Permaculture teacher, Patrick Whitefield, explains the importance of crop rotation, green manure's and planning.
Crop rotation allows a continual supply of produce, prevents disease and keps soil healthy because beds are not left bare. Bare soil can be washed away and lose nutrients.
When crop rotating, it is good to remember the three main families; brassicas (cabbage etc), onions (plus garlic, leeks) and the potato.
As long as your following crop is not from the same family as the previous, for example, leeks following onions, you can be fairly relaxed with your rotating. Crop rotating helps prevent the diseases that are common in these three families.
Patrick also explains how it is important to keep notes of your beds and where different families have been planted. This helps manage crop rotation more efficiently.
Another way to maintain soils over winter is to plant green manures. These can give nutrients back to the soil, prevent soil being washed away, keeping them ready for the next fruit or vegetable.
Patrick Whitefield is an experienced permaculture teacher and author of five books, including the permaculture classic The Earth Care Manual. For infomation about his residential and online courses please see www.patrickwhitefield.co.uk
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