November 4, 2014
‘Baby Ball’ beets from last year’s winter garden.
I’ve planted my favorite variety of beet, 'Baby Ball’ again this year. It’s been reliable for many years. The Renee’s Garden catalog description of the Holland import is spot on:
Perfectly rounded, petite crimson beets with fine tips, mellow sweet taste and delicious healthful greens. Early to harvest. Pick at baby size or maturity.
Though I enjoyed the red leaves of the 'Bulls Blood’ beet last year, the beets were somewhat irregular. After a few seasons hiatus, the 'Golden’ beets return to my winter garden.
They are delicious roasted and beautiful served alongside the red beets or in salads. Read a description and see pictures here.
I’ve planted beets successfully using a grid for several years. Though planted close together the soil is rich and I pull smaller ones to make room for larger beets to grow.
Some years I soak the seed overnight. I forgot this year. You can see small depressions made with my finger in each rectangle. I drop in the seeds for a row, then cover with finely sifted compost and press down so the seed makes good contact with the soil.
A small depression remains and when I sprinkle the bed, water puddles there. Keeping the bed well-watered improves germination. (Note to self: we have Santa Ana conditions for the next few days).
To learn more, read an excellent article, All About Growing Beets by Barbara Pleasant in Mother Earth News