Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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Crop Rotation at Oxford Natural Farm — The Filth

Constructing a Crop Rotation 101 

Step 1 (within the discipline): Divide your fields  

“It’s essential exit and measure your fields. I assure when you guess you’ll be flawed each time,” says Mary. Use a strolling measurer to measure the size and width of your fields. 

Step 2 (within the discipline): Standardize, standardize, standardize!  

Attempt to make your whole mattress sizes, rows, row spacing, and discipline sizes as equivalent as attainable. In case your fields are totally different sizes, divide them into related models. For instance, if in case you have three 50 foo50-foots after which two 100 fo100-foots, divide your hundred meals fields in half to make 50 foot sections.  

Step 3 (on paper): Determine in your crops 

Write out an inventory of the entire crops you need to develop and the season once you will plant them. Even if in case you have sequential plantings, determine the season by which they’ll go into the bottom first.  

Step 4 (on paper): Calculate how a lot area every planting with take up 

Take into consideration the yield you prefer to from every crop. Then, calculate what number of row ft you’ll want of that crop to develop your required yield.  

Step 5 (on paper): Begin to plug and play on a spreadsheet that represents your fields! 

Obtain this rotation template, based mostly on the Oxford Natural Farm mannequin or create your personal in Excel. Start inserting crops in your fields based mostly on when they are going to be planted within the floor. Divide your money crops throughout all of your fields and blend up the planting sample (ex. Subject 1 has a summer time money crop; Subject 2 has a spring and fall money crop. Do that till you have got 75% of your money crops within the rotation then transfer on to fill in your cowl crops. Additionally, don’t place crops from the identical household or heavy feeders in fields close to one another. 

Step 6: Plug in your cowl crops 

Determine the date(s) you want to harvest your money crop (based mostly on once you plant them in Step 5. Then, slot in an applicable cowl crop based mostly on once you’d like the subsequent money crop to be planted within the discipline. *Your purpose is to have the quilt crop attain its full potential, typically that is proper earlier than flowering, typically that is based mostly on peak. IDEALLY, you’ll have 1-2 cowl crops in every discipline per 12 months. This will likely appear to be:  

Step 7: Return to filling in money crops, taking the remainder of your listing and filling plantings in behind your cowl crops.  

Guess what? Now, not solely do you have got your rotation, however you have got your planting schedule too! 

Crop Rotation Suggestions and Issues to Bear in mind:  

  • Replace your rotation as wanted. Nobody wants to inform a farmer that it’s an unpredictable endeavor. Life and Mom Nature throw all types of issues your means! Replace your rotation to account for modifications like crop failures, including new land, altering which money crop to plant, and so on.

  • In case you have short-term crops that don’t want total beds, you’ll be able to group them by what number of weeks they’ll be within the floor and may pair them collectively inside one mattress, flip-flopping them as you clear the mattress after which replanting. 



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