As every gardener knows, garlic is a popular crop that’s rewarding to grow, but it is one crop that’s demanding on the garden bed. After harvesting those pungent, delicious garlic bulbs, it’s time to plant something new rather than planting the same – but what?
Understanding the concept of crop rotation is vital regarding growing healthy garlic and keeping your garden soil balanced. Since garlic is a heavy feeder and the nutrients that garlic removes from the soil. It’s important to choose plants other than garlic in the same spot two years in a row is important. Instead, it’s necessary to rotate other vegetable crops through that garden bed before garlic is planted again.
When deciding what to grow after garlic, consider smart companion plantings like leafy greens, root crops, and nitrogen-fixing legumes that use the remaining nutrients in the soil. Also, be mindful of what to avoid planting after garlic, like onions and other alliums, potatoes, or crops with a long growing season.
In our guide, you can learn more about why you need a crop rotation plan to make the most of your precious growing season time. By the end, you’ll better understand how to maintain fertile soil and prevent the buildup of pests and diseases that affect particular plant families. (Read Why Are My Pepper Plants Turning Yellow)
Understanding Crop Rotation and Garlic Harvest
Crop rotation is growing different crops in the same garden area from season to season. It’s an essential concept for several reasons:
- It helps prevent the buildup of pests and diseases that affect particular plant families when grown in the same spot year after year.
- Different crops take different nutrients from the soil, so crop rotation can also help maintain a balanced nutrient profile of any nutrients that remain in the soil.
- Some plants, like legumes, add nitrogen to the soil, so rotating them with nitrogen-hungry plants like garlic can help maintain soil fertility.
Cover Crop Companion Planting and Caring
While you don’t want to plant garlic in the same spot two years in a row, there are many great options for what to plant after garlic!
Certain crops make very good companion plants for garlic, meaning they have compatible nutrient needs or pest/disease resistance. Some smart planting combinations after garlic include:
- Lettuce and other leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach
- Root crops like carrots, radishes, turnips, beets
- Beans and peas (as nitrogen-fixing legumes)
- Brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
These all use the remaining nutrients after garlic and help prepare the soil for the next harvest of garlic.
What to Avoid When You Plant Garlic
While many plants grow well after garlic, there are a few crops you should avoid planting in a bed where you just grew garlic to ensure that the soil recovers:
- Onions or other alliums like leeks, scallions, and chives. These are susceptible to the same diseases that can affect garlic crop.
- Potatoes and tomatoes.
- Winter squash, melons, cucumbers. Vining crops need a long growing season and aren’t a good fit after a long-growing garlic plant.
What Should I Plant After Onions?
Once you’ve finished harvesting your garlic or onions, the best options for planting include:
- Lettuce, kale, spinach, and chard – these leafy greens grow well in the cooler temperatures after onion harvest.
- Beets, carrots, radishes, turnips – root crops make a good rotational fit.
- Peas and beans – the nitrogen-fixing properties of legumes can help replace nutrients onions take from the soil.
Optimal Crop Choices for Successive Planting After Onions and Garlic
For optimal successive planting, consider planting crops like peas, beans, broccoli, or cauliflower after onions and garlic. These crops are excellent choices because they offer various benefits for soil health and pest management.
Legumes like peas and beans fix nitrogen in the soil, helping to maintain a balanced nutrient profile. This is important because garlic is a heavy feeder and can deplete the soil of nutrients if grown continuously in the same spot. Planting crops like broccoli and cauliflower can help break the pest and disease cycle that occurs when the same crop is planted in the same place year after year. (Read How Many Pepper Plants Per 5 Gallon Bucket)
Recommended Crops for Rotation After Onions
Plant at least three crops for rotation after onions, and consider crops like lettuce, carrots, and beets. These crops are great choices because they have different nutrient requirements and can help replenish the soil.
- Lettuce is a leafy green that grows quickly and can be harvested multiple times throughout the season.
- Carrots are root vegetables that help break up compacted soil and add organic matter.
- Beets are another root vegetable rich in nutrients and can improve soil structure.
Remember to follow proper planting and care techniques for each crop to ensure successful rotation and maintain soil health.
Planting Leeks After Onions: Pros and Cons
When planting leeks after onions, you’ll find several pros and cons to consider. Leeks belong to the same family as onions, making them a suitable crop to rotate after onions.
One advantage of planting leeks after onions is that they’re less susceptible to certain pests and diseases that commonly affect onions, like onion maggots and white rot. By rotating crops, you can help reduce the risk of these pests and diseases.
Additionally, leeks have a long growing season, which can extend your harvest and maximize your garden space. (Read My Bottle Brush Tree Looks Dead)
Maximizing Soil Health and Yields With Proper Garlic Succession
To ensure maximum soil health and yields with proper garlic succession, you must plant using crop rotation in your planting plan. Crop rotation offers many benefits for soil health and pest management.
By rotating crops, you can maintain garlic’s soil properties and an ideal nutrient profile in the soil. Planting different crops in the same spot over time helps to reduce pest and disease problems that arise from continuous garlic cultivation.
It’s crucial to avoid growing garlic in the same location year after year, as this can lead to nutrient depletion, accumulation of pests and diseases, and soil-borne fungi. By practicing crop rotation, you can maintain soil health, improve yields, and prevent the recurrence of garlic-related issues.
After harvesting garlic and deciding what to plant next in that garden space, ensure you rotate crops and don’t plant garlic in the same spot two years in a row.
Choosing plants to be harvested relatively quickly, like bush beans, leafy greens, or spring crops, will make good use of the space. Consider planting legumes or a cover crop to improve soil organic matter, and choose an organic fertilizer to ensure the soil gets the nutrients it needs.
Garlic is an important crop, but diseases can affect it if grown in the same place year after year. Use crop rotation best practices when planting and caring for your garlic harvest, and you’ll be ready to plant more delicious garlic bulbs again soon!
FAQs: What’s Best To Plant After Garlic?
Can you plant garlic and onions together?
Planting garlic and onions together or in close rotation is not recommended. These crops are susceptible to diseases that affect both plants. Also, planting in succession allows disease organisms to build up in the soil rather than giving the soil time to recover.
What are some good late summer planting ideas after garlic harvest?
After harvesting garlic, some of the best late summer plantings include quick crops like lettuce, spinach, radishes, beets, and Chinese cabbage or bok choy. These can make use of the space before cold weather sets in. (Learn How Many Delicata Squash Per Plant)
Why is it important to rotate crops and not plant the same crop repeatedly?
Rotating crops is vital for preventing disease and maintaining soil nutrients from hungry plants, including garlic. Garlic is susceptible to certain diseases to build up if it is planted in the same spot every year. Crop rotation gives the soil time to recover.
What type of crops cannot be planted after garlic because of disease concerns?
Crops like onions, leeks, potatoes, and tomatoes should not follow garlic directly in the rotation because garlic has properties that help suppress diseases affecting these crops.
How do crops like lettuce and spinach benefit from being planted after garlic?
Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach can make good use of the remaining nutrients in the soil after a heavy-feeding crop like garlic. They are also ready to harvest quickly to make space for successive plantings.
How does crop rotation ensure healthy soil for future garlic plantings?
Rotating other plant families through a bed between garlic plantings helps prevent nutrient imbalances. It also allows garlic-specific diseases to decline before garlic is planted in that spot again.