Eat beets - be healthy!
All modern types of beets come from wild beets, growing in the Far East and India, which has been used for food since time immemorial. The first mention of beets is in the countries of the Mediterranean and Babylonia, where it was used as a medicinal and vegetable plant. Initially, only its leaves were eaten, and the roots were used for medicinal purposes.
Beets were very much appreciated by the ancient Greeks, who sacrificed beets to the god Apollo. The first root forms appeared (according to Theophrastus - one of the first botanists of antiquity) and became well known by the 4th century BC.
Beetroot, Latin - Beta, folk - beetroot, beetroot.
Beetroot - a biennial plant from the family haze, or swan. The beets are flat, roundish and cylindrical in shape. High-quality beets have a dark red color. The roots and leaves of beets contain many vitamins, carbohydrates, mineral salts of potassium, magnesium, calcium. The presence of betaine in it helps to lower blood pressure, improve fat metabolism. Beetroot is useful for kidney failure, atherosclerosis, and intestinal diseases.
The soil should be sufficiently loose and nutritious. It must be prepared in advance - in late autumn. And you can make winter sowing by brushing off snow with a broom from icy grooves. This is even better. Seedlings with this method are much less (it is not necessary to thin out), but they are healthier and more stable.
So, for one square meter, you will need to make a bucket of sod land or peat, a bucket of dung humus or compost, a bucket of sand and a glass of dolomite flour (as a “deoxidizing agent” it is much better than traditional lime fluff). It’s good to add a glass of regular oven ash (just keep in mind that it should be dry - wet, it quickly loses useful properties). In principle, such a composition for beets is already enough, but you can still put a matchbox of superphosphate, as much potassium salt and a tablespoon of potash fertilizers. But what should be avoided is excess nitrogen (say, do not get carried away with manure, especially if it’s not burnt out) - voids arise from it in root crops.
Most often, the seeds are sown directly in open ground, at a distance of 8-10 cm, planting them in the ground for a centimeter and a half. Reliable and proven way. However, in our conditions, it does not allow to harvest early crops. If you want to get beets faster, think of a greenhouse with cucumbers. In early spring, between the rows of cucumbers, sow beet seeds on seedlings. The neighborhood is quite suitable. And when the lashes stretch out on the cucumbers, reset the beets in the open ground. When picking seedlings, it’s nice to arm yourself with scissors and cut off a long, thin “tail” of the root - this contributes to the correct formation of the root crop, as it immediately begins to pour, instead of reaching into the string.
And if you still decide to sow the seeds in open ground, do it in two terms with a break of two weeks. The fact is that sometimes the first crops freeze. If the sprouts beat up in sudden frosts, then the beets will begin to “shoot”, in other words, they will not direct all their life energy to pour the root crops with delicious juices, but to quickly release the flower arrow and let the seeds ripen. Besides the second crops, as a rule, are more productive
Care and watering
Care for beets consists in loosening the earth, weeding, fertilizing and watering. Irrigation rates depend on the weather and phases of development of the vegetable. Young plants are watered once a week, spending about 10 liters of water per 1 sq. Km. m. In the second half of summer, when the root crop begins to grow, provided that there is hot, dry weather, watering is doubled, and two weeks before the harvest is stopped completely. Sometimes it is recommended to add a little salt to the water for irrigation (a spoon on a bucket), citing the fact that the culture came to us from the salty sea coast of the Mediterranean, and there will be much less diseases in this case. But this is pretty controversial. It is better to feed the beets twice a summer with complex fertilizers - at the beginning and in the middle of the growing season.
Beets are harvested at the end of September. There is probably no need to talk about how to preserve the crop. Everyone knows that this vegetable is perfectly stored at a temperature of 2-3 "C. True, in a city apartment it is difficult to find a place for a large number of beets. So it’s more convenient to immediately process it. Say make juice. Wash and dry the root crops well, cut (directly with the skin) straws or cubes, put in a saucepan, pour sugar (300 g per 1 kg) and leave for a couple of days in a cool place. Then it remains only to collect the allocated juice and bottle. It can stand in the refrigerator or cellar for up to two months. And if you want to stock up on juice for a longer period, then you have to resort to the "hot method". You need to do the same thing, just bring the juice to a boil, immediately remove from heat, pour into sterilized glass jars or bottles and seal.
You can recycle even the remaining "cake". Cook regular sugar syrup (three parts sugar into two parts water), fill them with the “dry residue”, close the lid tightly and let it cool. And then roll it into cans.
Bohemia. Mid-season beetroot variety “Bohemia” is recommended for cultivation in garden plots. The period from full germination to ripeness of this beet variety is 70-80 days. The root crop is round and round-flat, maroon color. The flesh is maroon, without ringing, juicy, tender. The mass of the root crop is 300-500 g. The taste is excellent. Beetroot variety “Bohemia” - resistant to cercosporosis and flowering. It does not require thinning and is grown locally. Differs in high keeping quality during winter storage. Beetroot “Bohemia” grows better on rich, fertile soils with a neutral reaction. On heavy soils, it must be grown on ridges.
