How to grow a good beet crop?
Beetroot is a healthy and tasty root vegetable that can be used to cook many different dishes. If you have a dacha or house adjoining plot, you can grow your own. And to get a good harvest, follow a few rules.
The very first and important step is choosing the right kind. There are many species, and they differ in several parameters: the maturation period, the taste, the growing conditions, the size and even the color of the fruit.
Determine your preferences and goals in order to find the right option. For example, in order to harvest the first crop as early as possible, you should choose an early variety. Mid-season species ripen over the summer. And late varieties ripen in autumn and can be stored throughout the winter. To provide yourself and your family with vitamins all year round, sow all three kinds.
Consider the characteristics of the fruit. So, traditional round medium-sized ones are still popular, but some prefer more unusual cylindrical ones, such as "Mona" and "Cylinder"."Egyptian flat" beet has disc-shaped fruits, and "Lark" - neat and small. If you want something exotic, look at the kind of “Snowwhite” with white fruits or “Burpis Golden”, which has a yellow color and beautiful orange flesh.
Tip: choose varieties, taking into account the climatic characteristics of your region, so that the roots could take root and actively grow.
Site selection and soil preparation
If you do not know how to grow a good crop of beets in the garden, then you will be interested to find out that the quality and quantity of fruits directly depend on the place where they grow. Beetroot loves light, but does not tolerate overwetting, so you should choose a well and constantly illuminated area, in which water will not accumulate after rains and waterings. If the garden is located in the lowland, then the problem can be solved by raising the level of the beet beds and providing quality drainage.
Soil plays an important role. Beets feel good in fairly loose, fertile, slightly acidic (or neutral) and light soils. Sandy or slurry earth is good, but clay is allowed.
This culture responds well to organic matter, but not very fresh. If the soil is poor, then compost or humus should be added to it, but it should be done in advance. And if the soil is excessively loose, then when it is preplant digging, it is not necessary to completely break the ground, it is better to leave small lumps. In case of increased acidity, limestone should be added - approximately 150-200 grams per square meter.
Tip: It is not recommended to plant beets at the same place for several years in a row. In addition, the root crop will not grow in the area where carrots were previously grown. But the soil remaining after the cucumbers, will be a very favorable environment.
Seed preparation and sowing
For sowing should use only quality seeds. Therefore, you first need to sort them, removing small, damaged and empty. Further, it is possible to evaluate the germination of the party in order to predict the yield volumes in advance. To do this, select 50-70 seeds, put them on a well-moistened cloth and cover with wet material on top. By the number of germs that appeared after a while, germination is assessed: as a rule, for seeds of the first class, this indicator is not less than 70-80%.
To accelerate rooting, you can use traditional and well-known to all gardeners methods. One of them is pre-soak. Seeds are placed in water, the temperature of which is about 17-20 degrees, and remain there for one or two days.
During this time they swell and begin to germinate gradually. But water should be replaced every few hours. In addition, you can slightly germinate the seeds, wrapping them in a damp cloth. As soon as you see the first sprouts, the material can be sown: shoots will appear much faster. Growth factors are undesirable.
If seeds are ready, arrange a garden bed. To do this, immediately mark its boundaries and dig, loosen the earth about 25-30 centimeters in depth. Smash the clods with a hoe or a spade, then apply the ground with a fork or rake to make it looser.
The distance between rows should be about 25-30 centimeters, and between individual plants - about 15-20. The approximate rate of quantity is from 15 to 20 grams of seeds per 10 square meters of soil. The depth of embedment will depend on the characteristics of the soil: in heavy it will be about two or three centimeters, and in the lighter - 4 cm.
When to sow the seeds? Growing beets in the open field should begin when the frost has passed. And although the culture tolerates low temperatures quite well, they can affect the quality of the crop and significantly reduce it. Therefore, you should not sow the seeds too early, it is better to do it in April, when the air is steadily warming up to 5-6 degrees. But more quickly shoots appear at 10-15, and at 20 degrees the seeds germinate at a record pace.
Tip: if you live in the northern region, it is best to prepare seedlings. Sow the seeds in pots or containers, and move the already prepared good shoots to a sufficiently warmed open ground.
It is not enough to plant beets, it is necessary to provide it with proper care, which is in compliance with the following rules:
- The first important point is thinning out. No matter how rarely you sow the seeds, they can grow in groups, and such shoots should be divided. You can choose the strongest ones and leave them. If all shoots are healthy, then gently settle them into free places, trying not to damage.
- Watering should be regular, but cautious, as the culture does not like waterlogging.Therefore, you should not immediately pour several buckets into the garden bed; it is better to use a spray nozzle on a hose or a watering can, bringing water in portions so that it can evenly absorb. After watering, the soil should be carefully loosened so that it does not dry out when exposed to the sun.
- To preserve the structure of the soil and avoid the formation of a crust, as well as to prevent the rapid evaporation of moisture, the soil can be mulched.
- Periodically loosen the aisles, but very carefully, so as not to damage the foliage and roots. Careful weeding is also required.
- Beet feed is not required if it is planted in fertile rich soil. If the soil is poor, then you can make mineral fertilizers, compounds containing zinc, boron, manganese, iron, phosphorus. But you should not get involved in, as the roots absorb substances from the soil and accumulate them. So if the land is good, then no additional action is required. And its poverty will be signaled by slow growth, scant foliage. Fertilizers should be made only twice during the entire period of active growing season.
- Beets can be attacked by such pests as beet fleas and bedbugs, mining flies, roots, aphids, nematodes, and polar bear.To combat these insects, you can use safe insecticides or folk methods, for example, ashes, soap solution. In addition, to scare away the pests around the garden you can plant such plants as rape or mustard (most of them do not like parasites). And for prevention, remove weeds in time, deeply loosen and dig up the soil in autumn and early spring, as well as change planting sites.
If you want to get a rich harvest of high-quality beets, then follow a few simple rules and care for the plants properly.
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