Beets: agricultural techniques, preferences, secrets of growing beets

Beets: agricultural techniques, preferences, secrets of growing beets

Beets are both tasty and healthy (part 1)

Oddly enough, but usual beetroot - This is a direct relative of the quinoa that fills the gardens. Cultural cultivation of beets, according to scientists, began a little later, about 1000 years BC.

One of the most ancient documents confirming this remarkable fact is the list of plants in the gardens of the Babylonian king Merodah-Baladan (722-711 BC), where there is a mention of the beetroot. And about 500 years BC, when in Europe only tops of beets were consumed in food, in Asia they already preferred its roots, which turned out to be both nourishing and tastier. Soon, Europeans began to view beets mainly as a root crop. So, Theophrastus in his "Research on Plants" wrote that "... the root of beets is thick and fleshy, the taste is sweet and pleasant, which is why some people eat it raw".

In Russia, beets have been known since about the X-XI centuries. Information about her is found in Svyatoslav's Izbornik. It is assumed that the beets began their glorious journey across Russia from the Kiev principality. From here it penetrated the Novgorod and Moscow lands, Poland and Lithuania. Beets became ubiquitous in Russia along with turnips and cabbage in the 14th century. This is evidenced by numerous entries in the monasteries' income and expense books, shop books and other sources. And in the 17th-18th centuries, the beetroot became completely "Russified", the Russians began to consider it a local plant.

Beet crops have moved far to the north - even the inhabitants of Kholmogory have successfully cultivated them. Great credit for the distribution and cultivation of beetroot in Russia belonged to the remarkable Russian agronomist-breeders Bolotov and Grachev. Ukraine has always been the true center of beet growing. This is evidenced, in particular, by a questionnaire survey conducted in 1766. And the Ukrainian cuisine itself is the best confirmation of this fact. After all, as N.F. Zolotnitsky wrote in 1911: "The famous Little Russian borscht was cooked back in the 16th century, and beetroot sliced ​​with ginger seasoning was served to the boyars as an appetizer for appetite."

For a long time in Russia, beet leaves and petioles were used for food, because the roots were too tough and tasteless. It is possible that from those times we have preserved the tradition of using beet leaves for salads and beetroot vegetables. Young beet tops are especially valuable, which can be obtained, if desired, quite early, when the body, after a cold and long winter, still lacks vitamin greens. The breeding improvement of beets began only in the XII century. For several centuries, the best, and therefore the most delicious, root vegetables have been sought out. Gradually, beets became the real king of vegetables.

Not only tasty, but also healthy

At all times and among different peoples, beets were considered an exclusively healing product. Even the "father of medicine" Hippocrates recognized it as useful for treating patients and included it in dozens of medicinal prescriptions. Cicero, Mir Pial, Virgil, Plutarch and many other thinkers of antiquity wrote about beets. Serious works on its medicinal properties were left by Dioscoril and Avicenna. True, Avicenna, speaking highly of the medicinal benefits of beets, underestimated its nutritional properties. “It has little nutritional value, like other vegetables,” wrote the great physician of the Middle Ages.

Beetroot vegetables contain sucrose, pectins, fiber, proteins, organic acids. Beets are of great importance in providing the body with phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium, chlorine, cobalt, manganese, copper, zinc. In terms of calorie content, beetroot probably surpasses all other vegetables. And the number of diseases in which it undoubtedly helps, probably, cannot be counted.

Is "unpretentious" beetroot so unpretentious?

In the classic manuals of vegetable growers, it is noted that this root crop has a lot of advantages: unpretentiousness, high yield, good preservation in winter, high dietary and medicinal properties. In other words, beets are officially recognized as one of the most unpretentious vegetables. True, as I noticed long ago, this statement clearly does not apply to the beets that are grown in our Ural gardens. The exception is the happy owners of houses in the villages. They, indeed, grow beets, but in gardening partnerships it is far from always. In other words, this most unpretentious vegetable turns out to be very whimsical. Look at the neighbors, it seems that the climate is the same, that on my site, that on the next, and this "unpretentious", according to experts, vegetable does not want to grow, and that's it. And the reasons for this, in general, are very, very simple. I think, not only in our country, but also in other "difficult" regions, for example, in peat bogs.

