My Piece of Dirt

Zone 8 Gardening

Back Porch Beets

on February 2, 2015

beetsAfter 3 years of gardening I feel I have a pretty good handle on warm weather crops, but cool weather crops are still an elusive puzzle. However, my instincts are screaming at me that now is the time. I have direct planted some beets seeds in the garden, and as a back-up I have some in pots too.

Beets Pots: Feb 

Lightly crack seed shells. Do not crush seeds. (I use a herb crusher pestle.)  Keep moist. Do not allow to dry out. Seeds can freeze. In fact, freezing and thawing further cracks the shells.

Seedlings can take cold, but should not be allow to suffer frost burn. Sunlight not required until after germination. After germination introduce seedlings to more and more sun. Until finally they have the maximum amount of sun available.

Strong plants can take 25F. What seedlings can take, I don’t know but I will play it by ear.

Not necessary to germinate seeds inside the house. (My favorite part.)

Do not postpone transplanting to the garden too long. Like carrots, beets are not crazy about the transplanting process. At any rate, beet project has to be accomplished before temps hit 70F.

At 70F I will plant black-eyed peas right in the same spot and allow remaining beets to flower and bolt…..and we will see how all that works out.

Also noted, that I have some beet plants that survive the winter, yet have not made sizable tubers. Did you know that the greens are good to eat. I use them sparingly in things–like I would use a herb.

Writing a gardening post is harder than it seems. I feel I have a duty to tell you ONLY the most sure-fire stuff. But then again…. sometimes I do not know if what I am doing is right until I am way down the road. And at that point, it’s too late to tell you… and wham, I am thinking about something else then too. Does that make any sense.  So anyway, this is just what I am doing.

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