Excellent food, beets are low in calories, well supplied with potassium and other nutrients essential to the body. It is therefore interesting to grow beets, (vegetable gardens it goes without saying) to be able to consume it as regularly as possible. It also makes children want to taste it because they tend to prefer the vegetables they see growing in the garden to those you buy at the supermarket and they are right. But before seeing how to harvest the good beets from the vegetable garden in order to enjoy them cooked and even raw, let’s take stock of the method of planting this hardy root vegetable and on his tiny needs in terms of maintenance.
Some gardeners opt for sowing beets. It is better to have something to shelter them to allow the young plants not to take a hit from late frost because the end of spring can sometimes be much chillier than you expected.
The period of planting beets varies depending on the variety chosen, each with particular characteristics. Below we find the best sowing period for each of them, which gives a good indication of the best time to transplant them, namely as soon as the seedlings have formed their fifth leaf.
Beet seeds are agglomerated together (glomeruli). It is therefore necessary to separate them before sowing them. It is a delicate task. For convenience, you can buy your beet plants in pots : this saves time and increases your chances of success. All you have to do is go to a garden center and select your favorite variety(ies), taking into account the following indications:
- One is tardive and it’s most rustic of all: the Crapaudine beet. Sowing must be carried out from May until June for an autumn harvest.
- Another is on the contrary very early : flat black beet from Egypt. The young plants are transplanted in April for a harvest in May/June.
- Yet another allows harvest in abundance because it is most productive : Long Red-Black Beet of Virtues. It can be sown or transplanted in May and harvested throughout the summer.
The transplanting is done as follows:
- dig a furrow 10 cm deep in soft ground,
- Gently separate the plants, a bucket usually containing 3 or 4, using a serrated knife to “saw” the root ball,
- Baste the plants thus separated from each other for a few minutes,
- Planting young red beetroot 15 cm apart,
- Tamp down,
- Water in fine rain.
By using beets in pots and by proceeding in this way to transplant them, the thinning stage is completely unnecessary, whereas it is essential if one opts for sowing.
It’s here garden beet (cousin of Chard) which is grown in the garden, the fodder and the sugar bowl being respectively used to feed animals, produce alcohol or more rarely baker’s yeast, and extract sugar. The garden beet is none other than the Beetroota popular food that is used in particular in the composition of Borscht, a delicious Ukrainian soup.
Beet likes sunny to semi-shaded exposuresin slightly clayey soil, enriched with well-decomposed organic matter during fall or spring. However, it adapts to any type of soil. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are avoided.
Caring for your beet plants
It is one of the easiest root vegetables to grow, Beet being undemanding. She is able to produce in abundance without needing much care. It is therefore an interesting product for which an area of the vegetable garden can be reserved without regretting it later.
It is essential to ensure that the ground remains cool. Too much dryness makes this root vegetable fibrous and hard, not very pleasant to taste. However, it is necessary stay moderate because the Beet does not support the excess of waterings.
Hoeing and weeding should be done regularly. To save time and avoid these tedious tasks, you can put a mulch at the foot of the plants which also keeps the soil cool.
Pests and diseases
The beet attracts the cockchafer whose larva is a white worm. This one digs furrows in the roots. As for its leaves, they are the delicacy of many parasites such as therisethe black aphid and the silphe. To avoid the attacks of these undesirables, it is essential to adopt good cultural practices which consist, for example, of opting for crop rotation, watering just enough and adding compost as needed. In case of pest infestation, it is recommended to drench the foliage morning and evening for several days.
One can also fear the drying of the foliage due to the attack of a fungus responsible for the cercosporiosis. To prevent this cryptogamic disease, it is advisable to coat the roots of the plants before transplanting into a quite liquid praline made up of water, garden soil, clay, charcoal powder and compost. Other diseases like rust et mildew are possible. Prevention involves spraying Bordeaux mixture.
Harvest your own beets
To have the pleasure of harvest edible beets, you must of course have planted beetroot (vegetable). One linear meter allows you to harvest two good kilos.
This root vegetable is harvested about twelve weeks after sowing or nine weeks after transplanting, as needed, but all should have been harvested before the first frosts. The late beets that are harvested in autumn can be kept for several months in a silo or quite simply in the cellar if they have not suffered frost.
To store them in good conditions, the beets taken from the ground must be dried again. So we let them air dry on a sunny day. Then the root vegetables are cleared of soil by a brushing then the leaves are cut at the level of the collar. It remains to store them in a local obscur et hors gel either in crates or under dry sand so that they keep even better.