July 22, 2020
Definition: The practice of growing crops in sequence to maximize space and time. This practice is also known as succession planting.
Sequential Cropping vs Monocropping
In sequential cropping, crops are grown within the same crop year, one being sown after the harvest of the other. Monocropping is the practice of planting the same crop year after year. While both methods are repetitive, sequential cropping is not necessarily the same as monocropping. On the contrary, sequential cropping is a form of crop rotation since different crops are grown during different seasons.
Sequential Cropping in Forest Gardens
Sequential cropping is a method that optimizes space and time. To successfully sow crops in sequence, farmers must consider when they are harvesting short-season crops and how long it takes for the next crop to reach maturity.
When done with proper planning, sequential cropping allows farmers to fill their plant beds year-round. When one crop is harvested, another crop can be sown in its place. This not only optimizes space and time, but it also generates guaranteed income throughout the year.
Sequential Cropping and Soil Amendments
While sequential cropping is an excellent way for farmers to optimize space and time in their Forest Gardens, this practice can be damaging to the soil. After each harvest, nutrients are taken out of the soil along with the crops. To mitigate this damage farmers can add soil amendments before planting the next crop in the sequence. Compost, manure, bone meal, and other soil amendments will help retain the vitality of the soil so farmers can keep sequential cropping year after year.