What is the four-year rotation?

Have you heard of the four-year rotation? This system, also known as the Norfolk System because it is there, in Norfolk (England), where its creator put it into practice a few years ago, specifically, between 1730 and 1740.

To this day it is still used; Not surprisingly, it is a very interesting method that allows us to make the most of the land without depleting its nutrients. But, what does it consist of?

Table of Contents

  • 1 A Little History
  • 2 What is the Norfolk system?
  • 3 What are its advantages?

A Little History

During the XNUMXth century there began to be a growing interest in growing turnipsBut of course, they wanted to do it by taking advantage of the land, trying not to deplete its nutrients, since otherwise it would be useless. In addition, at that time fallow was still practiced, that is, they did not sow anything for one or more seasons, despite the fact that this meant having a lesser amount of food.

But all that changed when Charles Townshend, an English aristocrat from Norfolk County who lived between 1674 and 1738, developed the four-year rotation that, almost without wanting it, supposed a whole revolution. In fact, it is part of the most important developments of the Agricultural Revolution.

What is the Norfolk system?

This system consists of the four-year rotation of crops following this order: wheat, turnips, barley and alfalfa. To do this, what is done is to improve the characteristics of the soil by adding organic fertilizers, as well as the drainage in case it was necessary that now we would do it with perlite, arlite, or similar, or with other methods that we tell you in this article.

Once the soil is prepared, it is divided into four parts and the plants that touch are planted in each of them. In the coming years they will be rotated so that in this way the nutrients are not depleted (although it is worth re-fertilizing after each end of the season, especially if the soil is poor in nutrients per se, or if it has a tendency to erode) .

What are its advantages?

Its advantages are the following:

  • Fallow is removed.
  • Improves soil productivity.
  • It allows to grow fodder plants for livestock.

So, if you do not have and / or are not interested in buying agricultural machinery, with the four-year rotation I am convinced that you are going to enjoy cultivating a lot 🙂.

What is the four-year rotation?

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