Avoid pests and disease in L.A. Learning Gardens

Do you have one crop or one bed that is always covered with pests or disease? Try crop rotation!

Crop rotation is simply rotating what you plant in your garden beds to mitigate pest and disease problems on the same type of crop. Most pests and diseases do not travel far, so you can still plant the same crops in your Learning Garden, just in a different bed. Insect pests and disease can live in the soil and debris even after you remove the infested crop, so avoid planting crops from the same family in the same bed. Rotating your crops will also help keep your garden healthy by slowing the depletion of essential plant nutrients.

Some examples of using crop rotation to mitigate pests using common LA-region pests:

  • If you had an aphid infestation on kale: 
    • What does it look like: aphids are tiny insects that range in colors from black to white and are often seen in large numbers near leaf veins and the undersides of leaves.
    • If you had an infestation of aphids on your kale plant: avoid planting crops from the same family in the original pest-filled bed, such as: broccoli, collards, turnip, bokchoi, and cabbage.
  • If your zucchini was covered in Powdery Mildew:
    • What does this look like: this white fungus looks like baby powder on plant leaves.
    • If you had powdery mildew on your zucchini: avoid planting crops from the same family in the original pest-filled bed, such as: squash, pumpkin, gourds, cucumber, and watermelon.

If you have any questions about crop rotation or need guidance with a pest issue, please reach out to your Garden Educator!


For more information on aphids in California

For more information on powdery mildew in California