Kids rotate Crops


Even in a small container garden, kids can rotate their crops to improve the soil, get bigger harvests, and break the cycle of pests and diseases. The reason for rotating is to plant crops that feed the soil after harvesting those that take nutrients out of the soil. Kids can plant one crop a year or rotate crops every season, like broccoli in winter and beans in the summer, up to three times a year.  For example, kids can first plant beans which are legumes that fix nitrogen into the soil and the next year plant corn that needs nitrogen to grow well.  Kid gardeners can group their crops into plant families and rotate the different families each season with heavy feeders following legumes, which enrich the soil. Crops can be rotated from one raised bed to another planter box to a large container to ensure that members of the same family are not grown in the same bed in consecutive years. Some crops, like tomatoes and berries, do not like to be rotated and prefer compost to be added to the soil. Squashes and cucumbers are beneficial to the soil for most following crops. Potatoes yield best after corn, root crops before legumes, grain crops after legumes, and cabbage family crops after onions. Kids can make crop rotation plans in their garden journals for a science project, learning crop families, feeding, and growing seasons.


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