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Beets: From Seed to Harvest
If your only experience for eating beets is from a can around Thanksgiving time, you are
really missing out. There is a wide variety of great tasting beets to choose from such as
Golden Detroit to the Ruby queen and this doesn’t even include the beet greens which
are also edible.
Beets are a great root vegetable that easy to grow, so as long as the soil you plant them
in is friable, meaning loose enough to allow the root, which is the actual beet itself, to
grow and expand. If your soil is heavy on clay, you may have issues. A quick fix is to
add in plenty of peat. Although the use of peat as of late, has been deemed, not
environmentally friendly. If that is a concern to you, you can substitute peat with “coir”.
Coir is fiber from the outer husk of coconuts.
Beets like to grow in neutral soil, so be sure to take a pH reading so you can make
adjustments as necessary. I like to use a specific small raised bed for the beets that I
grow. It makes it easier for me to maintain. Don’t plant your beet seeds more than a half
inch deep. While they are a small to medium sized seed, that depth will be perfect for
You can start your beet seeds indoors to get a head start of your gardening season.
This comes in handy if you have a short growing season. When you make the transition
to the outdoors, be sure to give them plenty of room, both width and depth as some beet
roots can extend as deep as 3 feet! Follow the instructions for spacing on your seed
packet as it will vary based on the variety you are planting. Lean towards the side of
further apart then closer together. For example if your seeds packet reads, space out
two to four inches, go with four inches.
Although beets will grow in partially shaded environments, they really do best when in
full sun. But, most of everything you grow in your garden thrives best in full sun, so that
should be a given.
If possible be sure to harvest your beets when they are about 2 to 3 three inches in
diameter. You will see them start to pop out of the ground from the top, similar to what
onions do. At this size you get the best flavor. In my personal opinion, any larger and
they start to become too bitter. You may, however, like the flavor, so be sure to grow
them to your tastes, not someone elses.
"Beets are a great
that easy to grow,
so as long as the
soil you plant
them in is friable,
enough to allow
the root, which is
the actual beet
itself, to grow and
Monday, June 25, 2012
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