User avatar
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Question for gardeners with small gardens or pots

I am so aggravated, I should rotate crops, but If you have a very small home garden - just how can this be accomplished. I try, even digging all the soil out of my raised beds, and replacing it with new soil so I can plant the crops I really want again, I try to plant something different in the fall, but everything I read says three years between crops. Let's face it I want tomatoes, peppers, beans and cucumbers the most. Everything else is just well for fun. So I can't go for three years between planting these crops in the small area I have. Have pots going, but the tomatoes do so much better in the ground. Is there any alternative? Buying new soil all the time is costly, even with adding my own compost. I do compost the old soil, but it seems to be adding up cost wise. I hope someone understands my dilemma. I appreciate your listening to me whine!!!! :roll:
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1273
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 4:34 pm
Location: Lake Martin, AL

:? :?
Last edited by lakngulf on Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

Senior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:10 pm
Location: southport FL

def look at my signature space below it will explain a lot and def look at the book and website it will take care of most of those probs
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

User avatar
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1989
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Monterey, CA.

I have a small garden and don't plan on rotating. I am making some minor changes but really just taking my chances. I had no major disease outbreaks so that is something going in my favor. I also won't be buying bags of soil, I will add compost, organic fertilizer, and occasionally clay/topsoil if it is needed.

Potting soil however is costly and I am being smarter about what I grow in pots in '12.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I'm in the same situation, city lot with just a few raised beds and not all of them sunny. I have planted tomatoes in the same spot for years now. I don't change the soil in the bed, though I do keep adding compost and mulch. I have to watch out carefully for diseases, but it works for me.

I just made a new bed in the middle of my front lawn this year. So in 2012, some tomatoes will go in the new bed, which has never had anything but grass in it and had a whole bunch of fresh compost added and some tomatoes will go in the same old spot in the back. It will be interesting to see how much difference it makes.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: Facebook page I manage for them: Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Question for gardeners with small gardens or pots

I plant tomatoes in pots, if the tomatoes were not diseased, I put the potting mix in the yard and start with new potting mix and plant in the same spot too. I do rotate some crops with the seasons. If I plant my first corn on March 1, I can get three cycles in before the days get too short. I rotate out to smaller plants or leave it mostly fallow for a couple of months or use a cover crop just to keep the weeds down.

However, when I got yellow leaf curl virus on the tomatoes, I pulled the tomatoes and planted beans and snow peas instead for about a year and then planted tomatoes that are more resistant.

I did not have basil for two years because of basil downy mildew. This year I had one successful basil crop then Walmart started selling basil that was infected with downy mildew and three weeks later, the thai basil got it and I had to destroy all of the plants, sterilize the soil and the pots. I am doing a test now to see if the downy mildew is still around.

As long as your plants are not having a lot of problems with pests or disease, you probably don't have to rotate your crops. Even planting in a different place would entail me going from back yard to front yard. Hard to do with an HOA.
To keep the pests down I do plant nectar plants that are pretty much ever blooming and I do not use pesticides unless I have no other choice. I also have a lot of different plants so I can do some small scale companion planting and I have a very active garden patrol. The only real problems I have are thrips, slugs and snails. The thrips I live with since I am not getting rid of the plumeria, roses, gardenia, or orchids and anything I use on the thrips will kill their predators. Slugs and snails I do bait for, and they are winning.

I choose cultivars that work best for my climate. Sometimes I try new ones, some work out, some don't. I tried Solar set tomato for better heat resistance, but it does not have the disease resistance so I am back to Heatwave II, Souix, Arkansas Traveler, and Creole when I can find seeds. You should also try to plant cultivars that work the best for your particular climate that you like. Sungold, cherry, sunsugar, and sweet mojo were very good cherry tomatoes. Sungold did get tomato yellow leaf curl, but right now, I don't have the problem and since I am growing the corn, I don't have a lot of problems with white flies. When I do, I just cut the hibiscus host back.

As for peppers, I grow a lot of different ones, mostly hots and super hots, but bell peppers don't produce all that well so I have more banana, cubanelle, Anaheim, and Japanese sweet peppers which are good frying peppers that are sweet or mild and produce much more than bells.

I have beans nearly all year. I do grow a local variety that is nematode, rust and virus resistant and it actually tastes pretty good. I don't need a lot of beans since I really don't like them that much.

I plant cucumbers for about 9 months of the year. They are hard to grow in the rainy season, even if I get the mildew resistant ones.

I have a lot of herbs mostly in pots and herbs not only attract beneficial insects they are very aromatic which can be used to disguise other plants. Like planting onions and garlic with roses and peppers and fennel off in a corner of the yard.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”