Crop Rotation & Plant Families

This is a collection of things that I have found on the internet to help me make sense of what should be planted in what order. Lots of gardeners have been doing this for years so I figure that the knowledge that is out there should be used. I will need to be gardening for years before I have anything original to offer – if ever.


Plant Families

The Solanaceae Family – includes potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, chilis and eggplants.
The Brassiaceae Family – includes Asian greens, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, mustard and radishes
The Apiaceae Family – includes carrots, coriander, parsley, parsnip, dill and caraway.
The Fabaceae Family – includes peas, beans and other legumes.
The Cucurbitaceae Family – includes pumpkin, zucchini and cucumbers.
The Amaranthaceae Family – includes spinach and silverbeet
The Asteraceae Family – includes lettuce and artichokes
The Chenopodiaceae Family – includes beetroot and quinoa
The Poaceae Family – includes sweetcorn and maize
The Alliaceae Family – includes onions, chives and leeks

Light Feeders – include onions, leeks, garlic, beetroot, carrots, parsnips and silverbeet

Heavy Feeders – include potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, sweet corn, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, spinach, lettuce and Asian greens.

Planting in 4 steps

I don’t necessarily devote whole beds to each vegetable type, but I do try to follow this rotation when deciding what to plant next in a section of the garden. I also take into account the plants that seem to like each other like basil and tomatoes or carrot and onion and fill spaces between slow growers like garlic with radish. Cucumbers go really well underplanting corn.

I plant in this order:

1 . Legumes – These will grow in soil of average fertility. They leave  nitrogen in the soil which will be used by the crops that succeed them.

  • peas, snow peas, broad beans, runner beans, snake beans and okra.


2. Leafy Green Vegetables – Those of which we eat the leaf. These need high levels of nitrogen to grow fast and sweet. They are heavy feeders.

  • lettuce, silverbeet, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet corn, cucumbers, zucchini, spinach, chicory, endive, jerusalem artichokes, celery and Asian greens

3. Edible fruitsThese require a humus-rich soil with a balanced fertility.

  • tomato, chilli, capsicum, corn, cucumber, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, melon

4. Root Vegetables – Plants that produce an edible root, tuber or rhizome. These require less of the nutrient nitrogen, but more potassium for good root growth.

  • potato, radish, onion, carrot, beetroot


6 step crop rotation, sweet soil lovers -> n-fixers -> high-n -> moderate-n -> tenders -> acid soil lovers.

sweet soil (sweeten with lime a month before planting) onions, leeks, lettuce, carrots

legumes (the Nitrogen fixers) •peas, potatoes, beans

leafy greens (brassicas and high-Nitrogen friends) •cauliflower, broccoli, thyme, (kale?)

roots (moderate-Nitrogen) •carrots, parsnip, beetroot, leek

tender •corn, pumpkin, zucchini, sunflowers

acid soil • tomatoes, capsicums, parsley, chives


6 Year Crop Rotation using green manures


resting’ the soil in a garden bed for a growing season, producing no crops from it for that time although they may add compost, so giving the soil time to build up nutrients; you will need to make an additional ‘fallow’ bed planting a ‘green manure’ crop such as a legume or a legume-fibrous grass combination, like vetch and oats. These are grown then slashed just on flowering and left as mulch or turned into the soil to add organic matter, to increase nutrients and help retain moisture in the soil.



December March June September
Bed 1 The Root bed– Carrot ‘Manchester Table’, ‘Majestic Red’ ‘Koroda’ ?n? ‘Berlicum’,Parsnip ‘Yatesnip’, Swede ‘Champion Purple Top‘,Beetroot ‘Golden’ ?n? ‘Bulls Blood’,

Turnip ‘Early Purple’ ?n? ‘Hakurei’

Root BedGrowing onCarrot ‘Kuroda’ ‘Manchester Table’ ‘Majestic Red’ ‘Berlicum’,

Beetroot ‘Golden’ ?n? ‘Bulls Blood’,

Turnip ‘Hakurei’ ‘Early Purple’

Parsnip ‘Yatesnip’

Root BedGrowing n Carrot ‘Kuroda’ ‘Manchester Table’ ‘Majestic Red’ ‘Berlicum’,Beetroot ‘Golden’ ?n? ‘Bulls Blood’,

Turnip ‘Hakurei’ ‘Early Purple’ ?n?

