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Avonnow
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Beets

Hello everyone,

I planted beets about 75 - 80 days ago, they seem to be floundering so I pulled a bunch to take a look - they look like a purple carrot, :shock: am I doing something wrong? :? Should I have left them in the ground longer. Since I am in FL should I have planted them say now instead of end of Aug/ Sept. Thanks for advice. It is not like I will starve or anything, nobody actually likes them in my family except me, but I would love to try to get root veggies growing. I seem to be doing something wrong, the carrots I planted in Spring were pathetic as well. Thanks!

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DoubleDogFarm
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Could be serveral problems.

PH of the soil is to low. Acidic. Should be in the range of 6 to 7.

To much nitrogen, gives lush tops and poor roots.

May have been to hot. They are more of a cool weather crop.

What variety? 75-80 days seems long enough. Most varieties are in the 55 to 70 day range.

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garden5
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I think having a soil test done would not be a bad idea. You can actually take a sample from different parts of your garden and send it to your local extension agency.

However, I think you should give it a go one more time. The temps should be cooling down for you and this may do the trick since both carrots and beets, as DDF said, are cool-weather crops.
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rainbowgardener
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Also root crops like very loose, somewhat sandy soil. They will be smaller and tend to be somewhat deformed, if they have to push through heavy clay. Because my soil tends to be heavy, even in the beds, I grow the shorter rounder carrot varieties, which do a lot better for me than the long varieties.
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applestar
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And don't forget to thin them so they have plenty of room to fatten up. I think jal mentioned a spacing before... 6 in.? More?

DoubleDogFarm
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Apple,

Not in my garden. :) 3" to 4" is plenty.

Eric

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jal_ut
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Spacing is directly related to the desired size. For greens only, they can be close. For two inch roots, it makes sense to thin to a minimum of 2 inches. How else are they going to get 2 inches? They will actually grow faster and get larger roots if spaced a little more. This holds true for any root crop.

The problem with beets is, that crinkly thing we plant and call a seed, is actually a seed pod with several seeds in it. Even if we space the seed to three inches, they will still need to be thinned. I usually wait to thin until there is some good greens, then thin and eat the greens. If you really want early roots though, space your seed 3 inches and thin while the plants are still small. Plants need sunshine and root space.

Here, beets do well if planted anytime from early may through mid June. They are not quite as cold hardy as lettuce and carrots. If planted mid June, they get warm weather and long days, yet do very well. Of course our weather is never as hot as yours.

If you haven't pulled all of those beets, just thin them and eat the greens and let some grow for another month. I think they will take longer now with shorter days.
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Gary350
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The only time I ever get good beets is when I toss the seeds into the snow about January. An old lady told me this trick it has always worked for me. Beets are ready to harvest in the spring about the time the weather is nice enough to plant my garden.

Funny thing I was 27 years old when that old lady told me that. She seemed old then. I am probably older now than she was then.
Last edited by Gary350 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Did you say what variety beets you are growing?
I just got Johnny's catalog and second page I flipped to had this:
[img]https://www.johnnyseeds.com/images/Product/medium/2565.jpg[/img]
https://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8486-cylindra.aspx

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jal_ut
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Good point applestar.
You will get different results with different varieties. My long time favorite variety is Detroit Dark Red.
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garden5
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I like Detroit Dark Red, as well. When I think back, I think I usually plant my beets about 4 in. apart.

Oh, and I think that there are some varieties (can't remember, possibly DDR) that only have one seed to a pod, so you don't have to worry about thinning.

I'd really like to try growing a sugar beet next time. I wonder if they are very sweet.
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