Another handy tool to have in your gardening belt is the concept of crop rotation. Early on, farmers noticed that if you plant the same things in the same spaces year after year, then the soil would become depleted and problems would arise. Heavy feeding helped and crop rotation helped.
If you don't have separate beds for things, you can rotate areas. And if you have only a couple of beds, then you can divide them in half and rotate that way.
If you're new to the whole idea of crop rotation and want to give it a try then here are some charts to get you started.
- Urban Harvest has a great place to start, with good basic information and lists of vegetables that group together for rotation: http://urbanharvest.org/documents/118591/149202/GB+Crop+Rotation+for+a+Bigger+Harvest.pdf/d34af602-0024-41c5-8ac3-68afa355ed3c
- Australia has put out a great beginner's guide to crop rotation here: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/vegieguide/crop_rotation.htm
- This article has a great and very simple chart for dividing your plants into these rotating groups: Leaves, roots, fruit, and legumes. http://www.theproductivegarden.com/vegetable-gardens/crop-rotation/
- Here is a 4 bed rotation that allows one bed to lie fallow every year: http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/233/Garden-Types/Food-Gardens/Vegetable-Garden-Crop-Rotation/default.html
- Here is an article with both a 4 bed and a 6 bed rotation [near the bottom]: http://www.parkorchardsgardensupplies.com/10836.html
- Here is yet another list with some more advanced soil prep suggestions. Go to the bottom of the post for the chart: http://remnantgleaning.blogspot.com/2010/08/studio-incorporating-workroom-patch.html