Many summer residents, growing the same crops in the beds year after year, notice that the yield, despite good care, is declining quite quickly. There is nothing surprising here - not every owner of the site knows about the classification of crop rotations and their necessity. And this is a serious mistake, which may well cost the harvest. Therefore, it will be very useful to talk about the basic rules - this simple knowledge will always allow you to collect the maximum fruit from a small area.
What is crop rotation and why is it needed
Before talking about the classification of crop rotations, it is worth telling what it is in general and what purpose it is used for.
It's actually quite simple. Different crops need different micronutrients for fruit formation. Some need more potassium, while others need more phosphorus. Some consume a lot of nitrogen, others a little less, and still others enrich the soil with this valuable trace element.
If you grow the same crop on the plot every year, it will constantly pull the same substances. Of course, forFor several years, the amount of microelements in the soil has been sharply reduced. As a result, productivity drops sharply. Fertilization can partially solve the problem, but this is due to unnecessary financial costs. Therefore, it is better to simply know what to plant next year and intelligently rotate crops to get a rich harvest.
By the way, our ancestors knew little about the composition of the soil, they did not understand microelements. However, at the same time, they always tried to follow the rules of crop rotation - the people called it multi-field. Experienced peasants, in the presence of a sufficient amount of land, chose a system of three fields. On one, for example, ordinary wheat was grown, on the other - winter, and the third remained "fallow", that is, it rested for a whole year to restore the balance of microelements.
However, the restoration of the composition is not the only plus of crop rotation. It has also long been noticed that with the long-term cultivation of one crop or even different plants belonging to the same species in the same place, the number of parasites and infectious diseases increases. There is nothing surprising here - for example, if you grow potatoes in one place, then the number of the Colorado potato beetle will increase on the site. And every year the army of pests will increase. If you take a break and grow cucumbers, beets or carrots here for several years, then the Colorado potato beetles will have nothing to eat and they will have to change their place of residence. The same is true for infectious diseases. After all, very often diseases that pose a danger to some cultures cannot at allhurt others.
Therefore, regular and, most importantly, properly planned, rotation of crops is a reliable way to get rid of many problems and ensure a good harvest.
Now it will be useful to talk about the classification of crop rotations. Indeed, today agronomy has accumulated a rich stock of knowledge about the correct distribution and alternation of crops. Therefore, we give examples of different options for alternation. And let's start with row crop rotation.
It is observed when it is necessary to grow row crops - potatoes, sugar beet, corn. Their main feature is that each plant needs a relatively large area, that is, there are only a few stems or bushes per square meter. Usually, half of the available area is allocated for row crops - other annual plants are grown on the second. On one plot, you can grow the same plants for up to two years, after which it is necessary to change their places. This type of crop rotation is considered the most intensive.
Grain-grass rotation is very popular in the cultivation of various grain crops sown by seeding. This includes most cereals: wheat, oats, rye and others. Despite the high planting density, these plants deplete the soil relatively little.
But still, to restore the supply of trace elements, certain rules must be observed.After three to four years of growing cereals, perennial or annual grasses are grown in this area. As a rule, in the year preceding the return of cereals to the site, the field is plowed along with grasses that have not yet had time to give seeds. Thanks to this, the soil receives not only rest, but also good feeding in the form of leaves and grass stems. During the year they rot and serve as additional top dressing for cereals.
Crop rotation is also often called grain-grass-rowed. It is considered the most environmentally friendly and useful - it slightly depletes the soil, and it has time to recover thanks to natural processes - no additional fertilizers are required.
The essence of crop rotation is quite simple. With it, the most diverse crops should be grown in shifts in one area. For example, you can not grow legumes or nightshade plants two years in a row - you need to alternate them. It is also desirable to sow alternately annual and perennial crops. A successful pair are tilled crops and continuous sowing crops, spring and winter crops. With this approach, the soil is slightly depleted, and its phytosanitary condition remains the best.
The grain-fallow crop rotation is the oldest known to agricultural workers. According to the sources we have encountered, it can be judged that it was successfully used in our country and throughout Europe several centuries ago. True, it is only suitable if there is a large area. It is also usually used in arid and not very fertile regions, for example, in the steppe. Activelywas used in the Kazakh SSR, where low rainfall often led to low yields.
