- Students will be able to describe the benefits of crop rotation and the impact of plant production on soil nutrient levels.
Tools & Materials
- Soil testing kit
- Crop Rotation Plan spreadsheet
- Raised planters or garden beds
- Seeds or starts
You know the problem with mono-cropping? Well, there are countless problems with growing a single crop year after year in the same soil. And nutrient depletion is one of them.
Understanding the impact that crop rotation and soil amendments will have on the nutrient profile of the soil is imperative to maintaining a proper balance. After each planting, some nutrients are depleted and others are replenished.
Skilled growers monitor the impacts and use specific crop selections to maintain vitality in the soil.
Expand the crop rotation plan by considering anticipated fluctuations in nutrient levels following each harvest and soil amendment. For example, some plants may deplete nitrogen while others fix it in the soil. Perform soil tests between plantings and amendments to confirm your assumptions and measure any changes to nutrient levels that result. Record your findings in the Crop Rotation Plan.