Boltardi. Beet variety “Boltardi” (Holland) is included in the State Register of the Russian Federation for the Central Region for garden plots, household plots and small farms. Variety "Boltardi" is an early ripe beet variety and is recommended for long-term storage and processing. The root crop is round, medium sized, dark red, smooth, the flesh is dark red, with weakly expressed rings. The mass of the root crop is 160-367 g. Taste qualities are good. Productivity of the Boltardi variety is 272-310 kg / ha. The value of the variety is a stable yield, high marketability, evenness of root crops, and resistance to flowering.
Bona. Beet variety "Bona" is recommended for fresh use, for canning and storage. Beet "Bona" - mid-season grade. The root crop of this beet variety is round, red, the head is medium, slightly baked, the flesh is dark red, tender, juicy, with a uniform color. The mass of the root crop is 250-280 g. The dry matter content is 15.5%, total sugar 12.0%. Productivity 5.5-6.8 kg / sq.m. Grade value: high productivity and marketability, uniformity of root crops, good keeping quality.
Detroit. Beetroot Detroit is included in the State Register for the Central Region and is recommended for cultivation in garden plots. Variety "Detroit" - mid-season beet variety. The root crop of Detroit is round, smooth, red with a thin and very short axial root, the flesh is dark red, without ringing. The mass of the root crop is 111-212 g. The value of the Detroit beet variety is stable yield and marketability, cold resistance, resistance of plants to flowering, evenness of root crops and their suitability for preservation, good keeping quality.
Larka. Dutch mid-season beet variety. It is recommended for processing and long-term storage. The root crop is round, dark red, medium in size, the flesh is dark red, with slightly pronounced rings. The mass of the root crop is 140-310 g. The value of the Larka beet variety is its high yield, uniformity of root crops, resistance to flowering, suitability for mechanized harvesting, and long-term storage. According to the originator, it belongs to the group of varieties with increased ability to remove radionuclides from the body.
Libero. The Libero variety is included in the State Register for the Central Region for garden plots, household plots and small farms. Recommended for processing and obtaining early beam products. The Libero variety is a medium early beet variety. The root crop is round, red, the flesh is dark red, the rings are almost absent, the head is weakly baked. The mass of the root crop is 125-225 g. It is medium resistant to shooting. The value of the variety is high yield, rapid formation of root crops for bundle production, evenness of root crops, their good taste, medium resistance to shooting.
Diseases and Pests
White rot. During the growing season, the root neck and lower leaves of plants are infected mainly. Affected tissues become discolored, become watery, and become covered with a cotton-like white mycelium. By autumn, the mycelium condenses, turning into black sclerotia of various shapes.
Gray rot. Beets appear oval or angular brown spots with fluffy greenish-gray mold.
Peronosporosis, or downy mildew. The disease develops on the leaves: on the upper side, chlorotic spots appear at the beginning, then they turn into light yellow, angular, oily, which subsequently turn brown, on the lower side, a grayish-purple coating forms on the spots.
Fomoz sprouts (beet root). Especially often, the disease manifests itself in heavy and acidic soils, with dense crops and in wet weather. Methods of control - the abundant application of organic fertilizers, loosening of the soil during the formation of a crust on its surface during seedlings, seed dressing.
Cercosporosis beets. On the old leaves of beets appear dry light brown spots with a reddish-brown border. Heavily affected leaves die off. Plants must be sprayed every 7-10 days with preparations containing copper (copper chloride - 0.4%).
Beetroot Flea. The most dangerous adult bugs. They are jumping, dark green with a metallic tint, 1.5–2.3 mm long. The eggs are light yellow, elongated-oval, 0.6-0.7 mm long. Larvae are white, yellow-headed, 1.5-2.2 mm long.
Medvedka. A large (up to 50 mm in length) insect is brown in color, with digging legs and short elytra. The bear is widespread and ubiquitous. Both adult insects and larvae are harmful. Paving passages at the surface of the soil, they gnaw through the roots and stems of plants.
Gall nematode. In young roots, pests cause the growth of tissues in the form of various kinds of gall jelly, which reach the size of a walnut. Gauls are further destroyed, rot. With severe damage, the plant dies.
Wireworms, or nutcrackers. A dangerous pest of vegetable crops, is the larva of a nutcracker. The body of the larvae is elongated, firm, with three pairs of short legs, 10-25 mm long, yellow or light brown in color.
Winter scoop. Caterpillars bite on seedlings and young plants near the surface of the soil, feed on leaves and root crops, making irregular cavities in the latter.
Cabbage scoop. Butterflies are gray-brown in color, wingspan is 45-50 mm. On the front wings there is a pattern of darker stripes and spots. The damage is caused by their larvae - caterpillars. Caterpillars of younger ages are green, older ones are gray-green, fifth to sixth ages are brown, up to 50 mm long.
Beets are a very healthy vegetable! Beet root crop takes second place after carrots. It is used for cooking borsch, salads, vinaigrettes and as a seasoning for meat dishes. Not widespread, but pickled and pickled beets deserve attention. Do you grow beets?