The main reasons why not everyone grows beets

1. Beets are extremely partial to soil fertility. On the vast village hectares, the land was fertilized for many decades (this is now about 4-5 cows in the whole village, and before that animals were kept in any village house). Consequently, manure was applied regularly, and this, you yourself understand, means a lot.

2. In addition, beets absolutely cannot stand acidic soil, and, in fact, you cannot find another in our Urals (the same situation is observed in many other zones). On the other hand, there is nowhere in the village without a stove, and a very decent amount of ash was collected over the winter. Naturally, it was quite enough for introduction into the soil. So it turned out that in the villages over the years, the Ural podzol gradually turned into a completely fertile garden land. Therefore, I emphasize, the new owners of the village land were lucky in this regard, because their beets grow, as it were, by themselves.

3. At the same time, beets are incredibly light-requiring, and prefers to grow sparsely. However, it is important not to overdo it, because large roots are less tender and tasty. And on 18-20 acres in the village, as you know, you can swing without problems, and it is not difficult to take away a sunny plot. As for the well-known 4-6 acres, then they try to plant it thicker, and on top of that, they often take away this light-loving vegetable for not the most illuminated place. But in vain.

So, what does the "unpretentious" beet like?

1. Maximum light... The slightest shading leads to a sharp decrease in yield. Therefore, timely weeding and a fairly free arrangement of plants are necessary.

2. Loose fertile neutral soil... Therefore, even in autumn, liming should be carried out, if necessary. In general, it is better if liming has already been carried out in previous years, since when lime is applied in the year of planting, a large number of root crops affected by scab grows. It turns out a paradox: on acidic soil, beets do not grow (this moment can be fixed very quickly - the leaf of such beets turns red, and the beets themselves practically do not grow; I am not talking about root crops anymore), but on freshly calcified soil it is affected by scab. But here you have to choose the lesser of two evils. Although if the soil is slightly acidic, then instead of lime, you can safely get by with a decent amount of ash, and thereby avoid scab. In addition, it is necessary to carry out periodic loosening - about once a week or mulch the space around the plants, for example, with stale sawdust.

3. It is desirable to provide more warmth... In cold summers, when night temperatures are kept at 10-11 ° C, beets do not grow very well, and you have to resort to stimulating spraying.

4. Regular watering... It should be especially intense during the period of emergence and filling of root crops. True, waterlogging of the soil is also completely unacceptable.

5. Wide aisles and a decent distance between plants (it is these factors that largely determine the size of root crops). Between plants it is preferable to maintain 8-10 cm, and between rows - about 25-30 cm. In principle, it will be better if medium-sized beets grow. it is simply difficult to find a pot for cooking large beets. And the taste of medium root crops is somewhat softer. Therefore, it is possible to somewhat reduce the distance in a row between plants, but it is imperative to leave wide aisles.

With a thickened planting (narrow aisles), beets are sorely lacking in illumination, and they simply stop growing, as if "freezing" in one place. Moreover, it is practically useless to take measures to thin it out after the beets have stopped growing: a good harvest can no longer be obtained. If you are forced to choose an area for beets where there is a shadow for some time during the day (this, in principle, is permissible), then plant beets even more rarely, so that there is still enough light for each plant. Although, of course, this option is not particularly desirable.

The basic principle of obtaining high yields of beets in the Urals and in other regions with difficult soil and climatic conditions

Remember the short summer in the Urals, when it had not yet arrived at the beginning of June, and had already ended in August. At the same time, it is no secret to anyone that thermophilic beets should not be planted in cold soil. It is necessary to wait until the soil at a depth of 10-12 cm warms up to at least 7-10 ° C. Moreover, beet seeds should never be kept in cold soil. otherwise, the processes of vernalization will be completed in them, as a result of which the plants can go into the arrow. On the other hand, beets should not get frozen, because young plants can die already at –3… –4 ° С. And frosts in our country happen until mid-June (the same situation is in the North-West region). So it turns out that they usually do not rush to plant beets.

