Monday, September 19, 2011

The Late (but great) Beet Planting Challenge-Pull those Beets!

Little did I know when I wrote the initial posts for "The Late Beet Planting Challenge" that on the day of most importance, that is the day of the pull, I would be out of the country.

Had to go! And it was just so wonderful.

It will all be in the next post I'll write, but Mollie and I zipped down to Charlottesville, Virginia for the "Heritage Harvest Festival" at  scenic and one hundred percent inspiring Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

Now I'm back home though.

And a day late I've pulled some beets. I've also eaten some of those lovely Detroit Dark Reds.


Mine sized up quite nicely, depending as beets do, on my ability to space the seeds well in the rows.  You can see in the picture above that some of them are a good 3" in diameter.

But I will be honest.  I'd already pulled and sold some several weeks ago because I could see they were a good size.

So my review of this challenge?

It sure isn't too late at all to plant your beets on July 15th and I wouldn't hesitate at all to go a bit later with my planting. I am pretty sure even with an  August 1st planting in our balmy 6b planting zone, I would get lovely little beets. 

Don't forget how hardy they are! I have no intention at all of pulling them all now...I'm going to let them get even larger for some very good winter eating. I'll simply wait till I know the ground is going to freeze and pull them prior to this. They store exceptionally well when layered in barrels or garbage cans, with straw or leaves as their insulation.

As you may recall, some seed I soaked while some I did not. Regardless of what I soaked the seed in overnight (kelp solution or water), the soaked seeds did infinitely better in terms of speed of germination and germination itself. 

Consider me a beet seed soaker from here on in. 

You can always learn, can't you?

How did all my seed recipients make out?

I've heard from Cathy from Toronto, who grew hers in pots.

Unfortunately I seem unable to transport her pictures to my blog, but having grown in pots, Cathy's were smaller than mine.

But she says that was just fine with her. They were smaller, but sweet and delicious nonetheless.

Trust me, they just LOOKED delicious.

So how did everyone else make out? Lots of folks to hear from- let me know!


Brewer said...
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Brewer said...

I totally forgot about the deadline, but when I was watering them the other day, I could tell they are no where near as big as yours. I blame it on your fantastic Blue Ribbon beans that I in hindsight planted too close and they are crowding the beets.:) I will try to send a picture tomorrow.

sherilaugh said...

I picked a bunch last month that had jumped out of the soil, they were about 2-2 1/2 inches across. The rest are still in the dirt and I am waiting for them. I have a new tactic I'm going to try next year.. this involves an 8 inch deep layer of compost being added to my garden this week.. They probably would have done better in an area with less shade, but I was out of prime spots to plant them.

Tiffany Mayer said...
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Tiffany Mayer said...

Sigh, here's how mine did.

CallieK said...

I forgot there was a pull date too! Which is okay because I'm pretty sure I don't have any beets at all. I have about 8 plants in my container but they haven't done much. They've been trampled on by multitudes of raccoons and are still hanging on but they are only abut 6 inches tall and the leaves still resemble new growth. As far as I can tell they have only skinny thread like roots. Perhaps mushroom compost wasn't the best growing medium after all.

K said...

They must have been great beets, because every. single. one of my seedlings was eaten by some wee beastie :(

Linda said...

Ah, gee. Some of that just isn't fair! I'm sensing beets aren't too fond of pot culture...or little chewing creatures or even Blue Ribbon beans!
Thanks all for reporting back, and giving it a shot. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

thesunnyabyss said...

our beets did pretty good after a very slow start, about half are in the 2-3 inch range and a bunch are very small, we didnt have any problems with critters eating them, thankfully,