Quick and Easy Crop Turnover
On this week’s episode, Travis demonstrates how to quickly and easily turnover crops in the vegetable garden. In order for us to efficiently grow crops year-round in the vegetable garden, we have to maintain a quick and easy crop turnover time. In the garden, Travis has a couple of rows of romaine lettuce that he has just finished harvesting. So after harvesting all the heads of lettuce he then removes the row start fitting from the mainline of drip tape irrigation to replace it with a goof plug. The row start is used Then, he will pull the drip tape out of the garden row to clean the garden area. The next step is to cultivate by removing weeds and extra lettuce stalks from the garden area. This task is done with our new Hoss Stirrup Hoe to uproot and turnover the area. The stirrup hoe is the best tool for cultivating and weeding in every direction of the garden whether it is between the plants or alongside the row. After we are done with the hoe we take our Dura Rake and rake out any of the old debris and weeds to get the area clean and level. Travis prefers to take his Wheel Hoe in the area a couple of times over the next couple of weeks to ensure there are no weeds before re-planting. When re-planting all you have to do is create a furrow and re-lay the drip tape that you pulled up earlier and cover it back up in the garden. Replace the goof plug with the row start and then you are ready to plant in that garden area. Overall, to be prepared for a quick and easy crop turnover have a plan set in place to effectively re-plant in that vegetable garden spot.
Benefits of Crop Rotation in the Garden
Crop rotation has several benefits that will great an overall better vegetable garden area. The first benefit is an increase in better soil structure. When rotating crops around the garden you are preventing a loss of soil nutrients, pest/disease pressures, and soil erosion. By improving our soil structure in the garden we are maintaining the soil with plenty of air, water, and nutrients which is in return needed for plant growth. If we have a poor soil structure we will not develop a healthy root system for plant growth in the vegetable garden. By rotating the crops in the garden we can plan out vegetables that will help improve the soil structure when needed. Another benefit is the prevention of soil erosion. Soil erosion can cause several issues like loss of topsoil and harsh runoff. The reason behind crop rotation is to simply decrease soil erosion problems that is due to the reduction of soil disturbance, diverse root systems, improved healthy soils, and overall spacing in the garden. The soil disturbance is reduced because there is less tilling of the soil structure which means longer periods of soil disturbance. The diverse root systems are due to the variation of crops that have either taproot or fibrous root systems which helps soil particles hold together. The next benefit of crop rotation is reducing pest and disease pressures from continuing to overwinter in the vegetable garden. When cultivating the same crop in the same spot the pests and diseases become used to the conditions so they form in the same spot year after year and can become very difficult to eliminate. Overall, these benefits will create a healthy environment for all the plant life growing in the vegetable garden.