Friday, July 15, 2011
The Late Great Beet Challenge!
Linda at Tree and Twig Farm was offering up some free Detroit Red Beet seeds last week if you agreed to participate in a grow-a-long so I gladly signed up! Linda sent the seeds to readers coast to coast and we all agreed to post about our results so we can compare locations, growing conditions and of course results! The idea is to show that it's not too late to still plant seeds and in my case I hadn't yet planted any beets and a bin just waiting to be used. My seeds arrived in the mail earlier this week and today is the agreed upon planting date!
I've never tried to grow beets in a container before but to make the most use of space I like to try different things in the ground and up here on the deck to see what works best. I have very different growing conditions in the two locations- the garden in the ground is partly shaded and the soil depth is still not as deep as I'd like. It lies on top of a former gravel driveway, which provides great drainage but not much depth for root crops. I provide water from a soaker hose attached to a rainbarrel so only the roots get water unless it rains! Up on the deck we get lots of sun and it's a black tar roof so it's hot and can be very dry. I have to water often and that sometimes washes away the soil nutrients so I feed the containers regularly with worm compost and a slow release mineral mix from Urban Harvest. I already have a similar bin of carrots planted so the two bins are getting a good amount of sun sitting on my work bench on the deck.
Also in containers nearby are the tomatoes,
the sweet and hot peppers,
and of course the roof squash!
I'm looking forward to some tasty beet greens and hopefully, a wonderful crop of beets!