Many veggie gardeners talk about the importance of crop rotation in achieving a healthy, successful harvest. They move crops from one location to another each year or with each planting season, so that a single type of edible plant is not grown in the same spot season after season. This change of crop location is important for pest/disease inhibition. It also allows gardeners to utilize the benefits of certain crops, such as the ability of legumes to put nitrogen back into the soil, or to work with certain crops that might inhibit or help the growth of next season's seeds.

It is helpful to plant crops within a family together, so that the next year they can rotate to the next bed together (there are some exceptions to this; see notations with specific plants below and also refer to the list of companion plants). Many gardeners plan their vegetable garden for 3-4 years in advance to help keep their veggie families moving together in a nice cycle. It is not necessary to build all new beds -- just move the crop families between existing beds (unless you just want to build new beds -- that's ok, too!)

The following list includes some of the more common names and types of vegetables and herbs, but other regions might use alternative names or additional members of the different families.

Vegetable Families

Asteraceae/Compositae/Daisy family - Asteraceae (Compositae)

  • Lettuce
  • Chicory/Endive
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Globe Artichoke
  • Dandelion
  • Sunflower
  • Safflower
  • Tarragon
  • Artemisia
  • Salsify/Scorzonera
  • Chamomile
  • (Marigolds and Chrysanthemums are also in this family)

Allium family - Alliaceae

  • Onion
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Leek

Crucifer/Cabbage/Mustard family - Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Collard Greens
  • Horseradish
  • Mustard
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radish
  • Cress
  • Rutabaga
  • Bok choy
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Turnip
  • Wasabi

Cucurbit/Marrow family - Cucurbitaceae

  • Cucumber
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cantaloupe/Muskmelon
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash/Marrow
  • Zucchini/Courgette
  • Luffa


Potato/Nightshade family - Solanaceae

  • Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Pepper
  • Potato
  • Tomato, tomatillo
  • Paprika
  • Chile pepper 

Pea and Bean family - Fabaceae (Leguminosae) (restore nitrogen to soil)

  • Alfalfa
  • Lentil
  • Peanut
  • Bean
  • Soybean
  • Clover
  • Lupin
  • Pea


Umbellifers - Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Fennel (always plant ALONE)
  • Dill (don’t plant with carrots or tomatoes)
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Cumin
  • Coriander/Cilantro
  • Caraway
  • Queen Anne’s Lace


Goosefoot/Beetroot family – Amaranthaceae (Chenopodiaceae)

  • Beetroot
  • Quinoa
  • Spinach
  • Goosefoot
  • Swiss Chard (Spinach Beet)
  • Amaranth
  • Sugar beet
  • (also Lamb’s Quarters)

Poaceae/Grasses family (Poaceae or Gramineae)

  • Corn/Maize (grow after carrots)
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Sorghum
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Mallet
  • Sugarcane


  • Lamb’s Lettuce/Corn Salad (Valerianaceae)
  • New Zealand Spinach (Aizoaceae)
  • Purslane, Portulaca, Miner’s Lettuce (Portulacaceae)
  • Rhubarb, Buckwheat (Polgonaceae)
  • Okra (Mallow family, Malvaceae; cacao is also in this family)