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The Boiling Point

Gardening 101: Beets

Beets, Beta vulgaris: “Fall Favorite” What I love about planting for a fall harvest is that the season’s vegetables are not as massive or consuming of garden beds as mid-summer resource hogs (squash and tomato family, you know who you are). I actually love that I can’t see it growing. The major problem with beets is pesky army worms–green caterpillars that chew irregular holes in the beet leaves. Because I practice organic gardening to the nth degree, I just pick off the caterpillars. Tip: if you have irregular or small beets the reason may be that you avoided thinning your seedlings to 1-3 inches apart. Many varieties of beets exist and come in many shapes, sizes, and colors ranging from red to white to gold or striped. Cheat Sheet Harvest the roots from 7 to 8 weeks after planting and eat the greens whenever. I also love to sauté the greens, like chard or spinach, with some oil and garlic. Plant seeds from 1 to 2 inches apart in rows. Beets love deep, well-draining organic soil (never clay, which causes tough beets.

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