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Old September 14, 2019   #1
DonDuck
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Default Beets

I've never had good luck or skill in growing beets. The few I've grown successfully required too much work to get them on the table ready to eat and I usually had a red mess to clean up after preparing them.


I planted beet seed last fall with the intent of them germinating in the past spring. They did gerrminate and grow slowly. After watching the beet leaves decimated by some kind of fungus and insects, I didn't expect them to produce a single beet worthy of eating.


They finally put on new leaves and started growing. In early August, they grew from golf ball size to tennis ball size. I harvested a few today and instead of peeling and boiling them, I baked them wrapped individually, loosely in foil. I then used a paper towell and the skins wiped off easily. I cut them up and didn't butter them or season them in any way. We ate them tasting like beets and they were delicious. It was also nice to not have a red mess to clean up.

Last edited by DonDuck; September 14, 2019 at 11:41 PM.
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Old September 15, 2019   #2
GoDawgs
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I'm glad you've had success! I've finally given up trying to grow beets here even though I like them. The weather just isn't right for them and the flea beetles love 'em. Come to think about it, I've never bought any fresh ones from the store anyway as they're always too expensive. We get the plain canned and sliced beets and pickle them as needed.
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Old September 15, 2019   #3
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Y'all should try a raw beet they are fantastic.
I pickle canned beets too.
Even put sliced canned peaches in with them sometimes.
I may have eaten more beets pickled and otherwise than any man alive growing up.
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Old September 15, 2019   #4
NarnianGarden
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I find them too strong to eat raw, even though beets have a high sugar content.. I always get a bitter aftertaste.
Slightly sauteed or boiled, is delicious.
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Old September 15, 2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NarnianGarden View Post
I find them too strong to eat raw, even though beets have a high sugar content.. I always get a bitter aftertaste.
Slightly sauteed or boiled, is delicious.
I do have a certain amount of goat DNA in me.
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Old September 15, 2019   #6
LK2016
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I love beets, and I was successful growing them in our community garden. But every other year or so, the community garden shuts down (don't ask, it's always too stupid) and I'm left with a little patch in my backyard, and containers, for all my gardening. For years, I got only leaves when growing beets in containers. This year, for the first time, the roots are growing (albeit slowly)! Delicious! Planting more now, hoping to get some more before winter. I don't know the secret - I did add lime a few times, and phosphorus rich fertilizer. And recently some Masterblend, Epsom salts, and Calcium nitrate. If anyone knows the beet secret, please share, because we can't get enough!
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Old September 15, 2019   #7
DonDuck
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I've always thought of beets as a late spring, early summer crop. I guess I was wrong. Mine germinated in the spring, but the bulbs didn't start growing larger until late summer. The bulbs took so long to develop, I thought they would be stringy and woody inside. They were perfect inside after wiping the really ugly, sunburned skin off with a paper towell. Baking them at 400 degrees F for an hour, loosely wrapped in foil worked perfectly. I think the foil wrapping allowed them to produce steam inside the foil which loosened the skin. I also cut the root end off to flatten them so they would sit up straight inside the foil.


I was set up to bake two foil wrapped Irish potatoes for dinner. I thought I had a lot of wasted space on the baking tray, so I went to the garden and pulled six large beets as an experiment. We had air fried, thick pork chops, a large green salad; plus the baked potatoes for dinner. The beets were what we called Lagniappe (a little extra) in Louisiana.

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Old September 15, 2019   #8
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Beet juice and bourbon makes a fantastic drink.
There are a lot of good drinks made from beet juice alcoholic and not.
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Old September 15, 2019   #9
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I like beets many ways, but a summer fav is either sliced beets or baby whole beets and some green salad with a dab of cottage cheese .


Don have you ever tried the golden or white beets if you don't like the red mess ( I always bake mine, so it's not much of a mess for me).
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Old September 15, 2019   #10
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Golden and white beets are great, less messy.
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Old September 15, 2019   #11
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Beet juice and bourbon, I'm going to have to try that.
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Old September 17, 2019   #12
DonDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imp View Post
I like beets many ways, but a summer fav is either sliced beets or baby whole beets and some green salad with a dab of cottage cheese .


Don have you ever tried the golden or white beets if you don't like the red mess ( I always bake mine, so it's not much of a mess for me).

I had some beet seed packets last summer that I bought off some seed rack in some store. I thought they were all Detroit Red beets. When I harvested and baked a few the other day, I was surprised to find two or three varieties including orange and multicolor and red. The skins were all the same color, but after cooking and peeling them, they were very different and the orange variety was sweeter.


I plan on planting more beets next spring, but I will be more deliberate in selecting varieties and caring for them. I didn't put much effort into growing them this year other than planting some seed to fill in some empty spots in my garden.

Last edited by DonDuck; September 17, 2019 at 01:42 AM.
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Old September 17, 2019   #13
DonDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
Beet juice and bourbon makes a fantastic drink.
There are a lot of good drinks made from beet juice alcoholic and not.

That sounds like a great drink, but I would have to improve it by leaving the bourbon out. I've never been able to develop a taste for bourbon, but I do like beet juice. The absolute worst thing I've ever tried to drink was something named Southern Comfort. I had to spit it out and wash my mouth out with soap.
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Old September 18, 2019   #14
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I love beet greens as well as spiral cut golden he’s in salad.
I think beets are susceptible o or on deficiency and they like higher ph. I haven had success with beets,lettuce,chard or spinach yet in NC and I think that’s the case with all these crops. I really need to send in a soul sample to check my soil but I also haven’t worked that hard at growing these crops yet,either since I’m just now figuring out the seasons and pest issues here. Much different than AZ issues.
I can’t wait to figure out the secrets here. I’m finally having some success with the kale,cabbage and summer stuff although I’m still working out the bug issues.
By the time I retire from working I’ll be a proficient NC gardener!
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Old September 19, 2019   #15
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Good luck Tracy! I've finally figured out most of the plants you mentioned in my zone. I also like beet greens, but mine were so ravened by insects this year, they were inedible. Maybe next year. I had a good spinach crop and my chard performs well every year. I only grow chard for it's beauty. I really don't like the taste of chard fresh or cooked. It is pretty good cooked with collard greens and mustard greens. The three greens seem to off set each others taste when cooked together.
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