Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Coast to coast- it's the late beet planting challenge!


Good thing Kristin from BC came on board.  THAT makes the coast to coast claim nearly accurate.

I was counting on my buddy Iz to be the Eastern rep, but she didn't bite.

Oh well.  We're BC in the west, Montreal and Ottawa in the east  and a whole lot in the middle.  Ontario that is.

Alert!  Your beets will NOT look like this!

On July 15th, that is this Friday, about 15 of us will plant the same variety of beet, good ol' Detroit Dark Red.  Read about the challenge HERE!

This variety of beet has been around a long time and for good reason.  It is a good standard purplish beet.  It can grow quite large without getting stringy, and it is extra delicious and tender.

This week I can't tell you how many people have said to me"What?  You're still planting?"

Oh.  I am , I am.  I pretty much don't stop all season.  As a bare spot comes up, I fill it.  Lettuce harvested, I fill it with some new seed....maybe more lettuce, maybe carrots or maybe just BEETS!

So my 15 partners in crime, let's get those beets planted on Friday.  
For those of you new to beets, the seeds would be happy in a nice rich soil, and definitely want full sun. Give your spot a good layer of compost, maybe two inches , or fill your pot with a soil/ compost blend.  

Push the seed into the ground about a half inch deep,  2 " apart. Cover up the seed and pat firmly.

Keep your soil evenly moist until the seed germinates.  That should take 7-10 days under optimal conditions.

More than one plant will germinate from the each seed, which is actually a seed cluster.

So you'll want to thin out the plants as they grow.  Eat 'em!  They are great in salads, steamed or sauteed.

Thin them out to every 3" or so.

Beets don't compete well with weeds, so keep them well weeded.  They also appreciate regular beverages, so ensure they are watered.

And what you do after that is up to you.

I don't fertilize or top dress with compost generally, but I might try all kinds of things this time to compete with you folks who have a lighter, potentially speedier beet growing soil.

I'm going to try a few things.  
One batch of seed I'll soak over night on the 14th. Some in water, some in my secret potion (diluted Mr Kelpman).

I'm going to plant right beside one of my well taps, so the water is accessible, and I'm going heavy on the compost to avoid a crusting soil at all costs.

So...here we go!  

Can't wait till I hear the news from you that they are in...then up and growing.

But best of all will be "the pull" on September 18 a  mere 65 days after planting.

Top Beet Canada!                   Spinning Cartoon Beet - Royalty Free Clipart Picture

Stay tuned...and please send along your progress.  


Kris Mo said...

I'm pumped! Got my seeds in the mail (thank you!) and I'm ready to go. Beet on!

Brewer said...

I didn't get my seeds yet..:(

CallieK said...

My seeds arrived today too! I'm planting them in a bin so I need to go grab a bag of soil, or maybe some manure tomorrow- I've used all my overwintered compost up and don't want to wait for more to finish composting.

Pics and blog post to come on Friday!

Iz said...

Too funny...I was thinking about it but I don't have anywhere to plant them!


That Bloomin' Garden said...

I am excited to get planting on Friday. Hoping my seeds arrive tomorrow.

CallieK said...

My seeds are planted!


meansoybean said...

I didn't get my seeds either. Guess I'll be a little late!

K said...

And... planted! Thanks Linda!