

- leeks

- spring onions

- parsley

- sage

- oregano

- sugar snap peas

- strawberries

Planted

- tomatoes

- zucchini

- watermelon

- beans

- pumpkin

- vegetable spaghetti

- more silverbeet

- sweetcorn

- peanuts

- basil

- potatoes

- chiocolate mint (in a pot)

Vegetable Garden Diary (Summer) - December 2011 - February 2012

Summer vegetable garden Dec 2011
Summer vegetable garden Dec 2011

Garden Notes

As you can see from this photo taken in December, I haven't been able to bring myself to pull out all the silverbeet yet! (Bottom right of photo). I am still harvesting from them ... after all I am my mother's daughter! But I do have one section of green beans and peanuts.

Harvested:

- sweetcorn

- more silverbeet

- tomatoes

- zucchini (yellow)

- leeks

- spring onions

- parsley

- sage

- oregano

- beans

- strawberries

- celery

Any suggestions for my crop rotation vegetable garden?

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    • Jim Houston profile image

      Jim Houston 3 years ago from Wilmer, Alabama

      Never thought of the paper rolls to start seedlings. Great idea. JimHouston33

    • MissKeenReviewer profile image

      MissKeenReviewer 4 years ago

      Good lens-I am truly inspired. I don't have suggestion, I guess your style worked perfectly.

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 5 years ago

      Wonderful - how did the carrots taste? Our homegrown ones were wonderfully strong and full flavoured.

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 5 years ago

      Wonderful - how did the carrots taste? Our homegrown ones were wonderfully strong and full flavoured.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My vegie garden is 2 sleepers high and the carrots seem to love it! Probably too expensive to add another layer to your blocks??

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I love this garden design. So simple and really easy to maintain and access. The only tips I can give are not to place your garden between bamboo and palm trees! The only flat are in my yard that gets some sun, but the bamboo and palm roots choked the roots of my plants. All my beds that had wonderful soil are now thick with roots! :-(

    • awesomedealz4u profile image

      awesomedealz4u 5 years ago

      Great lens. Lots of cool info. I need to get my garden as organized as yours!

    • KellydeBorda profile image

      KellydeBorda 5 years ago

      What a detailed and inspiring lens! Thanks so much for sharing your "green" thumb!

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Love all of your gardening lenses!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Nicely done! I enjoyed the photos of the garden progress and your notes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      holy cow! this is inspiring indeed. showing this to my wife when she gets home.

    • GonnaFly profile image
      Author

      Jeanette 5 years ago from Australia

      @anonymous: Sydney actually.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You could possibly mention that if growing peas they prefer an alkaline soil so add lime b4 planting, also carrots do not like to go into soil that has had a crop that puts in high amount of nitrogen e.g. peas and legumes. The excess nitrogen makes them go knobbly

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I see you have put in a lot of hard work not only into your veggie garden but also into your lens. Great photos and diagrams. i see you planted peanuts are you living in Qld? My lens is about growing veggies in the outback of Australia. I live in the Flinders Rangers. I also have a website about the outback called www.outbackjack.info. I will bookmark this one so I can find it again

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 6 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I love this lens. I built a tiny English Garden, but I wish it could have been a bit larger. It yielded a lot of veggies this summer, though. Thanks for your designs, I think I will adapt some of them to my little garden. A beautiful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Really great informative lens. I love the "no-dig" idea. You are an inspiration!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This looks awesome, truly professional and I like the idea of rotating crops.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Totally awesome! I love the idea of growing your own vegetables not simply because of the cost of vegetables, but because you control the pesticides used or not used. Your garden is simply fabulous.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      Fabulous information and pictures. I wish I had the land you have! Thumbs up and fav'd.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Special blessing for this lens and now featured on April Fools Day Blessings. We will be over shortly to look over the garden and take some vegies home as the angels are knocking off. Hugs,

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      Your garden is very nice. Blessed!

    • Kstewart22 profile image

      Kstewart22 6 years ago

      Your garden plans look great! You've been Squid Angel blessed :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on being featured by the SquidTeam's Best of Standout RocketMoms

    • rlivermore profile image

      rlivermore 6 years ago

      I wish I was this ambitious and could successfully grow my own produce. It is wonderful to be able to eat the fruit of your labors (no pun intended). I enjoyed this lens very much.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      This is a great garden idea and one that I will have to consider. I like the blocks which means I can put down chicken wire to keep the gophers out. Thanks for a this timely idea!!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      That is a wonderful garden. How great to have your own produce. I knew what it was like when I was growing up with our garden; and hope one day to have my own garden. Thank you for sharing your garden with us. Isn't it great to eat your own produce?