Al­ways ro­tate crops

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

This is no folksy the­ory; it’s an im­por­tant rule of veg­etable gar­den­ing to re­duce pests and dis­eases. Don’t grow a crop in the same lo­ca­tion two years run­ning. Crop ro­ta­tion al­ways pro­motes health. For in­stance, beans pump ni­tro­gen into the soil and broccoli thrives on ni­tro­gen-rich soil, so it’s smart to grow broccoli where beans were grown the pre­vi­ous year. Onions like weed-free soil, so it’s good to grow them af­ter pota­toes be­cause the fo­liage of pota­toes sup­presses weeds. The Bri­tish have a way of re­mem­ber­ing how to ro­tate crops ev­ery three years by us­ing the mnemonic Bri­tish Rail Late: B for bras­si­cas (cab­bage, cauliflower, broccoli, brus­sels sprouts, kohlrabi), fol­lowed by R for root veg­eta­bles (beets, car­rots, parsnips), fol­lowed by L for legumes (peas, broad and run­ner beans.) Leeks, onions, chives, and gar­lic all go in with legumes, which are fol­lowed by bras­si­cas to com­plete the cy­cle.

ALEX BRAN­DON / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Veg­eta­bles and herbs are seen in first lady Michelle Obama’s gar­den on the south Lawn of the White House in

Washington.

Veg­eta­bles grow best in soil that is sweet

or slightly more al­ka­line than acidic.

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