In a grain-fallow crop rotation, a plot is planted with grain crops (millet, wheat, rye, oats) one year, and left "fallow" the next year, that is, wild herbs grow here that restore soil fertility.
In some cases, not two phases differ, but three. At the same time, ordinary cereals are grown in the first year, winter crops are grown the next year, and the third field is left to “rest” and restore fertility. This option is the most justified, as it allows you to get rich crops of cereals, and on the other hand, it depletes the soil a little, allowing you to work with it for decades without applying expensive fertilizers.
For regions where there is a lot of precipitation and at the same time the soil is highly fertile (Chernozem region, forest-steppe, Polissya), a grain-row crop rotation will be the best choice. Despite intensive cultivation of various crops, which allows for excellent yields, with the right approach, the soil is slightly depleted.
As the name implies, here in one area you need to alternate grain and row crops. That is, after wheat, potatoes are grown, then millet, followed by corn, and so on. Yes, all crops absorb moderate to high levels of micronutrients. But due to the fact that plants alternate, they absorb a different ratio of nutrients.Therefore, they have time to recover in a few years. It is recommended to change the culture every year.
A special kind of grain-row crop rotation is grain-fallow. The same planting pattern is preserved here, but every third or fifth year the land is left fallow. This crop rotation will be the best choice for the steppe regions of Ukraine and similar conditions. On the one hand, a large amount of precipitation falls here, on the other hand, the land is not as fertile as, for example, in the Tambov and Voronezh regions. Therefore, in order to restore the yield, it is necessary to give the field a "rest" every few years.
Finally, it is very important to know about green manure crop rotation. In order to better understand the issue, you should know what siderates are. These are special plants that are distinguished by their ability to enrich the soil with nitrogen, and also accumulate a large amount of this essential trace element. It is nitrogen that all crops need to build green mass. This includes stems, branches, leaves. Of course, the more green mass, the more active the process of photosynthesis, which allows plants to accumulate nutrients, which subsequently turn into fruits.
Lucerne, legumes, clover, lupine, fenugreek are green manure.
No matter what crops were grown on the field - green manure crop rotation will significantly increase yields if you have to work on poor soil. Therefore, green manure is most often grown on the site of plants that deplete the most.earth. In the selected year, instead of the usual crops, the site is sown with various green manure crops. It is important here not to let them give seeds - otherwise the next year the sprouts may crush the cultivated plants. Therefore, mowing is carried out several times during the summer, and the green mass is left on the field. In autumn, shortly before the first frosts, the site is plowed up. All greens - both live and mowed - mix with the ground and begin to actively rot, dramatically increasing the amount of nitrogen and providing a good harvest. Quite often, young sprouts appear on the site after this. However, there is no need to fear about them - after the very first frosts, they will fall down and will not have time to leave seeds.
Who cares to know?
Quite often, when it comes to the classification of crop rotations, some people are not too interested in this topic, believing that it is important only for agronomists and other agricultural workers whose work is related to crops that measure hundreds of square kilometers.
In fact, understanding this topic will be useful in general for every person working on the ground, including summer residents and garden owners. Compliance with the simple rules listed above can significantly increase productivity. To do this, you just need to remember that it is undesirable to grow the same crop in one place for several years in a row. For example, in a place where potatoes are usually grown, you can grow cucumbers, beets, radishes, peas, and beans. The main thing is not pepper, eggplant and tomatoes, they are alsobelong to the nightshade family. This rotation not only results in a rich harvest, but also reduces the chances of insect pests and infectious diseases.
Which plants deplete the soil the most
As mentioned above, some plants deplete the earth faster, while others slower. Of course, the leaders in depletion include corn, rapeseed, sunflower and winter wheat. First of all, they consume phosphorus, which is necessary for the development of a powerful root system. Corn consumes as much as 37 kilograms of phosphorus per hectare per season. Other crops are inferior to it - for rapeseed this figure is 34 kilograms, for sunflower - 29, and for winter wheat - 28 kilograms.
Of course, it is impossible to grow these crops in one place for several years in a row - the land will be severely depleted, which will certainly affect the yield.
This concludes our article. Now you know enough crop rotations and the main types. This means that you can easily decide what to plant next year, so as not to encounter plant diseases and low yields.