Cut a beet and the scarlet red colored juice trickles from the knife onto your fingers. A treat for the senses - to look at, to taste and to want more of. The beet is more, so much more. It is one of the richest sources of several vitamins (A,C), fiber, minerals and antioxidants. Being high in iron, it is used by the body to produce hemoglobin, which then leads to producing a high content of red blood cells. This improves the oxygen carrying capacity of these cells, which then prevents conditions like anemia.
Then there is also the fact that the beet plant provides for a wide variety when it comes to cooking. Most parts of the plant can be consumed and in several forms as well. With so many advantages and the beet's nutritional contents, many want to make it a part of their vegetable garden and it is for them that this article comes forth. In the following article we will be looking at the varied ways in which one can grow beets and the right methods and techniques that are to be used for the same.
Growing Beets from Seed
For the beet plants to grow out well enough, there are certain techniques and procedures that needs to be used. This will ensure that you're providing for the correct environment and conditions for the plants to grow in. In this following section, we will take you through the procedures that have to be used for the same.
Choosing and Preparing the Seeds
Choose older seeds as a rule, because the newer seeds, though soft and buttery in texture are a product of the younger plants and will not lead to as much produce. The older seeds will lead to a more fibrous produce. Once the seeds are chosen, soak them in warm water for 24 hours, prior to the planting. This will lead to germination and allow for the seeds to grow well enough.
Ensure that you are planting the seeds in late summer so that the plants will bloom by fall. The soil needs to partially warm, not cold or hot. Beet requires temperatures between the range of 50-85 degree F. Preferably don't let the soil be freshly manured and fertilized. Beet plants require full sun or partial shade for optimal growth.
Procedure for Planting
Dig the soil at least 10 inches deep. Then use compost for every 100 sq feet. This will ensure that there is enough compost to hold on to the water and soil. Plant the seeds at least 4 inches away from each other. When the plants start to bloom and reach about 2 inches in height, then clip the excess growth and thin them. This will ensure that the plants are provided enough space to spread out. Thin them in the early morning or late evening when the sun is not very hot. Do not discard the leaves away and use them in making a beet recipe.
Watering of Seeds
The beets will start to come forth in 10 days after planting, depending on the conditions and environment. It is imperative that you keep the soil moist for the plants to grow in because dry soil will curb the growth and make a negative effect on the vegetation and harvest of the plant. Water the plant at least once a week and water about an inch of the same.
Harvesting the Beets
The beets can be harvested at any size after 10 days. But for maximum impact, harvest them when they reach their full size. Cut the beets off and store them in polythene bags in the refrigerator. But do not let them freeze.
These are some important factors and conditions to fulfill when it comes to learning how to grow beets and ensure that they are of the best quality. And now that you know what needs to be done to get that perfect garden of beets, get to it fast.