Planting beets: the secrets and subtleties of success

A good harvest begins with planting. This axiom applies to all garden plants, including the popular and common table beet. It is a pleasure to grow it: it is unpretentious, ripens well in the open ground not only in the southern regions, but also in the middle lane, and even Siberia. If you properly prepare the soil for cultivation, plant the crop after good predecessors and in the optimal time, use the most suitable methods of sowing, then the harvest of this overseas beauty is guaranteed to be plentiful, tasty and healthy.

Planting beets in open ground

Beets, like many vegetable crops, can be grown by sowing seeds directly into the soil or through seedlings. Many gardeners prefer to plant beets immediately with seeds on an open garden bed.

Preparation of soil and beds

Preparation for planting beets should begin with the preparation of the site. You need to do this even during the autumn digging of the garden. Just then it is necessary to plan the places for placing garden residents in the next season and prepare each plot accordingly. A well-lit place should be reserved for beets, since only with sufficient light will the beets have a saturated color.

Root crops of beetroot contain a mixture of pigments, of which betanin is the main

A vegetable loves fertile, loamy or sandy loamy soil with a neutral acidity index. When preparing the beds for beets, you must do the following:

  • remove plant debris;
  • fill the soil with organic matter (4 kg of compost or 3 kg of humus per square meter);
  • to make mineral fertilizers (20 g of ammonium nitrate, 40 g of superphosphate, 15 g of potassium chloride per 1 sq. m);
  • to reduce the percentage of soil acidity, add lime or dolomite flour (from 0.5 kg per 1 sq. m);
  • dig the area to the depth of the bayonet shovel.

In spring, the soil on the prepared site will only have to be loosened.

Seed preparation

People say: "From a bad seed, do not expect a good tribe." Therefore, the next important stage in planting beets is the preparation of seeds. They must be clean, have high germination. The preparation of seed material is carried out in several stages:

  1. First, the seeds are calibrated. To do this, pour out the entire seed material on a white sheet of paper and manually sort the seeds by size, while selecting damaged, ugly and too small seeds. The best option is to select seeds of the same size. They will have the same supply of nutrients, so they will give friendly shoots, which will facilitate the care of crops.

    Calibration allows you to select large seeds with high germination, germination energy, containing a large supply of nutrients and as a result giving powerful productive plants

  2. For the appearance of friendly and quick sprouts, beet seeds are recommended to be wetted. To do this, they are placed in a container and poured for a day with clean water at room temperature, which is recommended to be changed several times. Experienced gardeners are advised to first hold the seeds in water (preferably thawed), and after they swell, absorb a certain amount of moisture, place them in a solution with a growth stimulator, which will accelerate the seed germination time. Special compounds (Epin, Kornevin, etc.), folk remedies (aloe juice, ash infusion, mushroom broth, honey solution, potato juice) can act as stimulants.
  3. For germination, you need to take a container on the bottom of which to lay a moist canvas, spread the soaked seeds on it and cover it with a moistened cloth on top. The container is placed in a warm place, make sure that the fabric is constantly in a moistened state. If the seeds are of good quality, then in 3-4 days about 80% of them will sprout.

    Beet seeds are recommended to sprout before planting

Some online sources recommend that vernalization of beet seeds, that is, after soaking the seeds must be placed in the cold. This advice should be taken with caution, since the procedure can provoke premature formation of peduncles.

Landing time

Many gardeners sow beets twice a season:

  • in early spring - for use in the summer;
  • in the summer (not later than the beginning of July) - for bookmark storage.

Table: beet germination time depending on soil temperature

Soil temperatureSprouting time
+4up to three weeks
+10about 10 days
+15about a week
+ 20–253-4 days
above +25may be fatal to seeds and seedlings

Experts say that the optimal time for sowing beets with seeds in the soil is the soil temperature + 8-10 degrees. At this time, soil moisture that is comfortable for seeds is maintained, and a further increase in temperature will favorably affect the growth of root crops and the abundance of the crop.

Ways to plant beets with seeds in open ground

If in collective farms the main ways of planting beets are square and square-nested, as they give the possibility of mechanized tillage along rows and across, then in personal gardens vegetable growers are widely experimenting with the arrangement of ridges.

Traditional way

In this case, grooves are made on the bed at a distance of 10 to 35 cm from each other. This value depends on the variety, the purpose of cultivation: if you need medium-sized beet fruits for pickling, then the row spacing can be minimized; for growing root crops for winter storage, choose the greatest distance. Furrows are preferably made longitudinal, about 4 cm deep.

