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Old March 2, 2012   #1
nctomatoman
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Default Some interesting beet data - seeds vs seedlings

I planted 5 varieties of beets -

Touchstone Gold
Burpee's Golden
Ruby Queen
Red Cloud
Albino

15 seeds of each in 4 inch pots (so I had 5 pots of beet seedlings).

Today I potted them up and got to assess the reality of beet seeds producing multiple seedlings.

So from 15 seeds, I ended up transplanting:

19 seedlings of Touchstone Gold
26 seedlings of Burpee Golden
32 seedlings of Ruby Queen
23 seedlings of Red Cloud

and

27 seedlings of Albino....

So you can expect an approximate 2:1 ratio (well, a bit less on average) of seedlings per seeds.

And - once again, I've found that the supposedly low germination Burpee's Golden Beet germinated just fine if you plant them indoors and transplant to the garden later on. The low germination seems to happen if you direct seed into cool soil

Just a bit of data for you all to chew on! We like the beets...we LOVE the beet greens! The beets were transplanted to 50 cell plug flats - once they size up and my rows are ready, I will transplant them to about 3-4 inches apart - this results in really pretty, well formed beets.
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Old March 2, 2012   #2
Timbotide
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I too planted my beet seed in some small pots and they sprouted like crazy.
This is my first year to try raising my own beets. The thought of having some homemade
Pickled beets in the pantry is making me hungry.
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Old March 2, 2012   #3
RebelRidin
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How big do you let them get before you pot them up?
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Old March 2, 2012   #4
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They are pretty forgiving at any size - most were just getting the first true leaves, but the rest were just showing cotyledons.
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Old March 2, 2012   #5
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One thing I noticed about Forono, one of the cylindrical varieties, is that you can have two seedlings right next to each other from the same "seed," which is actually a berry, of course, and they'll get along just fine, they just split up the territory more or less 50-50. No doubt the same would apply to Cylindra, which I haven't grown.

Having said that much, I still prefer Tall Top Early Wonder. Like Craig, I like the roots, but I adore the greens.
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Old March 2, 2012   #6
peppero
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i had always heard that you could not transplant them. then i read that you could and i found out that i could. next time i will try the dense planting method. it is good to know that never is not always never. jon

Last edited by peppero; March 2, 2012 at 08:12 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 2, 2012   #7
nctomatoman
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That's the thing with having a scientific approach to all this - always test things out for yourself. There are so many urban legends/folklores around gardening that it pays to do the experiments.
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Old March 2, 2012   #8
RebelRidin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nctomatoman View Post
They are pretty forgiving at any size - most were just getting the first true leaves, but the rest were just showing cotyledons.

How do you think/would you have any thoughts on transplanting directly into the garden bed early season with a row cover to provide a little protection?
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Old March 2, 2012   #9
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I think the issue with direct transplant is going to be the challenge of adjusting in heavy soil with nearly certain weed competition and very uneven weather. The very young, just separated seedlings certainly benefit from being pampered in optimum conditions while they develop a nice healthy root system.

Then again, I just love the whole process of transplanting - I find it very therapeutic!
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Old March 2, 2012   #10
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Thanks Craig. If I try it will be in a raised bed. Maybe just for a lark...
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Old March 2, 2012   #11
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[QUOTE=nctomatoman;258971]

And - once again, I've found that the supposedly low germination Burpee's Golden Beet germinated just fine if you plant them indoors and transplant to the garden later on. The low germination seems to happen if you direct seed into cool soil
QUOTE]

Interesting you would find this outcome, I planted my Kentucky wonder pole beans without soaking in a peat pellet, outdoors and everyone of them came up and much stronger than what I tried last year. Last year I soaked them prior to direct seeding and everyone of them died quickly. I have planted all of the seedlings from the peat pellets this year and only one looks like it won't make it and I think this is because it never seemed to develop any first leaves on it.

P.S. I was laughed at because I had not direct sewn the beans, lol. Now who's laughing, he he....
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Old March 2, 2012   #12
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George, I direct-sowed some beets on 1/5, and they're up and growing under a cloche. It was just an experiment, because I'd never heard of wintersowing until last year. Why not? Seeds are relatively cheap. But I'm going to seed some in the house this weekend to see how they do in comparison. Will they surpass the others already outside? Only time will tell.
I also planted peas 3 weeks ago, and there's no sign of them yet.
I will be starting some indoors this weekend, too. Beans, too, later on. "It's only seeds."
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Old March 3, 2012   #13
Mark0820
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What looks like one beet seed is actually a cluster of several seeds, so it still takes one beet seed to grow one plant.

"Each big beet seed cluster is actually composed of 3 or 4 smaller seeds which often all germinate in a clump, so planting beets at the proper spacing of at least an inch apart, and then thinning them early, is critical to having a good harvest of shapely mature roots."
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Old March 3, 2012   #14
nctomatoman
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Mark, did you see my data? from 15 seeds I ended up with nearly twice as many good plants. So by pre-sprouting and thinning, you can get twice the potential beets.
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Old March 3, 2012   #15
Mark0820
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I saw your data, but if you are counting a seed from a packet of beet seeds as one seed, it is not one seed. One seed from a packet of beet seeds is actually a cluster of 3 to 4 beet seeds.

Did you split the beet seed you took from the beet seed packet down into 3 or 4 seeds before you planted them?
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