As a matter of fact, in all guides on vegetable growing, it is also not advised to rush to planting it. But in vain. For example, I sow some beets at the beginning of April, and all the rest at the end of the same month. Of course, I foresee a lot of criticism that I am acting contrary to all laws and recommendations, but, nevertheless, this is a fact.

As a result, the first harvest, if desired, can be eaten starting in mid-June, and individual specimens from the beginning of June. By the way, at this time the beets are unusually tender, although not as sweet as in the second half of summer.

Why did I choose this early landing option? All because of our short summer. Everyone in our family loves beets very much, and we eat them almost every day throughout the year. By mid-June, the beets of the last year's harvest already leave much to be desired in their taste, and we, naturally, are switching to a new harvest.

Read the second part of the article: Growing and harvesting beets

Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg
Photo by E. Valentinov


Beetroot is an unpretentious garden crop that does not require hilling. Even a novice gardener can handle the cultivation of root crops. An indicator of plant health is young beet tops. It should be bright green in color, free from spots and signs of disease.

Hilling is not required for this plant, since the roots of the beets go deep underground and provide the crop with the necessary amount of nutrients. The plant only needs timely and moderate watering, as well as top dressing if necessary.

Advantages and disadvantages of the variety

Reduced Bordeaux is universally loved by gardeners. It is famous for its stable yields, resistance to heat and drought, and is perfectly stored until spring.

Bright neat root vegetables are distinguished by their juiciness and sweetish taste. The fruits are not too large, so it is convenient to bake them and use them in salads.

Bordeaux has practically no drawbacks.

Subtleties of leaving after disembarkation

In rare cases, young beet bushes need shelter after transplanting. Protection is required if there is a threat of a sharp drop in air temperature or if it is sunny, dry weather. For shelter, a transparent film or other non-woven material is suitable, which is placed on low arcs.

Watering and loosening

At the beginning of the growing season, beet seedlings need regular and abundant watering. It is important to maintain the balance of moisture, lack of water reduces the quality of tubers, excess leads to the appearance of fungal diseases. The dried topsoil serves as a signal for watering.

Good to know! Mulching beet beds helps to retain moisture in the soil. Planting can be watered much less frequently.

The next day after moistening the soil, it is advisable to loosen the soil around the seedlings and weed the weeds. After that, the roots of the plant will gain access to air and will not lack nutrients.

Top dressing

Beets are responsive to regular feeding, especially with organic fertilizers. For a full harvest, it is necessary to enrich the soil with nutrients several times per season:

  • Nitrogen is added at the beginning of the growing season. Infusion of nettle and weeds is used as a source.
  • Phosphorus and potassium begin to be introduced when the tops are closed. Organic source - mullein infusion, additionally enriched with trace elements.
  • Boron deficiency leads to the formation of voids in the beet tubers. It is recommended to use a boric acid solution as a foliar dressing.
  • Sodium nitrate helps to increase the sugar content of root crops. Bring in 1 tbsp. on a bucket of water and spill the beet beds with a solution.

Important! Nitrogen fertilizing in the second half of the growing season leads to the accumulation of nitrates in the vegetable. They are brought in only at the beginning of the season.

Diseases and pests

Young beet seedlings are susceptible to a dangerous disease - beet root. The pathogen affects the vegetable at the beginning of development. Symptoms of the disease are decay of the root collar, blackening and depletion of the trunk. Affected seedlings quickly wither and die. The main methods of dealing with the disease:

  • seed dressing before planting
  • liming the soil with wood ash
  • loosening and weeding of young seedlings
  • compliance with crop rotation.

High humidity provokes the defeat of beet seedlings with downy mildew and leaf spot. Symptoms appear on young beetroot shoots that curl, fade, and become stained... Disease control consists of weekly spraying the beds with preparations containing copper.

The most dangerous pests of vegetable seedlings:

  • beet fleas and weevils
  • beet aphid
  • nematode
  • beet bug.

Harmful insects feed on beet leaves and tubers. The larvae enter the plant from contaminated soil or from nearby weeds. Autumn soil cultivation, timely weeding of weeds and the use of insecticides help to get rid of pests on seedlings.

