Saturday, 30 November 2019

In My Seed Box For 2020 - Beetroots


Note to self - In 2018 I made a note to myself not to buy anymore Beetroot seeds in the Wyevale sale for the next two years, you don't need them, or at least if you do then don't buy so many packs, be selective just go for the Boltardy unless you happen upon different coloured say yellow beetroots! and make sure they have a Sow by date of at least 2021.

in 2018 at 10p a pack from Poundland I could not resist and bought 2 packs of Globe 2 (100 seeds per pack). I also could not resist a couple of cheap packs from Wilko at 25p a pack and then when they dropped to 10p a pack, well it would be rude not to buy a few more now wouldn't it?

In 2019 there was no Wyevale 50p Sale as they have been bought out by another company and I didn't get anything from Wilko which means no more packs of seeds?  Due to my leg injury I had help sowing 105 directly into a bed, the variety was in date but very few germinated and even less actually grew, and those that did I let get too large and woody and they ended up as compost fodder. 

In 2020 back to starting them off in modules or plug plants and successive sowings so that I can pickle in small batches.   

Review Of Seed Stocks in Zippy Bags

No seeds at the start of 2020

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2018 - 2020

Alto F1                     - 150  Seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Detroit 2                  -  300  Seeds - £2.29 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2020
Detroit 6 Rubidus    -  200  Seeds - £2.69 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019
Globe 2                    - 200  Seeds - £0-20 - Carters                       - Sow By 2020
Kestrel                     - 150  seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019
Moneta                    - 150  seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2020
Perfect 3                 -  275  Seeds - £1.65 - Mr Fothergill's            - Sow By 2018
Red Ace F1             - 150  Seeds - £2.69 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020
Solo                         - 200  Seeds - £2.49 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2019

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets Sow By 2021

Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021 
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021
Cylindra                  -  150  Seeds - £0.25 - Wilko  - Sow By 2021

A couple of packs bought at 25p and 4 more picked up when 10p pack in the sale 

Alphabetical Listing

                                       Sowing            Harvest
Action F1                       Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Alto F1                           Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Bettollo F1                      Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Boltardy                          Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Cardeal F1                     Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Cylindra                          Apr - Jul             Jul - Oct
Detroit 2                         Apr - Jul             Jun - Oct         
Detroit 6 Rubidus           Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Globe 2                          Apr - Jul             Jul - Oct
Kestrel                            Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct     
Moneta                           Mar - Jul            Jul - Oct
Pablo F1                         Apr - Jul            Jun - Onwards        
Perfect 3                         Apr - Jul            Jun - Oct
Red Ace F1                    Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct                   
Solo                                Mar - Jul            Jun - Oct
Wodan F1                       Apr - Jul            Jun - Onwards     

Boltardy is one of the best beetroots and a gardeners favourite. Good quality, globe shaped , dark-red, well flavoured roots up to 100mm (4") across, and the variety that I normally go for however the Wyevale 50p seed sale is responsible not only for the amount of packs I have in the seed box but also the various varieties. 

Altro is a Hybrid cylindrical beetroot that produces straight roots that stand proud above the soil, but can be earthed up keeping in good condition for longer periods, and will produce more consistent diameter slices for pickling and that is what attracted me to pack when I bought it.  This was also why I bought six packs of Cylindra from Wilko as they are only 25p a pack and were dropped to 10p a pack in the end of season sale.  

When To Plant 

Beets are fairly frost hardy and can be planted in the garden 30 days before the frost-free date for your area. Although beets grow well during warm weather, the seedlings are established more easily under cool, moist conditions. Start successive plantings at 3 to 4 week intervals until midsummer for a continuous supply of fresh, tender, young beets. Irrigation assures germination and establishment of the later plantings.

Dates based on guidance from Garden Focused based on the last frost date for Sutton Surrey of the last week in April, suggests Beetroots are sown in the 4th week of March. BUT that is assuming sowing directly in the ground, and as I will be starting off the beetroots in the Space Saver garden or allotment greenhouse I intend to sow a couple of trays earlier in 2019 in say the 1st or 2nd week of March. I may even try some early in the ground under a cloche, it's not as if I don't have enough seeds!

Care

Frequent shallow cultivation is important because beets compete poorly with weeds, especially when small. Because beets have extremely shallow roots, hand weeding and early, frequent and shallow cultivation are the most effective methods of controlling weeds in the rows. Deep cultivation after the weeds are large damages the beet roots. Like most root crops, beets need a fertile soil (especially high in potassium) for vigorous growth. Keep your beet plants uniformly supplied with moisture for best performance.

Harvesting

Beets can be harvested whenever they grow to the desired size. About 60 days are required for beets to reach 1 1/2 inches in diameter, the size often used for cooking, pickling or canning as whole beets. Beets enlarge rapidly to 3 inches with adequate moisture and space. With most varieties, beets larger than 3 inches may become tough and fibrous. Beets may be stored in a polyethylene bag in a refrigerator for several weeks. Beets also may be stored in outdoor pits if the beets are dug before the ground freezes in the fall. Cut off the tops of the beets one inch above the roots. Beets store best at 32°F and 95 percent humidity. Do not allow them to freeze


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