I'm trying to come up with a suitable crop rotation regimen for garlic. What are the plants suitable for planting on the "garlic space" the second and third year of rotation?

In particular I am interested in garlic-hemp (the one without psychedelic effect) combination. Hemp and garlic seems to be such a new combination that I've barely found anything written about it.

On other side, I've found out that potato and legumes are a no-go. When I hear legumes I typically think of beans. Does that mean that alfalfa too shouldn't be used as a cover plant once the garlic is taken out of the soil?

  • 1
    You'll need to take into account garlic's unusual growing season too. I've just harvested mine, having put it in last autumn in a spot that my courgettes are going to overshadow soon (they're planted next to it)
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 15:05
  • Yep, it is unusual. But at least you don't have to worry about storing seeds for a long time :D
    – potato
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 15:16
  • I tend to stick mine in the first (-ish) available bit of space as a sort of intercrop. Because I half-heartedly rotate the rest of the veg beds the garlic moves too. Not an answer as it sounds like you're after something more methodical (and maybe you grow more garlic than me).
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 15:21
  • What the heck is a non psychedelic hemp? Hemp or cannabis is not psychedelic anyway. It can be mind altering, less so than alcohol or tobacco. But garlic and onions can easily be rotated with the brassicas or the solanaceae family. Garlic is funny having to be planted the end of the season before...if you live where the ground doesn't freeze and kills the cloves. Zone 5 I believe is the lowest...perhaps 4 in a greenhouse. I would always rotate my beds using anything other than the family that thrived there the last season.
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 0:20
  • Cover crops knock yourself out. Never ever have I heard about problems with cover crops species and rotation. For one thing they are not allowed to go to seed or inhabit soil long enough to become diseased. But good question...I love annual rye grass and buckwheat as cover crops. Truly I've never thought about species contraindications with cover crops...hummm. Have you grown a successful crop of garlic before?
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


From my experience garlic doesn't need to be rotated unless there is a particular problem noticed the previous year. I've even heard of farmers growing alliums in the same field for 30 years straight without issue and some even report better yields in established fields.

If you want to rotate a classic three year garlic crop rotation is tomato family, broccoli family and then onion family. Garlic is a light feeder so you can rotate it after any heavy feeders without issue. I've read mixed reports of legumes with garlic and onions. It seems never plant them together as companion plants and don't plant legumes before garlic. However, I have read a few times that legumes after garlic with another crop in between can be beneficial. Something like year 1: lettuce, year 2: fruits(tomato/squashes) year 3: roots (carrots, onions, garlic), year 4: legumes (beans/peas).

I don't have any experience growing hemp, so I can't say how it will do in a rotation with garlic but I don't see any reason the two wouldn't grow well in rotation as long as you are adding compost to the soil between crops. As mentioned in the comments above I think the most important factor in deciding what is planted next is more dependent your local climate and how much time you have to grow your desired next crop than anything else.

Finally, you mentioned alfalfa, and I think it would make a great cover crop between garlic crops. Some farmers add alfalfa pellets to their garlic beds to add extra nitrogen to the soil.

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