Crop rotation


An easy way to remember crop rotation is dividing plants into leggy, leafy, fruity and rooty. These plants must be rotated so as to meet and replenish their Nitrate needs.

  • Leggy = legumes
  • Leafy = high Nitrate feeding
  • Fruity = medium Nitrate feeding
  • Rooty = low Nitrate feeding.

Sowing beans and peas to add nitrogen


Our neighbours next to the vegetable beds are going to pull down their old asbestos-filled house and build a new one. We have a make-shift fence between us at the moment and with an energetic dig-loving tiny dog we’re hoping they build a new fence soon.

We’ve put our plans on growing things in the vegetables beds on hold. I get a little paranoid about being 100% organic and at one point I wanted to cover the beds with tarp so the building dust and crap doesn’t drift over the area. I’m hoping the new fence will block some of it.

Anyhow, I’ve been sorting through my seeds and discovered several packets of beans and peas that have ‘expired’ and need to be planted. With a nothing-to-loose attitude, we planted them out on Sunday, just after it had rained almost all of Saturday.

It’s amazing how the soil quality differs in the four beds. The bed which previously had potatoes growing in it is packed with worms. We wonder if it was the additional cow manure that has made the difference.

As the soil was thoroughly wet, we didn’t pre-soak the beans and peas, as sometimes recommended.  We planted in a random fashion Cherokee Wax bush bean, Rattlesnake bean, Blue Lack climbing beans, Lazy Housewife bean, Purple King climbing bean, Scarlet Emperor runner bean, Snake climbing bean, Scarlet Emperor runner bean, Telephone pea and Massey Gem pea.

I’m not too bothered whether we get a harvest or not. My motivation for planting the beans and peas is to fix nitrogen back in to the soil and help rejuvenate it. So in this instance they are serving as a cover crop.

We going to focus on setting up the food forest in the next few months. I’m madly saving for my chickens and bees.

Matt also installed our new worm tower and trellis system from Birdies Garden Products. A big thank you to Birdies for the lovely surprise.

The Herb Robert has self seeded and is now growing amongst the undergrowth of our native border. I dug up some oregano and mint with roots and replanted them among the bottom of the natives. Now it’s starting to feel a little more like permaculture.