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Beet questions...

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Beet questions...

Post  Blackrose on 5/12/2010, 11:08 am

In a seperate post about my poor broken sugar pumpkin seedling, I was discussing what to plant in the empty square previously reserved for the pumpkin plant. (planting the pumpkin somewhere else now)

I decided that I would like to plant beets. I don't why I didn't think of them before. I was reading about companion planting this morning and realized that my empty square was made for beets! Around/near that square I have onions, and bush beans. A couple of squares over I have 2 kinds of lettuce. So, beets it is!

Now the next questions are, what variety should I plant and are there any tips anyone can offer for planting beets in the SFG? Also, can I plant different varieties in one square?

I'm getting more excited about my SFG every day.
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  boffer on 5/12/2010, 11:22 am

When I have extra space to fill, I plant beets. We grow a lot for pickling and freezing. I usually grow Detroit Dark Reds-they are common, and there is nothing special about them-we just like them.

Plant, water, and forget. Simple. However, be aware that beets are known for their erratic germination rates. I usually overplant and thin as necessary. Also, as seedlings, they can look pathetic and development seems slow, just let them be, they'll come along.
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  Blackrose on 5/12/2010, 12:02 pm

Thanks for the tips boffer. I love beets, but have only had the store bought ones. I'm looking forward to homegrown beets! I'm happy to hear that they are not hard to grow.

I will add Detroit Dark Reds to my list.

Anyone else have variety recommendations?
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  Odd Duck on 5/12/2010, 3:51 pm

Golden beets have a really nice flavor and Chiogga beets have a really neat target look (alternating red and white rings) when cut crosswise (and good flavor).

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Re: Beet questions...

Post  camprn on 5/12/2010, 4:22 pm

+1 for Boffer's reds & thickly sowing them! +1 for the Goldens too ! Oh I love beet greens and beets... I am getting excited about my garden! Black Rose, have you ever had beet greens? YUM! I love you
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  titans01 on 5/12/2010, 4:26 pm

I planted beets for the first time this year and like boffer said they look so sickly and small for ever but now they seem to be taking off. I planted Early Wonder and Bull's Blood. The Bull's Blood has some pretty nice looking red tops to them.

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Re: Beet questions...

Post  boffer on 5/12/2010, 4:34 pm

+1 for Early Wonders also.

+1 for beet greens-pick them young
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  Chopper on 5/12/2010, 6:20 pm

Detroit Dark Reds. Came up fast and growing well. Already picked a couple of younguns and chopped beet and greens into a saute pan, cooked, and added a little vinegar. Great little side dish. And as fresh as was possible.

Have a Russian son in law and borscht is popular in this house (pink soup as grandson calls it - sour cream added) as well as a beet and potato salad that is a staple in his home of origin.

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Re: Beet questions...

Post  boffer on 5/12/2010, 6:32 pm

Chopper,
Just curious if SonIL has a homeland recipe that is the 'real' Russian borscht? We like it too, and have found recipes anywhere from beets and water, to beets and meat, to throwing in anything that happens to be in the vegetable bin (like our stew, which is often what we do)
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  Blackrose on 5/12/2010, 9:43 pm

Wow! Who knew there were so many varieties. Thank you all so much for your suggestions. It's going to be hard to choose. Can I plant more than one variety in a square? I'd like to try a few of them and I think that may be the best way to do it as I only have the one square left right now.

How many can I plant per square? I've been doing some searching on the web and have found conflicting answers. Some say 9 per square foot and some say 16.
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  boffer on 5/12/2010, 11:14 pm

I've always done 16. If they start to get crowded, I pull a few and eat them! They're like taters in that respect, they can be eaten at any size.
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Re: Beet questions...

Post  AFLfan on 5/12/2010, 11:59 pm

Yes, you can plant multiple types in the same square. I have a package of a "gourmet mix" and they have been coming up just fine all together.

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Re: Beet questions...

Post  Chopper on 5/13/2010, 12:10 am

Straddling the line between straight garden and recipe talk:

The family recipe does depend on what is available but the general ingredients are:
Beets, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, beef (cut up chuck roast), dill and parsley (the last two of which go into most Russian foods from my observations). Meat browned separately and everything thrown into boiling water until tender. When served a dollop of sour cream is added and mixed in.

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Re: Beet questions...

Post  Blackrose on 5/13/2010, 6:39 pm

16 it is! I'm off to the store tomorrow to see what beet seeds I can find. Maybe I'll find a variety pack too.

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