Articles, Blog

Changing The Beds (Crop Rotation in the Veg Garden)

Hello, I’m Liz Zorab and this is Byther
Farm and today I’m back out in the garden. I’m just having a pause and a cup of tea,
much needed, because this morning I have lifted the last the plants that were in
this bed. It had peas running down the middle of it, well they’re finished now,
we’ve had a nice harvest from those and that was a variety called Progress no.9. I’ll certainly be growing those again, I really like the flavor of
them. And outside on each side of the peas, running along the length of the
bed, I had Pentland Javelin. I’ve been harvesting those over the last two or
three weeks and I’ve taken the last of those out today, which meant I had an
empty bed to be able to use. So I had planted some purple sprouting broccoli
and this is for next spring late winter and we really enjoy purple sprouting
broccoli when there’s little else in the garden, although maybe this year there
will be, but usually there’s not an awful lot else growing on there’ll be some
leeks and some parsnips, a few cabbagey things and to have those young fresh
shoots of purple sprouting broccoli are really nice. So they’ve gone in in the
middle, in two rows, as they get quite big as plants if I plant them on the edge
their leaves are going to be touching the edge of the netting I’m going to put
over them, which will make them vulnerable to caterpillars laying their
eggs through the netting. So they’ll be in a little bit and hopefully by the
time they’ve got big enough to be pushing out at the netting, they’ll be
fairly robust and if a butterfly does lay its egg, or moth lay eggs, on it then
if we lose one leaf, it won’t be the end of the world and hopefully I’ll have
spotted it and picked that leaf off and at the offending caterpillars
by the time that happens. One of things I’ve been really conscious of is
that I net most of our brassicas, which means that the cabbage white butterflies
and the cabbage moths don’t have a home within our garden. So I’ve planted some
red cabbage and I’ve got a few more of these purple sprouted broccoli that we
planted out in the open, which effectively are sacrifice plants, but it
does at least mean that this garden is helping to support those butterflies and
moths. There’s also space between the purple sprouting broccoli and the edge of
the bed to put in another crop. The beetroot is a variety called Albina Veraduna. I grew this last year and really liked it and it’s a white beetroot. Until recently I didn’t know
that beetroot came in anything other than the very deep red that you see
so often, but last year we started growing the white ones, this year we’ve
grown beetroot Chioggia as well, which is the one that’s got a pink and white
concentric circles in it. I’m really enjoying the variety and a couple of
days ago I planted a selection pack of seeds that also have an orange beetroot
in them as well. I’m trying to sow these fairly thinly
and spaced well apart so that they have plenty of room to grow and then I can also harvest them
individually. One the nice things about beetroot seeds is they’re actually large
enough to handle individually. And then the carrot seeds I’ll do more thickly
than the beetroot were, but still I’m going to try and keep them spaced out,
not too many really close together. If you’re a member of the Byther Farm group
on Facebook you will already know this news, but Malvern Autumn Show have
invited myself and three other YouTubers that’s Jane Kelly from Jane’s Allotment,
Vivi from What Vivi Did Next and Huw RIchards, to form a panel to answer your questions live at the Malvern Autumn Show and
that runs the last weekend in September and Jane, Vivi, Huq and I will be there
on Sunday in ‘The Potting Shed’ at 2 o’clock. I also know there’s lots of other
YouTubers going and we’ll all be meeting up in the afternoon to say hello.
Do come and join us and say hello as well. Please don’t be backwards and coming
forwards, it would be really nice to meet you. And to that end the organisers have said that you can get 10% discount on tickets
for the Malvern Autumn Show. And for the first time those under the age of 16
will have entry to the show free of charge. So for crop rotation, this
year this bed has had legumes in the middle, potatoes on the outside. now it’s
got brassicas and root vegetables and next year
I think next year I’ll be also planting onions in here. And someone asked me in
my life chat recently, when I was saying about when I get an empty space I just
put in whatever I got ready, and they said well how does that work for crop
rotation? And it does kind of work because most of the beds are mixed
planting so most the beds have got a combination of onions and carrots or
root vegetables and legumes and as long as I hadn’t put beans straight back in
here or another load of potatoes, I think at this such a small scale, it would be fine. So the only thing left to do with this bed today is to get the netting over it
and secure that and to get all of those peas that I lifted up on to the compost
heap. When I put this purple sprouting into
the ground I gave them a really good soak with water and I also wanted the
rest of the bed so that those seeds have gone on to damp soil. One of the things
that is so important for carrots is that they don’t dry out while they’re
germinating and it’s been really hot and dry and using this netting does help to
reduce the amount of evaporation of the water. I will need to go to this bed
quite a few times if if we don’t get any rain and if it’s warm and windy, both of
which dry the soil very quickly. With my other lengths of netting and
I’ve actually sewn a seam along here. which closes up these holes. I haven’t
with this one, so there is more risk that a butterfly will get in there. I’ll
just have to be a bit more vigilant and for the last couple of years I’ve had
the netting like this, it hasn’t been perfect
and yes, the butterflies have got into it but it will do for now. And I’m just using these pots to
hold down the netting on this side. I am really conscious that if it’s not held
down adequately birds can get under it, not those birds, small birds can get
under it and get trapped in the netting. so I’ll go and get some lengths of wood
to hold it down this side too the only thing left to do is to secure
the ends right now I’m just going to use a brick I’ll gather this together and
make it as sealed as I can so that birds can’t get in there and at a later moment
when I found them I’ve got some tent pegs with quite a nice hook on the end
of them which I can push into the ground and gather this up tie it together into
into a bunch and then use the hook to pin it down and that holds the ends
really nicely well that’s this bed done just need to get this onto a compost
heap and then start on the next bed I think it might be time to start anew
compensate so wherever you are in the world and whatever you’ve got planned
for today I hope it’s a good one and we also hope you’ll join me again next time you