Beets do not require much care from the gardener. Growing seedlings allows you to accelerate the ripening of the crop. Compliance with the rules for planting beet seedlings in open ground and simple care for them is the key to tasty, healthy vegetables.

Growing and caring for beets

Many summer residents grow carrots, beets, cabbage, zucchini, garlic, onions, potatoes, as these are the most basic vegetables used in preparing various dishes, including canning. The most interesting thing is that it is useful to use beets not only its root vegetable, but also the leaves themselves.

Beets are one of the few crops that are not whimsical to their habitat, but which needs an abundant amount of organic matter and mineral fertilizers. In its appearance, the leaves are similar to Swiss chard.

The most common varieties of beets for growing in the country: Gribovskaya, Egyptian flat, Incomparable A-46, Cold-resistant, Podzimnyaya A-474, Renova, Pablo.

It is necessary to care for beets, like for any other crop, namely, water, thin out, weed and feed in a timely manner.

Growing beets in the country

Despite her unpretentiousness to the landing site, she still has preferences. This should be a well-lit, drained area, the light gives the root crop its color. If the soil is acidic, then when laying the beds, add ash with dolomite flour or lime. However, you should be more careful with lime, as its excess will lead to a disease of the culture with scab.

When preparing beds for beets in May, compost should be added to the soil at the rate of 3 kg per 1 sq. M. If the site is in a damp place, then the beets are grown on the ridges. If you grow beets before winter, then you need to dig up the soil superficially and add compost or humus ½ bucket with 30 g of potassium chloride and the same amount of superphosphate per 1 sq. m. In the spring, add 30 g of urea.

It is better to grow beets in the country with seeds. If you are sowing beets in the spring, then soak them in warm water for a day to accelerate seed germination. After that, the seeds need to be dried, sown in loose soil and rolled in.

If you prepare seeds by bubbling, then they should be sown only on wet soil! (Bubbling is a very convenient way of preparing seeds for planting, which does not require presoaking. The seeds are saturated with oxygen using, for example, an aquarium compressor. Seed germination is accelerated by 2 times.)

Seeds begin to germinate at a temperature of 4-5 ° C, the seedlings withstand temperatures up to 2 ° C below zero. If the soil is cold, then flower stalks will form on the beets.

Sowing seeds is usually carried out from May 1 to May 20, at which time the soil is still maximally moistened. The seeding rate of beet seeds is 2g per 1 sq. M. When sowing in winter 3g per 1 sq. M (planting depth 3-4 cm), do not forget about soil mulching.

The distance between seeds is 5-8cm for shallow sowing in heavy soils 2-3cm, row spacing 18-20cm. At the first shoots, after about 4-5 days, thinning is required, preferably after watering or rain, do not forget about weeding and loosening between rows.

The first thinning during the emergence of the first 2 leaves, the second with 4-5 leaves, leaving the distance between plants 6 cm, the last thinning in August, the distance up to 8 cm. Note that with the second thinning, root crops can already be used for their intended purpose, i.e. for food.

Do not forget about watering the beets when growing, as this is a very moisture-loving plant, about 20 liters per 1 sq. M in dry weather during the period of intensive growth. Such powerful watering is carried out 1-2 times. Water in small portions throughout the season. It is not worth overmoistening the soil a month before harvesting, this will affect the quality of the crop.

Fertilizers for growing beets

Beets need to be fed with nitrogen, boron, phosphorus, potassium, malibdenum, copper. The beets are in great need of all this. An alternative to these fertilizers can be a mixture of ash (3 glasses per 1 sq. M.) With humus or compost.

For the entire season of growing beets, you need to carry out 2 fertilizing with mineral fertilizers. The first is carried out after the primary thinning with nitrogen fertilizers (10 g of urea per 1 sq. M), the second - when the tops begin to close in the aisles, potassium-phosphorus (10 g of potassium chloride, 8 g of superphosphate per 1 sq. M).

To reduce the amount of nitrates in beets, nitrogen fertilizers should be applied in fractional portions, it is best to use urea. And the chlorine forms of potash fertilizers, due to the content of ions in them, will prevent the accumulation of nitrates.