To squeeze the grooves for planting beets, you can use a long straight plank

Then the furrows are shed with water, and after the water is absorbed, the seeds are laid out. It is necessary to take into account the peculiarity of the beet seed: its fruit is a few fruits grown in a glomerulus, i.e. several plants will grow from one seed. Therefore, it is better to spread the seeds at a distance of 5-6 cm, and then sprinkle them with a two-centimeter layer of soil.

Beet seeds are large, so they are easy to decompose at the right intervals between each other

It does not make much sense to use prepared beets of toilet paper for planting beets: The seeds of this crop are quite large, the paste does not hold well, so it’s faster to just sow them on a bed than to glue them on paper.

Sowing beets on a warm bed

In many gardens you can see the equipped warm ridges. The principle of its action is that the organic waste laid inside the beds nourishes the plants and creates a comfortable temperature regime for them.

When growing on a warm bed, the growth and development of beets occurs much faster, it will gain immunity to various diseases

Warm beds are equipped in different ways:

  • you can lay organic raw materials in the dug trench. In this case, the bed will be almost flush with the ground;
  • Towering beds are made in a special box, which is filled with plant debris and soil.

And in that, and in another case, it is important to follow the basic rules of arrangement:

  • large branches, thick stems of plants, pruning boards should be laid at the base of the bed;
  • Before laying the next layer, the previous one must be watered;
  • for the bookmark use waste only healthy, not affected by pests and plant diseases.

Such a bed can be used for several years in a row, but planting beets for the first two years on it is not recommended. A vegetable is able to accumulate nitrates, and at first the soil on the bed is saturated with nutrients due to the active decomposition of organic matter.

When growing on a warm bed, the beets need to be abundantly and regularly watered, only in this case the bed will fulfill its purpose

Sowing beets on a narrow bed

A ridge is considered narrow with a width of 30 to 90 cm with the obligatory arrangement of wide passages - up to one meter. It can be built on the principle of a warm bed, and then it will serve you for several years.

When growing on a narrow bed, each plant receives a sufficient amount of heat and light

For sowing beets, the optimal width of the beds will be 45 cm. In this case, the seeds are planted in two furrows made at the edges. You need to take care of plants planted on a narrow bed in the same way as on a regular bed, but the advantages of such planting are obvious:

  • all plants receive enough light. There is no shaded middle row, and it is precisely on it that the smaller root crops most often grow;
  • it is convenient to loosen the soil between the lines with any mechanical devices, including the Fokin plane cutter;
  • planting can be better mulled, and soil drying out.

Mixed beets

Many vegetable and flower crops, as well as spicy plants, are not only compatible with each other when growing, they have a beneficial effect on each other. Mixed planting of vegetables avoids soil depletion, since different crops have different nutritional requirements, which means that the soil will not be depleted in relation to any one element . When organizing mixed ridges with beets, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • compatible plants that have a beneficial effect on the growth and development of beets are: all types of cabbage, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, garlic, legumes;
  • unfavorable neighbors are: potatoes, mustard sarepta, beans, corn, chives.

There is an opinion that beet root secretions have antibiotic properties, therefore, planting it in some crops, in particular carrots, has a lasting healing effect

When organizing joint plantings, it is necessary to take into account the powerful foliage of beets, so the distance between plants should be sufficient so that the vegetable does not obscure neighboring crops.

Video: the subtleties of planting beets in the open ground

Seedling method of growing beets

Planting beets through seedlings has a number of advantages compared to sowing in open ground:

  • Having grown beet seedlings, you can plant it in open ground after the threat of cold weather has passed, which means that the vegetable will not throw out flower arrows, and the crop will be more full and high-quality;
  • when planting seedlings, you will be spared from the time-consuming thinning process;
  • seedling method of growing allows you to get the first root crops 20-25 days earlier than when planting seeds in the ground.

Beetroot seedlings tolerate transplanting well, take root easily, take root well

Dates of sowing beets for seedlings at home

Too early to plant beets on seedlings is not worth it, unless you plan on further growing the vegetable in sheltered ground. Beets seedlings are planted at a permanent place at the age of about 1 month. If planting in the greenhouse can be carried out at the end of April, then the seeds should be sown at the end of March. Seedlings are planted in unprotected ground around mid-May, when the threat of freezing frost passes, which means that for planting in open ground, sowing seedlings is carried out in mid-April.

If you grow seedlings for more than a month at home, then beet seedlings are most often stretched, and this leads to a decrease in crop productivity.

