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If you’re fairly new to farming and have just started planting vegetables in your backyard, it’s safe to say that you haven’t thought about crop rotation yet. So for those of you who don’t know, crop rotation is the practice of growing a different series of crops in the same soil over a period of time. This is so that the soil you prep in an area isn’t exhausted of just one type of nutrients. Not only are nutrients not sucked out of your soil, but pests won’t be able to settle when you’re moving your crops around.

A full crop rotation cycle is completed over four years since the types that need to be rotated are usually annuals and can be divided into four categories; legumes (edamame, beans, peas), roots (beets, garlic, radishes), fruit (cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers) and leafy varieties (lettuce, herbs, cabbage). To make things easier, try dividing your garden area into four parts where you plant the varieties mentioned above.

Let’s go over how crops are supposed to be rotated by using the example of a single part of your garden. Let’s say that you’ve planted a fruit-bearing crop in your first bed that takes up a lot of nutrients, so after the first year of growing tomatoes or squashes, you’ll have to replace them with legumes. They use the remaining nutrients while adding nitrogen back to the soil, an important mineral that can help you grow leafy vegetables that have to be planted in the third year.

In the third year of your crop rotation cycle, you can plant spinach, lettuce or herbs. Then, in year four, you can plant root vegetables like carrots or radishes in the same bed. Now follow this chain; fruits, then legumes, then leafy vegetables, and then, roots. Now let’s go over how you’ll work in each bed.

1st Bed

This is where you previously grew roots and it’s depleted of nutrients and needs to be replenished. Hence, you’ll grow ‘fruit’ types that feed on many nutrients. During fall, start adding a good amount of organic matter such as compost to your soil. Come spring, your soil will be nourished to plant your crops. After you’ve harvested, you can plant some of the legume variety.

2nd Bed

This is where you’ll start by growing legumes and it’s not necessary that you prep the soil or were previously growing ‘fruit’ types of crops. However, they could do with some mulch because they grow pretty tall and thin.

3rd Bed

Preferably, you can start growing your leafy vegetables wherever you were previously growing legumes but if not, simply add some nitrogen-fixing matter like manure. You can add compost to this soil during the spring before planting your crop. Later on, you can add some mulch to keep the plants protected throughout autumn.

4th Bed

You’ll be growing roots here in the first year and these don’t need much prepping at all. During the winter, use some green manure for the soil so that it’s filled with nutrients for the upcoming ‘fruit’ types.

Follow these simple steps so you can get a fantastic yield that makes you proud each time. Happy farming!

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Three Farmgirl Luxuries

Ladies who farm can be just as girly, beautiful, and pampered as their urban-dwelling sisters. In fact, most farm girls who don’t have access to a spa can probably come up with whatever it takes to make themselves feel great about themselves and their bodies. Here are three ideas that farm girls will completely understand.

Stock Tank Pool

Some of you city slickers may not know what is meant by a stock tank pool, so here’s the explanation. These 8 feet in diameter tanks that are about 2 feet tall are used to feed stock. You know, cattle, horses and the like. But, they also make excellent pools. All you have to do is add a pool pump and a filter. The pump also keeps the water moving, which deters mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water. Once that’s done, you can use a swimming pool net to keep debris out of the tank. In the winter, you can change the plumbing to copper and add a propane heater and viola- you have a hot tub.

You can choose to have your “pool” above ground or sunken. If you dig a hole and place your pool at ground level, you can landscape around the edges. Imagine how beautiful your relaxing pool will be with plantings, built-in benches, and slate tiles around its rim. You have to agree; this is an outdoor retreat like no other.

Do-It-Yourself Bath Bombs

Bath bombs are a current trend for a reason. Popping one into your bath after building, planting, and mowing all day is an extravagance that no one can resist. Farm girls are more likely to make their bath bombs and use herbs from their gardens to decorate them. In fact, farm girls probably have most of these ingredients in their homes already. Here is an easy recipe:


1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup Epsom salt
1/2 cup corn starch
2 1/2 tablespoons almond oil
3/4 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons essential oils

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. In a small bowl, combine all liquid ingredients.

Slowly mix wet and dry ingredients. If you mix too quickly, some of the ingredients will react and make your bombs bumpy.

Separate the mixture into several bowls and add food coloring as desired. Use ice cube trays, silicone cupcake molds, or a stainless steel circular mold.

Allow the bomb to harden for at least 24 hours after taking them out of the molds. Precise instructions are available online.

Herbal Tea Recipes

What could be more relaxing and luxurious than a cup of tea on your front porch? And did you know you can make your brews right at home? Well, you can, and the benefits of tea are myriad. Tea can:

  • relieve stress
  • calm the nervous system
  • contribute antioxidant properties to the body
  • cleanse the body

The tea base consists of fresh or dried ingredients, such as ginger or peppermint A sweetener, like honey, stevia leaf, or licorice root, may be added. After this step, you can get as creative as you like. Some additions that have health benefits include:

  • citrus peels
  • eucalyptus
  • dandelion root
  • echinacea root

Put your ingredients into a cup and pour hot water over them. Cover your vessel for roughly 10 minutes. Strain, put on your favorite terry cloth robe, sit on your front porch swing, and enjoy! There are many tea recipes online, many of which produce beverages that have particular advantages.

Farmgirl luxuriating is simple, rewarding, and fun. Don’t you think it’s time to take care of yourselves for a change?

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