Crop rotation requires a lot more space than is usually available in a backyard, but I can discuss it in concept. It is a natural gardening method that allows the soil to maintain its balance, so it doesn’t get depleted over time due to the repeated cultivation of a crop that makes heavy use of a specific nutrient. Growing crops this way also maintains the general hygiene of the growing medium by controlling weeds, keeping the soil light and airy and discouraging pests and diseases.

A basic crop rotation system consists of four equal size plots and four crop families: legumes, bulbous roots, carrot and tomato types and brassicas. The crops are moved one plot over each year, respecting the order of families listed above; in practice they are more likely to be “rotated”, since vegetable gardens are usually laid out in a grid and not in a line.

Obviously, crop rotation does not apply to perennial vegetables and herbs, and your annual herbs will be fine when grown in the same place year after year.

Crop rotation can get a lot more complex than that, further sorting the vegetable families into six categories instead of four and keeping track of the varying size of the plots that get allotted to different crops. I understand that this tends to get confusing after a few seasons, even when keeping meticulous records of the planting layouts from previous years.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.