Sowing beets for seedlings

Traditionally, sowing beets for seedlings is carried out in common trays. They are filled with soil, which can be purchased in specialized stores or prepared independently. For beets, the following composition is suitable:

  • peat (2 parts);
  • humus or compost (1 part);
  • garden land (1 part).

Since the vegetable does not like acidic soils, 0.5 cups of ash should be added for every 5 liters of soil mix. In addition to the deoxidation function, ash will be a useful fertilizer, as it contains a huge amount of nutrients with the exception of nitrogen.

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It is recommended to steam the mixed soil mixture for one hour in a double boiler or oven for disinfection. The process of sowing beets includes the following steps:

  1. The soil in the tank is slightly compacted and sprouted seeds are laid out over the entire surface. Their presowing preparation is carried out in the same way as for sowing in open ground.

    Seeds can be sown dry, but sprouted seeds will sprout faster, in addition, you can immediately discard non-similar

  2. Seeds are covered with the remaining soil with a layer of about 1.5 cm. Gently leveled and slightly compacted so that the soil does not erode during irrigation.

    From above, the seeds are covered with a layer of soil and pressed a little to increase contact with the ground

  3. Pour a thin stream of water, making sure that the seeds are not washed to the surface.

    Before germination, light does not play the main role for beet seeds, it is much more important to monitor soil moisture: in very wet soil, the seeds will rot, in the dry - they will dry and die

After sowing, the container is covered with any transparent material and cleaned in a bright and warm (about +20 degrees) place. As soon as shoots appear, the shelter is removed and the temperature of the content is reduced to + 15-16 degrees.

Pre-sowing beet seeds sprout amicably and quickly

Other methods of sowing beet seeds for seedlings

In addition to the traditional sowing of beet seeds for seedlings in trays, gardeners use other methods, one of the most common recently among farmers and beginners is sowing seeds in a snail:

  1. Beet seeds are laid out on a damp toilet paper tape, which is placed on a strip of laminate substrate.
  2. After the seeds hatch, a layer of earth is poured over the toilet paper.
  3. The entire structure is rolled up into a tight roll.
  4. The formed snail is fastened with an elastic band and placed in a low container with sawdust so that the seeds are located closer to the upper edge of the structure.

    When folding the roll, the soil at the edges of the tape tends to crumble, so you need to make up for the lack of land after folding

  5. On top of the snail, you can put on a cellophane bag, which is removed immediately after the appearance of the first sprouts.
  6. The soil is periodically and carefully watered.
  7. After the emergence of sprouts, seedlings can be peaked.

Video: a detailed demonstration of the process of planting beet seeds in a snail

The main advantage of the cochlea is that this inexpensive option for sowing seedlings saves space and allows you to place almost all crops on one windowsill.

You can pick out the grown seedlings of beets in diapers - this is the name of the small bundles of fabric and cellophane. These individual planting packages also take up little space, are budget-friendly and make it easy to plant beet seedlings in a permanent place.

Transplanting seedlings from the diapers will be simple: you just need to expand each film and transfer the plant to the ground

Pickling seedlings and further care

If sowing is sparse, and the volume of the landing capacity allows, then you can do without picking. In this case, the soil is poured almost to the edge of the tank, thereby strengthening the seedlings and creating an additional feeding area for them. At the same time, thinning seedlings will still have to be done, since one beet seed gives several sprouts. Young plants removed during thinning can be planted in an additional tray.

Topping up and picking seedlings is carried out at the stage of cotyledon leaves.

Beets are not afraid of picking, on the contrary, from this it will grow better, since the roots have room for development

Step-by-Step Dive Process

For picking, use the same soil as for sowing seeds. To increase the nutritional value of 5 l of soil mix, you can add 1 tbsp. l nitroammophoski. The pick is carried out as follows:

  1. The earth in the tank is slightly moistened, and then carefully, trying not to damage the delicate roots, a seedling is taken out with a wooden stick or spatula.
  2. Some online sources advise removing the lower part of the root of a seedling when picking, but experts warn that cutting off the root can lead to tuberosity and branching of the root crop, which means loss of presentation and taste.
  3. The seedling is placed in a prepared recess in a new container, making sure that the root of the plant is directed strictly down, not bent.

    If the day with diving is good to shed the land with crops, then the root system of the seedling will be easily removed from the ground

  4. Then the earth around the seedling is slightly compacted and watered.

    After a dive, conduct mandatory watering of seedlings

If the pick is carried out correctly, then young plants tolerate it without much stress, quickly take root and grow.

