It All Starts With a Seed

Have you ever considered the miracle of seeds? That such a small thing could contain all the information needed to produce a full grown plant, which will in turn make its own seeds.

Today I want to talk about a vegetable with a funny-looking seed: Beets!


Planting Beets

The journey of a beet begins with its seeds. Home gardeners normally start sowing beet seeds directly into the soil about 4 weeks before the last spring frost date. Beets prefer cool temperatures for germination, making early spring or late summer the ideal times for planting. In contrast, on a farm where the scale is bigger, precise timing and row spacing become more critical. Farmers often use mechanized seeders to ensure even spacing and depth, planting rows about 12 to 18 inches apart to allow for mechanical cultivation and harvesting.


Proper Care and Feeding

Once planted, the care for beets in both home gardens and farms revolves around maintaining consistent soil moisture and weed control. Beets require a good deal of water, so regular watering is crucial, especially during dry spells. Thinning is another vital step to avoid overcrowding; seedlings should be thinned to about 3 to 4 inches apart. This is more common in home gardens, whereas farms are less likely to use thinning.

Nutrient management is a little different between the two. Home gardeners often enrich their soil with compost or a balanced organic fertilizer. In contrast, farms use soil tests to tailor their fertilization strategy, to get the best crop.

Ready to Harvest

The growth period for beets typically ranges from 50 to 70 days, depending on the variety. Home gardeners can harvest beets at any size they prefer, often pulling up baby beets for tender eating. In a farm setting, the harvest is usually more uniform, targeting a specific size.

The harvest is as much about timing as it is about technique. In home gardens, beets can be gently pulled from the soil by hand. On farms, mechanical harvesters lift the beets from the ground, often in a single pass. After harvesting, proper storage is crucial to maintain the beets' freshness. As with most root vegetables, cool, humid environments are best.

Growing beets, whether in your backyard garden or on a farm, involves a series of thoughtful steps from planting to harvest. And it all starts with a seed. 

While we’re not all farmers, we are all planting seeds in some way. What seeds are you planting in your relationships? Planting kindness is a great way to reap an abundant crop of love and friendship.

To Planting Good Seeds,

Trish & Crew

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