Need some more vegetable ideas for your garden? Well, learn how to grow beets and enjoy having a fresh supply of beets and beet greens.
Beetroot is an easy vegetable to grow even for beginners. They’re sweet, earthy, truly delicious and don’t take very long to reap.
Many persons may be accustomed to the red hardy root crop, but it also has three other colors. These are orange and yellow which have two varieties called Bolder and Touchstone Gold as well as white named the Avalanche.
This dual-purpose crop is filled with nutrients. These include but are not limited to carbs, protein, sugar, fiber and fat. Other compounds are betanin and inorganic nitrate.
Continue reading to see more about planting, harvesting and storing.
How to Prepare the Soil:
Beets are very strong and can survive freezing temperatures even though they relish the amazing glow of the full sun.
Pick a spot that hoards most of the sunlight for up to 6 hours of the day. Early spring is the prime time to start planting when the soil can be cultivated.
Like the construction of a building, a firm foundation is important. The soil of your garden should be properly tilled before planting the seeds.
Beets do not like soggy soils so remember that well-drained soil is necessary. Your yields will be better if the soil is fertile with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
Even though they will tolerate soil with low fertility it cannot be acidic. Throw out all rocks and debris so the roots will be able to grow properly. The size of beetroot is almost the size of a golf ball but still needs room to develop.
If you recently grew spinach or Swiss chard avoid planting the beets in that same area. They will be less likely to attract the diseases and pests that attack those vegetables.
How to Grow Beets?
Plant the seeds late in the evening or early mornings. This is to shelter them from immediately getting in direct contact with the scorching sun.
Sow 2 or 3 seeds an inch deep with a spacing of 4 inches then cover it with soil. If you’ll be using rows, they can be 12 to 18 inches apart.
For an effective harvest, plant batches of seeds every two weeks within the three-month period of April to late June when you’ll be able to store them for use in winter.
You may begin by planting the seeds in trays and then transplanting them into your garden or pots after the first two true leaves appear.
The strongest-looking sprouts should be transferred because they have a bigger shot of developing fast. If the dirt is estimated at 50˚ F germination is likely to occur within 8 days.
If it is very cold, germination takes 2 weeks or more. To hasten the process, soak the seeds 24 hours prior to sowing.
Water the plants before and after you have planted them.
As the seedlings reach a height of 4 inches you can start thinning them 4 inches apart. Try not to drag out the plant to prevent the disturbance of the shallow roots.
If the time is vastly dry, water them every 7 to 10 days with 1 inch of water.
Pests can be a real pain so utilize row covers to protect beets from pests like leaf miners and leaf hoppers.
Tips for Growing Beets:
Beets are heavy feeders that need all the right nutrients to grow. Before sowing the seeds, you want to add some compost to the soil.
This will feed the microbes which will in turn help to keep the plants healthy. If you use fertilizer go easy with the nitrogen.
While excessive quantities can create the illusion of huge beets, in reality, they are small beneath the soil. That would be disappointing!
The time you take to harvest beetroot depends on when you planted it. It’s often reaped by early summer to mid-autumn.
You’ll be able to see when they are ready to be removed from above ground. Do not leave them in the dirt for too long since they would become tough, woody and tasteless.
To get the vegetable out of the ground, use a trowel to loosen the soil around the beets. Hold the leaves in your hand and gently pull them in an upward motion and walla!
You’ll have tasty beets to make all the meals you need from your very own garden. Besides, the idea of planting at a fortnightly interval creates the ease of reaping them fresh as they mature.
Beetroot takes a period of 7 to 8 weeks to mature or 55 to 70 days.
How to Store Beets?
Storing these vegetables ensures that they retain all their flavors and nutrients. Garden-fresh beets can be stored in sealed containers for up to 7 days.
The leaves may be eaten but do not snip all the greens at the top. Leaving at least an inch will help to preserve it longer.
To freeze the beets, chop and set aside the leaves and clean away the soil. You’ll need to boil the roots in a pot of water for 30 minutes.
Lift the lid of the pot when the time is up and allow it to cool for a few hours. Once they are cool peel the outer skin and cut the vegetable into sizes you’d like. Finally, use freezer bags to pack and store the sliced bits in the freezer.
If you won’t be placing the beets in the refrigerator but in a storage unit like a cellar, use a dry towel to brush off any excess dirt.
Bury each root in layers in dry dust or sawdust ensuring that they are not touching. Next place them in a cooler and slide it into a cool dry place.
How to Pickle Beets?
If the two methods of storing still have not intrigued you, how about pickling the beets? Have you ever done this before? Pickling enables users to tailor the different tastes.
Follow the same refrigerator method mentioned prior to the point of cooling the beetroots. You’ll need ingredients to make a brine.
These include salt, vinegar, water and sugar. Pour them into a pot and allow them to boil. After cooling, use canning jars to combine the brine and beets.
An important fact about storing is to check your stash to find any that may be going bad. One rotten beet can really hurt the others. What we don’t want is to discard too many beets because of a single rotten one.
Benefits of Beets:
Not only are beets consumed for their lovely taste but it has a lot of health benefits. Whether it is consumed when cooked or blended to make a refreshing drink it is effective, especially for heart health.
1. Lower Blood Pressure
Beetroot is proven to work for persons who have hypertension as it contains nitrates. Hypertension may cause irreparable damage to the heart.
The nitric oxide helps the blood vessels to relax and expand for better blood flow.
2. Boosts Immune System
The fibers help to increase good bacteria in your tummy. It will then improve your entire digestive system by providing protection from diseases. This will in turn help to boost the immune system.
3. Promotes Healthy Pregnancy
Beetroot contains folate and which is a natural form of folic acid. Studies have shown that folate reduces the risk of a child being born with any birth defects.
4. Great for Exercise
If you work out drinking beets juice is beneficial to both your lungs and heart. The nitric oxide makes it easier for blood to pump through your body as your stamina increases as well as your performance.
5. Helps Long Term Conditions
Beets are known to be of great help to long-term chronic diseases. Dementia and diabetes are two common types in elderly people.
Although consumption of this vegetable doesn’t make a permanent fix it helps just enough. The antioxidants, reduce glucose level and increase insulin in the diabetic as well as generating oxygen flow to the brain.
Downsides of Beetroot:
In many things, once there’s a positive outcome, chances are there’s at least one drawback.
- Pink Urine
Yes! Beets juice can be mighty delicious, but excessive consumption has a disadvantage of pink or red urine. Do not be alarmed if this happens.
You may confuse it for blood but look carefully. It is totally harmless and means you should cut back on it for a bit. If you are still unsure consult your doctor immediately.
Other gardening articles:
- How to Start Organic Farming
- Benefits of Gardening
- How To Keep Basil Alive
- How To Grow Green Onion
- Easy Fruits And Vegetables To Grow
- How To Grow Lettuce
- How To Grow Kale
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