The growing interest in amenity fruit and vegetable growing has given rise to the mushrooming of initiatives such as www.giyireland.com. In Balbriggan the local Horticultural Society has launched a course of workshops on vegetable growing co-ordinated by committee member, great local gardener [and indeed chef] Judith Chavasse. Her neighbour and veg growing expert Dave gave the first lecture. He emphasised the importance of laying out the growing area, ideally in six patches. One of the patches is for permanent crops like rhubarb (which can be planted now) or asparagus or blackcurrants, raspberries etc.
Five different families of vegetables are rotated annually around the other five patches. There is now an easy way to remember which crop goes in the first patch, which in the second, third and so on. The aide memoire is ‘People Love Bunches Of Roses‘ which gives P-L-B-O-R. So plant potato family crops in the first patch, legumes in the second, brassicas in third, onion family and leeks etc in fourth and root crop in the fifth. When root crops are harvested, that patch gets enriched with compost and/or manure again to take the seed potatoes the next Spring. The same order is observed with each crop family moving up one patch in the rotation.
Thank you to Dave and the Balbriggan and District Horticultural Society for taking the guesswork out of which comes first in a rotation, legumes or brassicas!