Further care for seedlings is timely watering, which is carried out as necessary. In low light and high temperatures, seedlings can stretch. In this case, it is recommended to transfer them to a cooler and brighter place, for example, in a greenhouse. If the seedlings look too frail, then it can be fed with any liquid fertilizer for seedlings (Fertika, Krepysh, etc.).

Transplantation of beet seedlings in open ground

As soon as a couple of real leaves appear in beetroot seedlings, they are ready for transplanting into open ground. You should once again draw your attention to the fact that beet seedlings should not outgrow: if the roots of the seedling abut against the bottom of the planting capacity, the root crop can grow irregularly. The optimum soil temperature for transplanting seedlings is +10 degrees. When transplanting young plants into open ground or a greenhouse, you need to follow the basic simple rules:

  • transplantation is best done in cloudy, cool weather, best in light rain;
  • prepared holes should accommodate the entire length of the roots;

    Shoots with a height of 8-10 centimeters are best tolerated, while overgrown or too small ones take root with difficulty

  • if the weather during the transplant is dry and hot, then it is recommended to shade the plants for several days from direct sunlight;
  • immediately after planting and in the early days, seedlings need to be watered daily.

    In the first week after transplantation, special attention should be paid to the culture: regularly water and protect from gusts of wind and direct sunlight

Planting beets in the winter

Some gardeners practice winter beet planting. It has a number of advantages compared to spring:

  • seedlings of beets sown in the fall will appear early, since the dense shell of seeds will swell under natural conditions and germination will be faster, which means that the first crop can be harvested much earlier;
  • during the winter period, the seeds of the crop will be hardened, the plants will be more resistant to temperature drops, lack of moisture, pests and diseases.

Sowing beets before winter is most often practiced in regions with a short summer, where many varieties of crops do not have time to ripen, as weather conditions allow spring sowing not earlier than June, and mandatory thinning inhibits plant growth for a while. An important condition for winter sowing is the correct choice of variety. Varieties specially designed for autumn sowing, for example, Cold Resistant 19 and Podzimnaya A474, are best suited. These are varieties of medium maturity; they are the most cold-resistant and not prone to shooting.

The seeds of the presented beet varieties can be sown before winter in late October - early November

Autumn sowing is carried out in November, when the air temperature approaches 0 degrees, and the soil temperature drops to -4. An earlier planting is not recommended, since warm weather can stimulate seed germination and, when stable frost sets in, the seedlings that appear will simply die. Differences of autumn sowing from spring:

  • the main rule for sowing in the winter is to sow only with dry seeds in dry soil;
  • seeds are planted in the soil to a depth of 3-4 cm, that is, deeper than during spring planting;
  • seed consumption per 1 square. the meter should be about 3 g, about 1 g more than when planting in the spring;
  • beds require additional mulching with peat or humus for warming;
  • it is advisable to cover the bed with fallen leaves, needle or sawdust.

In the spring, additional shelter must be removed so that it does not prevent the sprouts from climbing. The top layer of soil is loosened shallow and the bed is covered with transparent covering material. Such insulation will favorably affect the ripening of the crop.

Vegetables from the beds of autumn sowing must be consumed or processed in the summer. For long-term storage, beets planted in the winter are not intended.

Video: sowing beets in the winter

Features of planting beets in a greenhouse

Beet is considered a cold-resistant crop, but it is more susceptible to subzero temperatures than, for example, carrots, so growing root crops in a protected ground, especially in the northern regions, is justified. growing beets in a greenhouse gives the following advantages:

  • the greenhouse facilitates crop care;
  • the greenhouse design makes it possible to obtain an earlier and more stable beet harvest;
  • greenhouse root crops have larger sizes and leveled shape;
  • greenhouse conditions allow cultivation of varieties intended for the southern regions. And they are known to have excellent taste;
  • when grown in protected ground, you can get a crop of not only root crops, but also high-quality young beet greens, which is great for cooking borsch and salads.

The process of sowing beets in protected ground is carried out in a completely standard way, taking into account the following nuances:

  • You can sow seeds as soon as the soil warms up to +5 degrees. This is approximately the month of March, which means that the first crop can be harvested in June;
  • keep in mind that for good growth, culture needs a lot of light;
  • in a greenhouse, beets can be planted both on separate beds, and as a compacting crop;
  • beets can be grown by sowing seeds in the soil or through seedlings.

Video: early beets in a greenhouse

We examined almost all possible options and methods for planting beets. As you can see, this process is completely uncomplicated, and having mastered the simple rules, you will lay the first brick of the future excellent harvest of healthy vegetables.

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