Tuesday, 20 September 2022

In My Seed Box For 2023 - Beetroots

   


It's been a couple of years since I have been in full pickled Beetroot mode but 2023 will see a return as saving your harvest is going to be even more important in 2023 as money is going to be so short.  

Pre 2020 Seeds 

As I had far too many packs of beetroot seeds and a good number only a year past their best sow by date, I offered my 2018 - 2019 Seeds to the new plot holders on the allotment. 

The reality is that there is only a 2-3 year life expectancy on the backs of the packs, as the germination rates will gradually decline with age, but the reality is that Beetroot seeds kept in good storage can last anything from 6 -10 years.   

Sow By 2020

Boltardy                   - 275  Seeds - £1.50 -  Johnsons                   - Sow By 10/2020
Detroit 2                  -  300  Seeds - £2.29 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2020
Globe 2                    - 200  Seeds - £0-20 - Carters                       - Sow By 2020
Globe 2                    - 200  Seeds - £0-20 - Carters                       - Sow By 2020
Moneta                    - 150  Seeds - £2.99 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2020
Red Ace F1             - 150  Seeds - £2.69 - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2020

Sow By 2021

Moneta                   - 150  Seeds - GYO mag - T&M National Trust - Sow by 09/2021

Sow By 2022

Boltardy                   -  275 Seeds - £1.30 - Kings Seeds - Sow By 2022 - Kitchen Garden Mag
Sugar Salad Mix      -  170 Seeds - £2.99 - Marshalls - Sow By 2022
Sugar Salad Mix      -  170 Seeds - £2.99 - Marshalls - Sow By 2022

Sow By 2023

Kornett                    - 150 Seeds - £2.15 - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2023

As can be seen I didn't get buy many beetroot seeds in 2021 as there is only on pack with a use by in 2023 and no packs with a sow by 2024. 

Sow By 2025

Rainbow Mix         -  250 Seeds - £1.99  - Suttons - Sow By 2025 Packed 2022
Boltardy                 - 275 Seeds -      75p^ - wilko    - Sow by 2025 Packed Dec 2022 
Boltardy                 - 275 Seeds -      75p^ - wilko    - Sow by 2025 Packed Dec 2022  
Boltardy                 - 275 Seeds -      75p^ - wilko    - Sow by 2025 Packed Dec 2022

^ Wilko seed bought at 50% Reduction in sale. Rather than wait until packs of seeds were going for 10p a pack, with prices that low and then 50% off it was worth stocking up with beetroot seeds I wanted whilst they still had them.                  

Alphabetical Listing of all the varieties that I have grown in the last few years. 

                                       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     
Kornet                             Apr - Jul             Jul - 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. 

Sugar Salad Mix - Marshalls (Red, White and Orange) will be grown in the Square Foot Gardening Beds in 2023   

Beetroot Kornett - Mr Fothergill's but the web site says "A previous favourite which is now back!" Very productive, this dependable ‘Detroit’ type is easy to grow and versatile. Roots are sweet and firm and can be lifted as baby beets when young or left to mature. An excellent source of folate and good source of potassium. I'm going to grow these in the square foot garden beds this year. 

Something I have not done before 2022, but will be doing again in 2023 is harvesting the leaves for salads.     

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 2022 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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