Beets need copper and molybdenum, and especially boron. Root feeding in this case is not advisable. Apply fertilizers containing these trace elements by the foliar method.

  • Yellow spots on the tops of beets will indicate a sign of a lack of potassium, watering with milk of lime will help to correct the situation (for 10 liters of water 200 g of lime with 80 g of potassium chloride). It is recommended to repeat this feeding after 10 days.
  • Red beet tops will indicate a lack of sodium and acidity of the soil. In this case, the beet leaves are watered with salt water, and the beds are sprinkled with ash.
  • Light-colored beet leaves indicate a lack of potassium.

It is necessary to fertilize when the root crop becomes the size of a walnut, it is best to do this with a mullein solution at the rate of 1: 8, but you can also do this: 2 g of nitrogen, 3 g of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers per 1 sq. M.

Harvesting and storage of beets

Harvesting begins 70-80 days after sowing, ends before the start of frost (mid-September).
For better storage of beets and preservation of color with all nutrients, you need to cut the leaves at a distance of 3 cm from the root. Store in basements or cellars at a temperature of 1-3 ° C.

Recommendations for growing beets

  • Plant beets where previously grown tomatoes, potatoes, onions and cucumbers.
  • DO NOT plant beets where chard, carrots, cabbage, and beets grew.
  • Observe the crop rotation.
  • For greater sugar content of the beets, water it with a solution of table salt (for 10 liters of water 1 tablespoon per 1 sq. M), and even better, sodium nitrate, and so 2-3 times per season.
  • It is best to grow beets with seeds, since the seedlings after transplanting into the ground are sick for a long time and cannot tolerate low temperatures, they will go to the arrow or the fruit will be small.
  • It is possible to accelerate the germination of beet seeds by covering the crops with vermiculite or peat, then moisture, heat will remain, and a strong crust will not form.
  • The most common diseases and pests of beets: downy mildew, leaf spot, rust, root aphids, etc.

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Beet seed soaking: 4 advantages of the method

Beetroot belongs to unpretentious plants, but some of the subtleties of its cultivation still exist. And like any other vegetable story, it all starts with the quality of the seed planted. Many gardeners use such an important and well-proven technique as soaking beet seeds before planting. Reception does not guarantee a bountiful harvest, but provides a high level of seed germination.

Beets: agricultural technology, preferences, secrets of growing beets - garden and vegetable garden

It is impossible to imagine our table without vegetables and potatoes. They are the most important component of the diet of both the academician and the carpenter. Vegetables - a pantry of carbohydrates, protein, organic acids, vitamins, mineral salts, enzymes, and other essential nutrients. Of particular value are vitamins, which are either almost absent or present in small doses in other products. Do not rely solely on grocery stores and markets, start your own vegetable garden. Especially if you want to have fresh vegetables straight from the garden. The secrets of growing vegetables are not that complicated. Diligence, perseverance, curiosity, ingenuity will help you overcome all difficulties and become a real vegetable grower.

So, advice from specialists and experienced gardeners.

To extend the season for the consumption of fresh vegetables, early, medium and late varieties are planted. The earliest harvests in the open field can be obtained from the cultivation of perennial crops (sorrel, rhubarb, perennial types of onions), as well as from winter sowing of carrots, beets, parsley, radishes and onions. Early vegetables of annual crops (lettuce, cucumbers, radishes) and onions can be grown in small greenhouses in the garden.

They accelerate the development of shelters made of film or glass without artificial heating in early spring. You can grow radishes under them. They can cover sorrel, rhubarb, onions, winter crops of beets and carrots.

Vegetable plants according to biological, botanical and economic characteristics, they are classified into homogeneous groups.

Cabbage plants. There are several varieties of cabbage: white cabbage, cauliflower, red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and leafy cabbage. Almost all types of cabbage are biennial plants. Only in the second year, the planted stalks with apical buds give seeds. Plants of this group are cold-resistant, require increased moisture supply, although they do not tolerate excessive moisture (especially long-term), they are demanding on soil fertility. Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage and broccoli under certain conditions form seeds in the first year of life and are annual.

