You Can’t Beet That!

I know, terrible pun, but i couldn’t resist the temptation.

Finally!  An actual beet harvest.  I love beets- roasted with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar; cold beet and yogurt with lemon; grilled with olive oil.  And, the beet tops?  forget about it!  Those are sauteed up right after picking them- butter, garlic and a little bit of red wine.  Talk about delicious.

For years, i’ve been struggling to grow beets in DC.  Between the sumer heat, and futile efforts to keep the soil moist evenly enough when first sewn.  I find that they either don’t germinate at all, or if they do, they stall out for weeks and never amount to much.  Until….i started sprouting them inside, under lights, and transplanting them 5 weeks later.  I went from maybe 20% success, to 90% success.  Plus, the quality went way up!  Especially with the Chioggia, or candy stripe, beets.  These have a lighter flavor and texture, and are a little bit less sweet then the deep red ones.  Yum!

I think part of the trick is to grow them in small starter pots- i use the 3×3 cells- as i’ve had the best success with these.  Be sure to harden them off to full sun really well, as you’re transplanting them during the heat of the summer.


About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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