beetroot

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viettaclark

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  • Location: Southampton
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beetroot
« on: November 27, 2010, 22:58 »
Pulled a few beetroot that have been in since the Spring and the largest was only pingpong ball size and although they tasted good they weren't as sweet as I expected. They were watered over the dry periods and occasionally fed.
I don't seem to have much luck with roots....celeriac, swede, turnips now beetroot have been very disappointing over the last 3 years.
However, parsnips are huge and delicious and I can usually grow carrots if the fly doesn't get them!
I think my soil is too high in nitrogen because my leaf crops are amazing!!
Is it potassium I need to feed roots? I thought it was for flowering/fruiting crops?

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Trillium

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Re: beetroot
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 00:33 »
Potassium (K) is good for all root crops and can be found in many forms, including older wood ashes (avoid fresh ashes - too caustic). Here's some good info on potassium and how it relates to availability with water:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/dc6794.html

Basically, you need to go easy with manure in beet rows as it does contain far too much nitrogen for beetroots, but good for beet tops if that's what you prefer.
For better roots, compost, bonemeal and woodashes would be better choices (all 3 are good) mixed into the soil and the beets watered very regularly. You don't need big tap roots with beets so no need to be stingy with watering. But do be regular with your watering and it should pay off in larger and sweeter beets.

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Paul Plots

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Re: beetroot
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 01:17 »
Trillium's advice sounds good to me....

I've little idea why but my beetroot is lovely... so sweet there's a continuous demand for more from those at home and family.

I add lots of compost in the autumn, water evenly so they have little chance of drying out and it's easy stuff. I'm sure a good dose of summer sun helps with the sweetness.

Later autumn beetroots grow more slowly and gradually the sweetness dimiishes.
Roll on next season!!  ;)
Never keep your wish-bone where your back-bone ought to be.



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