Mid-season cabbage varieties are suitable for pickling, late varieties for pickling and long-term storage. Red cabbage is unsuitable for cooking, it is used fresh for salads. Cauliflower is good for boiling, roasting, and canning.

Roots. This group includes: carrots, parsnips, parsley, celery (umbelliferae family) beetroot (from the haze family) radish, turnips, turnips, rutabagas, radishes (cruciferous family) chicory (from the aster family). All root crops form seeds in the second year of life (when planted with an intact apical bud), with the exception of radishes and summer radishes, which give seeds in the first year. Without exception, all plants of this group are cold-resistant, require high soil fertility, moisture supply (especially in the period after sowing the seeds).

Bulbous plants. In this group, onions, leeks, perennial varieties of onions (multi-tiered shallots, batun onions) coexist. All these plants are cold-resistant. Onions and garlic contain many nutrients and vitamins. Onions are grown by seeds (nigella), sevkom (small bulbs 1.5-2.5 cm, usually obtained from nigella) and a sample (3-4 cm or more).

Fruit vegetables. Cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, watermelons, melons (pumpkin family) tomatoes, peppers, eggplants (nightshade family). All these plants are very thermophilic and require highly fertile soils. Almost every year, in our conditions, to obtain these vegetables, it is necessary to use protective agents against frost and low temperatures.

Peas, beans and beans (legume family) also belong to the group of fruit vegetables. Unlike their neighbors, they can withstand low temperatures. Beans are somewhat more thermophilic than peas and beans.

Green vegetables. These are the familiar salad, dill, parsley, celery, watercress, coriander (do not be confused that we also included some of them in the group of root vegetables - remember the sayings about tops and roots), as well as other cultures that we almost not familiar and not cultivated in the middle lane. All of these crops are cold-resistant annuals, they are mainly sown with seeds.

Perennial vegetables. It is somehow unusual to call sorrel, rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish vegetables - but it is so. All these plants are frost-resistant, in one place they can grow from two to five years. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively.

Potatoes. It occupies a special place among vegetables, it is bred to obtain tubers. Potatoes belong to the nightshade family. Potato bushes are easily damaged by frost. Propagated mainly by tubers, but you can also propagate it by eyes, sprouts, dividing a bush and even seeds (this laborious work does not give the same effect as propagation by tubers).

Part garden plot that you allocate for vegetable crops should not be shaded. If possible, you should choose a free, well-lit area with the most fertile soil (if the soil is not very fertile, you need to patiently start creating it for many years). A common mistake of novice vegetable growers is the desire for a combined arrangement of crops, when vegetables and strawberries are placed among young apple and pear trees. As long as the trees are young, everything seems to be going well: the crowns do not shade the beds too much, there is enough light and food for vegetables. But trees quickly gain strength, grow, and then the intermediate crops fall into the shade, their yield decreases from year to year. After all, most vegetable crops and potatoes do not tolerate strong shading and the presence of woody plant roots in the soil. Therefore, one of the main rules for complex gardening and horticulture - to provide a place for each crop and take into account the need to subsequently carry out a competent change (alternation) of vegetables and berries. After all, a certain culture should be returned to its original place not earlier than after three years, and even better - after four or five years. To do this, you need to draw up a clear plan for the placement and rotation of crops.

The timing of the return of crops to their original place is roughly the following: cabbage - 3 - 4 years, carrots - 3, peas - 4 - 5, celery - 3, tomatoes - 3 - 4, cucumbers - 3, lettuce - 1-2, onions - 4 - 5 years.

The yield decreases especially sharply and the quality deteriorates with permanent cultivation of cabbage, beets, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes.

When plants are re-grown on the same soil, a decrease in yield occurs as a result of the release of physiologically active substances into the soil, which subsequently inhibit the same culture.

The most appropriate width of the beds is 1.2 m. Between the beds, paths 0.3 m wide are left. The creation of narrower beds is a waste of the land of the garden plot, wider ones - it makes it difficult to cultivate the soil, care for plants and harvest.