A couple of questions before I move my veggies outside in the next couple of weeks:
1) Can I plant roma/bush tomatoes in the same location as last year. I have composted all winter and have tilled the soil very well. The compost will be getting mixed with the tilled soil.
2) Should I try to grow green/black beans close by all of my other plants(peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, etc...) to help bring Nitrogen into the soil? I was thinking maybe letting the beans get a foot or so tall and then just cut them back and keep doing this throughout the spring/summer.
1) The point of of not growing the same types of plants in the same area year after year is to reduce disease. With that said I bet many do because that is the only place they have that works.
2) I don't think beans are going to be happen cut down like that. I also doubt how much nitrogen they are going to put into the soil until they die and decompose. If I was going to try what you propose then I'd use clover, most likely white clover because it is smaller than red clover.
I never grow the same plants in the same spot year after year, I do rotation and have split my veg area up into three / 4 sections though one section I call the permanent bed for such things as Rhubarb, herbs etc, the other three get swapped each spring, just moving what you have grown in one bed goes to the next bed, this way you don't get any build up of soil born diseases build up, in cooler areas this can become a problem and also things like Carrots, Parsnips etc ROOT veg don't like freshly manured soil as it causes the roots to split and also prevents them growing nice long roots as they have rich soil close to the surface with water retentive manure there as well. I have grown veg this way since childhood but I know some people who don't bother rotating their beds, so I can only give what I was taught and what generations before have done here in UK too.
The permanent bed also gets used like a nursery bed for salads, seedlings till transplant etc.
Good luck. Weenel.
Thanks all. So if your plants don't have diseases at the end of the year, is it safe to assume the soil will be fine? Also, is it safe to assume that the plants are disease free just because you harvested a good amount from them and they didn't visually appear to be diseased?
Tomato's are normally trouble free ans the things to take special care about is Potato's, cabbage family, peas / beans etc, the other reason for rotation is so that the soil wont be completely depleted of all the nutrients as you mentioned, peas etc use different nutrients than carrots, cabbages like well dressed soil with added manure / rich compost etc, so rotation is not just for diseases, but do remember that some soil born diseases stay in the soil for years like cabbage root rot, it will be in the soil for several years therefore you should not replant cabbages in that soil but you could plant carrots or salads, it is safe to say that your plants will tell you while growing there is a soil born disease as the plants will begin to collapse ./ discolor / wilt or show signs of bad health,
it's too late to do anything at harvest time with regards to remedy of soil problems, there are dressings for soil that help IF you see first signs of trouble, like garden lime HELPS prevent cabbage root problems but only use this IF you suspect you have this problem and only add the right amount, no good will come by drowning the soil with preventatives IF you don't have the problem and neither will over doing the cure.
Good luck. WeeNel.