A lot of people are beginning to see the benefits of planting vegetable gardens. It’s usually healthier because you get to decide whether to use commercial pesticides on them. Since vegetable gardens are typically manageable in size because they’re not grown for profit, it’s easier for people to manage the plot without having to resort to using commercial pesticides. Vegetable gardens also assure you of fresh produce because there’s no need to pick the vegetables and refrigerate it. Vegetables stay fresh as long as you don’t pick it from your garden, except if it becomes overripe. Aside from health reasons, planting vegetable gardens is also economical because the product is not going to be as expensive as those that you buy from markets or groceries.
People who have been successful in planting vegetable gardens usually know that you can’t keep growing only one type of vegetable in a garden. It’s usually more advisable to rotate crops instead of planting only one kind of vegetable year in and out. Rotating crops will make sure that the micronutrients in the soil will be preserved, and that diseases will not build up in soil particulates.
Planting vegetable gardens take some careful planning on your part, and also an understanding of plant families to know which vegetable types are compatible with each other. These are some examples of groups that can be considered “compatible” and are safe to be rotated together:
Alliums – onions, leeks, shallots, and the likes Crucifers – such as radishes, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, and the likes Brassicas – Brussel sprouts, mustards, cabbages, kale, and the likes Legumes – peas and beans Cucurbits – cucumbers, squashes, melons, etcetera Solanaceae – peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and the likes Mescluns – arugula, endive, radicchio, etcetera
Rotating vegetables of the same family would also mean that (more often than not) they would be susceptible to the same kind of pests. This makes pest control a bit more manageable for you since you don’t have to adjust to different types of pests for different families of vegetables.
Vegetables such as asparagus, rhubarbs, and other perennial vegetables must not be rotated. They should be planted separately because of this. The more hardy and semi-annual vegetables can be rotated yearly so that no family of vegetables is planted in the same bed for four years. If you have done some planning before planting vegetable gardens, a small plot would like similar to this: four beds for plants that can be rotated, and one bed for perennial, non-rotating plants.
It would also be ideal for people who planning on planting vegetable gardens to spread out the kinds of vegetables they plant so that they don’t harvest too much of the same vegetable in one season. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with too many cucumbers in one season, would you? Throughout the growing season, try and plant varying types of short-season vegetables so that you’ll be assured of many different types of vegetables throughout the season.
If you really plan to get the most out of planting vegetable gardens, it’s best if you do your research first. Check which plants go together, check whether you have enough space to rotate your plants, check which plants you can actually rotate to prevent poisoning and depleting the nutrients of the soil, and spread out the type of vegetables you plant so you won’t have too much of the same thing for the whole planting season.