  1. Wiliam Buchanan Author

    Good afternoon from a very sunny Bolton lol at last, loved the video, may I ask is the blue pipe attached to anything or is it just dug into the ground

  2. yellowlabrador Author

    no need to water here. mild , cloudy and damp with a brisk wind. Cabbage white love nasturtium too. Mine are like skeletons by October but I Haven't the heart to kill them, I Got in trouble with a vegetarian about my slug pubs though. She thinks slugs and snails are lovely, she only supermarket shops though. I'm very tempted to post some through her letterbox

  3. Sage and Sanctuary Author

    Great video and info. That’s what I missed this year with covering my cabbages lost a few but managed to replace them πŸ˜€πŸŒ±

  4. Liz Zorab - Byther Farm Author

    If you've enjoyed this video, you may also like these from our Summer 2019 playlist

  5. Anna williams Author

    Hi Liz. I'm wondering when do you expect the beetroot and carrot to be ready for harvest. As I have a spare bed that I need to fill. Thank you xxπŸ’—lovely video.

  6. allotment life Author

    as you said, liz, its not a problem filling in small spaces with leyyuce ets. a small amount of change doesnt really upset the balance as long as the main crop rotation is adhered to. if anyone thinks it's a crime to do this, then im guilty as sin. lol……………………..brian

  7. Sara Pulford Author

    How about fastening 1or 2 long canes across the top of the tubing to help tighten the netting across it. My garden is crying out for me to use the hosepipe but it's so hot out there it's difficult to breath.

  8. Jan Willetts Author

    Great news about Malvern Show, sounds fantastic. I have never been, this might be the year ! I am growing albino verdura for the first time this year too., can’t wait to try them.good news that the netting helps with watering as well as pest protection. Love the idea of sacrificial plants too, I could do this with leftover plants.

  9. Digwell Greenfingers Author

    See you at the show Liz (Huw, Kelly, Vivi)! Now to think of some really hard questions LOL (don't worry!) 😎

  10. Lyn Maunsell Author

    Great video thanks Liz. Mid winter where I am & watering every 3 or 4 days. Yesterday covered the brassicas with shade cloth as it was 26 deg!

  11. Lorraine g Author

    Great informative video , thanks Liz. Might plant some beetroot. If i only lived nearby i would be sure to go to the show but alas im not. Liz a question, my sweetcorn is about the same height as yours , spotted it in the back. Do you net it up just curious.

  12. Dolly Perry Author

    I don't know if this is one of those English vs American translation issues. But I would call this succession planting rather than crop rotation. I struggle with seed germination in subsequent crops…probably because it is hard to keep the soil moist on hot days.

  13. Kerry L Author

    I had to look closer behind you – looked like the ducks had perched up high! Then I realised they were on a bank! LOL! It'll be interesting to see how many spud volunteers we all have next year!

  14. Benni L Author

    Thanks for the video, Liz.
    Crop rotations or not is an interesting topic that many have different opinions about. I do crop rotation strictly on some vegetable families, while others can be planted where I have space. Many allotments channels on You tube in UK report on club root on brassicas, which has to do with this topic.

  15. unitedideas1 Author

    Hi Liz

    Only just found your page… I am only just starting out in growing fruit and veg. As its July I wondered what may be good to start with and how to make the best organic compost as I currently dont have a compost bin. Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks louise πŸ™‚

  16. Country Life Crafts Author

    I love how the birds, are they gees?, are watching your every move. You can almost hear them saying "you distract her to the left and I will fly in behind her and snatch the brassicas" lol πŸ™‚

  17. INGAF Author

    Liz you hadn't posted in the Facebook group for ages and I wasnt getting Youtube notifications for ages. Then all of a sudden your video gets suggested. FINALLY !

  18. GREEN RAVEN Author

    Just catching up on videos. Somehow I missed the announcement that you were asked to be on the panel. Great honor and sounds like a lot of fun with that group. Laura


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *