Crop Rotation For The Home Gardener

I was just reading in another group where crop rotation for the home gardener really doesn't help much in preventing plant diseases. The reasoning behind this thought is that the average home gardener simply can't move his crops far enough away from where they were planted the previous year. The article stated that you need to move your crop at least 1/4 mile away because it's likely that the soil will be diseased up to that distance. One guy in the group said he has been planting his tomatoes in the same spot year after year for many years now and can see no difference. Others in the group also confirm this and state that they get a good crop every year as long as the soil is properly fertilized each year. Seems to make sense to me. Your thoughts on rotating crops a very short distance compared to no less than a 1/4 mile from where they were grown last season :)
Rich
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

It would really help, if you could identify your source of misinformation.
The problem is with monocultures, where a pest can set up house and wait for its favorite substrate to be replanted. I have 2 problematic spots in my garden. In my root garden, if I plant basil next to the retaining wall, a wilt kills them. (Was probably the seeds that introduced it and no basil has been planted there in 3 years. In 2 years, I may try again.) In another bed, I have a ten foot section where beans and tomatoes get leaf curl and wither away. The other 6 feet are fine. The tomatoes 50 ft. away are fine.
Plants within the same taxonomic family tend to have similar pests and pathogens. My problem is that I grow so much from the family Solanaceae (peppers, tomatoes, potatoes), which take the sunniest portions of my yard with the cucurbits getting the area that is a little less sunny, and the Swiss chard and the lettuce getting the least sunniest areas.
I got away with no crop rotation for 10 years. Now I pay attention.
If you can rotate your crops from one end of a raised planter to the other end, I think you will save yourself some grief.
A quarter mile is more what you do to avoid cross pollination.
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Here's the link :)
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/organic/msg0412172715742.html
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EVP MAN wrote:

This is mainly referring to reducing opportunities for pests which I take to be insects, nematodes, snails etc. These are obviously fairly mobile, especially insects. It also mentions microbial issues in passing. Microbes are much less mobile and so rotation is likely to have more effect. For example if you have a soil-carried fungus like fusarium wilt attacking your eggplant don't plant other solanums (which are also susceptible to it) in the same plot for several years.
The matter of nutrient depletion is not mentioned at all. The last issue can be dealt with in other ways but there are situations where it does need to be considered. For example if you have just fertilised with a nitrogenous manure (chook poo) or you have just grown a legume in the plot it is smart to plant something that needs lots of N (eg corn) instead of something that doesn't need it. If you never rotate only one bed is going to get the benefit of nitrogen fixing from legumes. You don't want to plant carrots in a bed that is very enriched because they will be the worse for it. Some rather neat permaculture systems which includes having chooks on the plot as one stage of the rotation instead of weeding and cultivating.
I agree that rotation is not absolutely essential for the home gardener and doing it strictly is likely to be more constraints on your management than you need but there are advantages to be gained. I don't practice strict rotation nor do I reject it out of hand.
I grow things like I live - eclectically.
David
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In article

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Here's the link :)

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/organic/msg0412172715742.html
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