This is a Project Report, the product of study, organization of theoretically ideal succession-rotation vegetable gardening, and then 3 years of my trying things out to find what really works.
This year-round vegetable gardening program works well in central Texas.
It incorporates gardening rules, such as:
1) Nothing from the same family in the bed for 3 years, especially tomatoes,
2) Nitrogen-fixing legumes precede nitrogen-hungry tomatoes,
3) Never follow corn with onions; it ruins the onions,
4) Some overlap in a bed from season to season is fine.
5) You need mulch on growing-beds and garden-paths and drip-irrigation, for your garden to survive Texas summer. Really, you do. See image below: July 4, 2016
Here is a 3-Bed/3-Year succession/rotation garden scheme, organized by groupings, which are based on plant families, but have to include several families in a group.
It specifically excludes corn, okra and potatoes, though you could work them into it at the expense of some tomatoes, sweet potatoes and melons.
If you have 3 really big beds, you can do that, but the 5 bed rotation might be better,
Corn would go with black-eyed peas. Potatoes go with tomatoes and peppers (same family, nightshades). Okra would go with melons, and the cucumbers would climb it.
Squash goes with melons; same family, but the borer moths and squash bugs kill all my squash here.
Cool Season: Roots, Salads and Cilantro
Hot Season: Sweet Potatoes, Black-eyed Peas (proceed to 2)
Cool Season: Peas and Sweet-Peas, Brassicas (cabbage family)
Hot Season: Nightshades (tomato, peppers, eggplant), Beans [bush, pole, yard-long] Note: fudging rules with legumes in bed for 3 seasons, but it works (proceed to 3)
Cool Season: Chard, Spinach and radishes (beet family)
Hot Season: Cucumber and Melons: Squash if they'll get past the insect pests for you (proceed to 1)
Groupings, Families and Suggestions:
Roots: Carrots, Onions, Garlic and Leeks in this plan. [Plant Sept. - Jan.]
Note: Radishes are actually in the cabbage family so group with kale-and-collards.
Salads: Lettuce, Arugula, Celery, Cilantro [Plant Sept. - Jan]
Brassicas/Cabbages: Kale, Collards, Broccoli, Cabbage, Radish, Turnip, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Bok-Choy and Asian Greens [Plant Sept - Oct.]
Beet Family: Swiss Chard, Spinach, Beets [Plant Sept. - Dec.]
Gourd Family: Cucumber (climbs), Melon (sprawls), Squash of all kinds (climb and/or sprawl) [Plant after last spring freeze, mid March]
Note: Squash-bugs and Borer-moths (look like huge wasps) kill squash in Austin.
Nightshades: (The all-important family for many) Tomatoes, Eggplant, Peppers and Potatoes [Plant after last freeze, or early March if willing to gamble a little.]
Beans: "Provider" bush beans do well here, and keep producing if you keep watering and picking beans. Good flavor for a bush bean. Blue Lake and Kentucky Wonder pole beans do well here with same treatment "Yardlong" Asian pole beans do fairly well. Some beans do better some years, and other beans do better other years, so planting variety is good.
Black-Eyed Peas are legumes, closely-related to the yardlong beans. They thrive in summer heat, having originated in Africa. Need pea-poles. Plant in April.
Amish Snap Peas are in a class of their own. I keep planting various other peas in the winter, like Snow Peas, and Dwarf Sweet Peas, and Oregon Giant Snow Peas, but the Amish Snap peas keep being the best, and I can't bag them when I pick them. They go straight to my mouth. They thrive here. Plant Sept. and Jan. Need poles or trellises.
Sweet Potatoes are sold in all the nurseries every spring. Don't buy them! They are ornamentals; not what you eat at Thanksgiving. Big disappointment! White and hard.
Buy organic sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving and put 3 toothpicks in them in February, before Valentine's Day. Put them in a glass of water, half above, in a warm and lit window, to grow slips. Plant the slips, or the whole spud, on April Fool's Day.
That was the simple rotation. Can you use something more elaborate?
5-Bed/5-Year Succession-Rotation Garden:
Cool Season: Chard, Spinach, Salads
Hot Season: (April 1 plant) Melons, Cucumbers, (Squash), Corn #1, July 4 plant Corn #2 (proceed to 2)
Cool Season: Amish Snap Peas (and other peas, if you want, planting in Sept. and Jan.)
Hot Season: Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant between last freeze and April Fool's day. Coplant Provider Bush Beans for early season yield, before tomatoes overgrow. (proceed to 3)
Cool Season: Onion (seed in Sept.) Garlic (Oct.-Nov.), Leek (seeds in Sept. or starts in Jan.)
Hot Season: Sweet Potato slips April Fool's Day will grow as Onion, Garlic and Leek are pulled and used. (proceed to 4)
Cool Season: Carrot seeds (Scarlet Nantes do well) after Sweet Potatoes pulled, and Coplant Onion seeds with carrots for mutual benefits. (Yes, Allium family 2 years in a row, but partial years, and there are other benefits, like the synergy of onion-carrot for pest resistance, and growing useful things in winter to pull as needed in spring, gradually making room for summer crops.)
Hot Season: Black Eyes Peas, Plant in April where carrots and onions are pulled and put in stakes for them to climb. Transition is April - June. (proceed to 5)
Cool Season: Brassica Family, Kale, Collards, Broccoli, Cauliflower,, Radish, Turnip, Brussels Sprouts
Hot Season: Okra (April Fool;s Day, and each okra plant gets a 3 foot by 3 foot square of space) Coplant Provider Bush Beans for early season yield until Okra dominates in June. (proceed to 1)