In a spin about crop rotation

I’m having a crisis of confidence. Suddenly, everything that I thought I knew is in doubt. Up might be down. East might be West. I have no idea what to think or who to trust.

So far, I’ve been asking as many people as will talk to me for allotment advice, whether they look interested in helping me or not. But there’s one authority that I’ve trusted above all others: Mark Diacono’s River Cottage Handbook No. 4, Veg Patch. This book not only contains a wealth of information, it’s also a beautiful thing, and carries the endorsement of St Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. In my book, that’s about as credible as sources can get.

Now I’ve got a second book with equally good credentials to draw on: The Royal Horticultural Society Allotment Handbook, and the problem is that they disagree.

When it comes to crop rotation, Mark Diacono recommends going from Legumes, to Brassicas, to Roots & Onions, to Potatoes [p173]. The RHS, on the other hand, recommends going from Legumes, to Brassicas, to Potatoes, to Roots & Onions [p44]. They reverse the order of the Potatoes and the Roots & Onions.

For me, this is like overhearing an argument between St Peter and St Paul, or (if you prefer) Bobby Robson and Trevor Brooking; I don’t know who to believe. Perhaps you can clear things up for me. When it comes to crops, how do you rotate yours?

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