Table of contents:
Beets are both tasty and healthy (part 2)
Read the first part of the article
1. I grow absolutely all beets through seedlings (of course, I once grew them in a generally accepted non-seedling way, but I have long been convinced of its complete inefficiency in our conditions). Seedlings, naturally, all cold weather, i.e. spends in a greenhouse until early June. The greenhouse, of course, must be prepared in advance, i.e. filled with biofuel, which should be warmed up by the time of sowing the seeds.
The seedling method of growing beets will allow you to get an early harvest, save on seeds, provide more comfortable conditions in terms of heat and moisture for plants at the germination stage and the initial growth period (you will practically have no unripe seeds), and also save you from the tedious thinning procedure … In addition, although it is recommended that the plants pulled out during thinning be replanted, but, having lost some of the roots, they take root extremely poorly and miss the time favorable for development and growth. Naturally, large losses are obtained, which is completely unprofitable.
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2.I sow the first (small) batch of seeds in early April in large bowls of Rama oil. At the same time, I fill the bowls 2/3 with wet sawdust, evenly distribute the seeds, and then sprinkle with a thin layer of vermicompost or very fertile soil (it is from these plants that the earliest harvest will be obtained). I look after in the usual way. Around April 20, I prepare the remaining (main) batch of seeds by simply soaking them in flat containers of sawdust. At the same time I plant seedlings of the first sowing and germinated seeds in the greenhouse soil. Carefully remove all beet plants (first sowing) from the pot and separate them from one another. It is not difficult, and does not threaten to break the roots, because most of the soil here is sawdust. I plant beet seedlings along the greenhouse path. I scatter sawdust between the plants. The seeds, mixed with sawdust,I just scatter it around the greenhouse.
I try to "sow" quite freely, given that the mass of seeds in the sawdust was very large. Sprinkle the sown seeds with another layer of earth, and then - with a layer of wet sawdust. After that, I cover all the landings with a covering material, and then I put arcs and throw an additional layer of film on them.
To raise the temperature, I lay out bottles of water next to the planted plants (it is preferable to take bottles made of dark plastic, for example, from under beer, because they heat up faster). The process of caring for plants in the greenhouse is usual: watering once a week (sawdust and covering material help to save moisture) and maximum heat retention in the seedling growth zone.
3. Starting from mid-May (it all depends on the specific weather conditions, perhaps even at the end of May), I start planting beets from the greenhouse. Seedlings ready for planting should have 4-5 true leaves. By this time, naturally, all ridges for it must be fully prepared. As the main fertilizer on the ridges, I apply humus, taken in the fall from the same greenhouses. In addition, I sprinkle a complex fertilizer such as Azofoska or Universal. The second fertilizer is better because it contains boron, which improves the taste of beets.
If the soil is acidic, then appropriate measures must be taken to deoxidize it, scattering ash (slightly acidic soil) or lime (strongly acidic soil). But I have already noted that it is better to apply lime in the fall. Then I plant the seedlings in the usual way. I maintain a distance of 25-30 cm between rows of plants, and in a row I plant plants at a distance of 8-10 cm from each other. In no case should the plants be buried when planting. In this case, the root crops will be very poorly poured, and you will lose a significant part of the crop. There is no need to be afraid that the plants will not hold well and will fall. If you have high-quality seedlings and loose (with a lot of sawdust) soil in the greenhouse, you can very carefully separate the plants without causing them much harm. In this case, they will easily and quickly take root. When planting seedlings, make a spacious hole,so that the roots fit freely in it and do not turn up. The planted seedlings should be watered immediately: first with water, and then with a solution of black yeast (1 glass per 10 liters of water) in order to minimize the stress they have endured and promote increased root mass growth.
At the end of the landing, you must carefully cover all landings with covering material.
Firstly, it will protect the plants from the sun's rays and help them take root better.
Secondly, it will help to retain moisture in the soil, and you will not have to run around the beds with a watering can every day.
Thirdly, it will protect against return frosts.
Fourth, it will raise the temperature around the plants, which will allow them to develop more intensively.
4. Water the planted plants as needed. However, thanks to the covering material, moisture is usually retained fairly well in the soil. In our conditions, in the initial period after planting seedlings, it is most often necessary to carry out small watering about twice a week.
5. Three weeks after planting the seedlings, you need to feed the plants with ash, remembering that the beets are extremely responsive to this type of fertilizer, and will thank you with more delicious root crops. For this purpose, I temporarily remove the covering material and spread the ash quite thickly between the plants. For one ridge measuring 4x2 m, it takes me up to a bucket of ash. Then I put the covering material back in place.
6. In early July, when the plants are already too large and the rows are completely closed, I remove the covering material and proceed to the next feeding. To do this, I dilute boric acid sold in the pharmacy (10 g per 10 liters of water) and thoroughly water all beet plantings. This will make your beets sweeter. In addition, one should not forget that as a result of boron starvation, dry rot of root crops is observed, which manifests itself in the form of one or more black rings inside the root crop.
7. At the end of July, I water the plants with a solution of huminates from a watering can (I do not indicate the exact data, since there are a lot of humic preparations now sold, and the peculiarities of their cultivation are different). It will also increase yields by about 10-15%, and make the plants less susceptible to future deterioration in weather conditions.
And once again, I would especially like to draw the attention of readers to the factors that can improve the taste of your grown root crops. This is planting plants on very fertile neutral soil, timely feeding with ash, watering plants with a solution of boric acid.
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When and how to clean
Everyone knows that the most important condition for good keeping quality of vegetables is their timely harvesting in a mature state. You cannot harvest root crops too early, before the onset of cold weather, but you cannot be late with this operation - harvest after frost. Beets are extremely sensitive to frost. The roots harvested after them are stored worse.
All root crops sent for storage must be of perfect quality, without the slightest signs of mechanical damage and obvious diseases. In addition, beets require special care when pruning because they are damage to the growth point can lead to rapid decay of root crops. Therefore, in no case should the tops be cut off. It should only be cut off.
You can store beets in boxes, placing each variety separately according to the duration of its storage.