Excellent food, Beetroot is low in calories, well supplied in potassium and other nutrients essential to the body. It is therefore interesting to cultivate your beets, (vegetable gardens that 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 that they see growing in the garden to those that are bought in the supermarket and they are quite right. But before seeing how to harvest the good beets from the kitchen garden in order to enjoy them cooked and even raw, let’s take a look at the method of planting this rustic root vegetable and on his tiny needs in terms of maintenance.
Some gardeners opt for the semi beetroot. Better to have something to shelter them to allow the young plants not to take a hit of late frost because the end of spring can sometimes be much colder than we expected.
The period of beet plantation varies according to 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, one can buy your beet plants in buckets : this saves time and increases the chances of success. You just have to go to a garden center and select your favorite variety (s), taking into account the following indications:
- One is late and it’s most rustic of all: the Beet Crapaudine. Sowing should be done from May until June for a fall harvest.
- Another is on the contrary very early : the flat black beet from Egypt. The young plants are transplanted in April for a harvest in May / June.
- Another still allows harvest in abundance because it is the most productive : the Long Red-black Beet from the Vertus. It can be sown or transplanted in May and is harvested throughout the summer.
the transplanting is carried out as follows:
- Dig a 10 cm deep furrow in loose soil,
- Separate the plants delicately, a bucket usually containing 3 or 4, using a toothed knife to “saw” the root ball,
- Basin the plants thus separated from each other for a few minutes,
- Planting the young beetroot plants 15 cm from each other,
- Sprinkle in fine rain.
By resorting to beets in pots and proceeding in this way to transplant them, the thinning step is perfectly useless whereas it is essential if one chooses for seedlings.
It’s here Vegetable beet (cousin of the Swiss chard) which is cultivated in the garden, the fodder and the sugar are respectively used to feed the animals, produce alcohol or more rarely baker’s yeast, and extract sugar. The vegetable beet is none other than the Beetroot, a popular food that is used in particular in the composition of Borscht, a delicious Ukrainian soup.
Beetroot loves sunny to half-shaded exposures, in slightly clayey soil, enriched with well-decomposed organic matter during the fall or spring. However, it adapts to any type of soil. Fertilizers rich in nitrogen are avoided.
Maintain your beetroot plants
It is one of the easiest root vegetables to grow, beetroot being undemanding. She is able to produce abundantly without needing a lot of care. It is therefore an interesting product to which we can reserve an area of the vegetable garden without regretting it afterwards.
It is essential to ensure that the soil stays 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 excess watering.
Hoeing and weeding should be done regularly. To save time and avoid these tedious tasks, we can put a mulch at the foot of the plants which also maintains the freshness of the soil.
Parasites and diseases
The Beet attracts the chafer of which the larva is a white worm. This makes furrows in the roots. As for its leaves, they are the gluttony of many pests such as theflea beetle, the black aphid and the silphe. To avoid attacks from these undesirable people, it is essential to adopt good cultural practices which consist, for example, in opting for crop rotation, watering just enough and adding compost as soon as needed. In the event of a parasite infestation, it is recommended to bathe the foliage morning and evening for several days.
One can also fear the drying out of the foliage due to the attack of a fungus responsible for the Sigatoka. To prevent this fungal disease, it is advisable to coat the roots of the plants before transplanting in a fairly liquid praline composed of water, garden soil, clay, charcoal powder and compost. Other diseases like rust and 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 garden). A linear meter can collect two good kilos.
This root vegetable is harvested about twelve weeks after sowing or nine weeks after transplanting, as needed, but everything must have been harvested. before the first frosts. The late beets that are harvested in autumn can be kept for several months in silos or quite simply in the cellar if they have not been subjected to frost.
To store them in good conditions, the beets that have come out of the ground must dry out. So we leave them air dry during a sunny day. Then the root vegetables are cleared of the earth by a brushing then the leaves are cut at the collar. It remains to store them in a dark and frost-free room either in crates or under dry sand to keep them even better.