Parsnip ‘Yatesnip’

Root BedGreen manure h?? now b??n dug ?n ?n? w? ?r? preparing to sow seed of carrots, parsnips etc.
Bed 2 Th? Legume Bed Growing on Climbing Peas ‘Yakumo’ ?n? ‘Roi de Carouby’ ?n? Bush Peas ‘Sugar Snap’ ?n? ‘Kelvedon’. 

Cabbage ‘Green Gold’ ?n? Kale ‘Red Russian’

Legume BedGrowing ?n Bean ‘Purple Queen’ ‘Redlands’ ‘Zebra’ ‘Blue Lake’.Preparing bed f?r sowing spinach. Legume Bed Growing on Mizuna, Celery ‘Tendercrisp’, Spinach ‘American Curled’ ?n? ‘English Giant’Kohl Rabi ‘White ?n? Purple Vienna’ ?n?Broccoli ‘Green Dragon’ Legume bedGrowing Broad Bean ‘Early long Pod’.J??t sown climbing peas ‘Yakumo’ ?n? ‘Roi de Carouby’ ?n? bush peas ‘Sugar Snap’ ?n? ‘Kelvedon’
Bed 3 Onion BedGrowing Garlic,Potato Onions ?n?Shallots, Onion ‘Red Odourless’, ‘Cream Gold’ ?n? ‘Brown’ ?n? Leek ‘Blue’ ?n? ‘Musselborough’ Onion BedGrowing ?n Leek ‘Giant Musselborough’J??t sown Radish ?n? Spring onions Onion BedGrowing ?n Leek ‘Giant Musselborough’ Broad Beans ‘Aquadulce’ Spring Onions ‘Straightleaf’ ?n? ‘Winter King’ ?n? Asian Flat ChivesJ??t planted Garlic, Potato onion, Spring onions, ?n? onions Onion BedGrowing garlic, Potato onions ?n? shallots,???t planted onion seedlings ?f ‘Red Odourless’, ‘Cream Gold’ ?n? ‘Brown’
Bed 4 Tomato Capsicum Bed Growing ?n Tomato ‘Tigeralla’, ‘1st Prize’, ‘Patio Prize’, ‘Tommy Toe’, ‘Money Maker’, ‘Red Fig’, ?n? ‘Black Russian’.Soon t? plant capsicums ?n? eggplants. Tomato / Capsicum BedGrowing ?n Tomato ‘Money Maker’ ‘Red Fig’ ‘Black Russian’ ‘1st Prize’ ‘Tigerella’ ‘Tommy Toe’, Chilli ‘Super F1’, Capsicum ‘Lipstick’, Eggplant ‘Ping Tung’ ?n? ‘Florida’ Tomato / Capsicum Bed Tomato / Capsicum BedGreen manure h?? b??n dug ?n ?n? now ?? breaking down ?n readiness f?r planting ?f tomatoes ?n? capsicums
Bed 5 Sweetcorn Bed Growing ?n Sweetcorn ‘Honeysweet’, Pumpkin ‘Sugar Pie’, ‘Green Hubbard’, ‘Table King Acorn’ ?n? ‘Waltham Butternut’.Zuccini ‘Rondo De Nice’ Sweetcorn / Pumpkin BedGetting ready t? harvest pumpkins ?n? remove f?n??hed sweetcorn.sow green manure. Sweetcorn / Pumpkin BedGreen manure dug ?n ?n? getting ready t? plant out lettuce seedlings Brassica & Leafy Green BedGrowing Broccoli Rainbow Chard, Spinach
Bed 6 Potato BedTh?? year w? ?r? growing 3 varieties – Kennebec, Pink Eye ?n? Nicola.
Kennebec ?r? ???w t? shoot ?n? ?r? ???t appearing above th? soil surface.
Potato BedGrowing crop ?f lettuces before sowing green manure crop Potato BedGetting ready to dig in crop ?f green manure consisting ?f Wheat, Oats, Sunflower, Mustard and Beans Potato Bed DON’T PLANT WHERE CHILLIS, CAPSICUMS, TOMATOES OR EGG PLANTS HAVE BEEN PLANTED FOR A FEW YEARS



Tags: , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply