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Q. Can you plant tomatoes in same spot each year?
A. It's not recommended.
Crop rotation is an excellent practice for a couple of reasons.
- To replenish or rest the soil. By planting a different crop in a certain location after tomatoes, you can reinvigorate that plot. Corn is a good rotation crop after tomatoes, as it is in an entirely different vegetative group than tomatoes. Legumes (peas, beans, and cow peas) are another excellent choice. While they have some diseases and pests in common with tomatoes, legumes fix nitrogen and adding organic mass to the soil. Avoid planting peppers, eggplant, and potatoes in the same place as tomatoes, as they are also in the Solanacea family along with tomatoes. Likewise, avoid planting brassicas (cabbage, turnips, collards, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower) after tomatoes, since they pull the same nutrients from the soil and attract some of the same kinds of diseases.
- To control diseases. Tomato fungus and tomato wilt organisms can remain in the soil for several years. By rotating tomatoes you help prevent diseases during the next season. Try to plant tomatoes in the same spot only every 3 -4 years.
Good luck and happy gardening!Your friends at Tomato Dirt
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By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source for growing tomatoes and using them.
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