Crops Overview

Why do we need crop rotation?

  • Beneficial in minimising plant problems.
  • Previous crops can benefit following crop.

Here is a basic three year rotation plan:

Year One Brassicas, Roots, Legumes
Year Two Roots, Legumes, Brassicas
Year Three Legumes, Brassicas, Roots

Alternative growing methods:

not everything needs to be grown in the ground, Tubs / Raised beds / Hanging baskets / Growbags / Flower borders are all suitable alternatives.

Vegetable groups:

most vegetables can be divided into specific groups and these are used when planning your crop rotation:

  • Brassicas – Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts.
  • Roots – Beetroots, Carrots.
  • Legumes – Runner beans, Peas, French beans.
  • Alliums – Onions, Shallots, Leeks
  • Salads – Lettuce, Tomatoes.
  • Permanent – Rhubarb, Asparagus, Globe Artichokes.
  • Alliums can be incorporated within Legumes. Potatoes can be incorporated within Roots.

Nutrient requirements:

Each vegetable group tends to have its own nutritional requirement and the table below indicates the main requirements.

BRASSICAS: Lime acidic soils General-purpose fertilizer before planting
ROOTS: Don’t add manure Don’t add lime General-purpose fertilizer before planting
LEGUMES: Add plenty of well-rotted manure / compost when digging General-purpose fertilizer before planting


Again there are specific terms that are associated with crop planning these are:

  • Successional growing. Sow same crop at week/fortnightly intervals (Carrots / Lettuce).
  • Intercropping: Fast growing crops between slow growers (Lettuce between Brassicas).
  • Catch crop: Fast growing crop used in area before a required main crop is ready (Lettuce, Radishes, Spring onions).

You may see reference to these in text box and articles.

To see a full list of all our handy fact sheets click here