Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Transplanting Beets: It can be done


Wow, my mind is blown, that's all I can say. Here I was thinking you could never transplant root veggies like beets and I've been proven wrong. Not only have we transplanted these tiny baby beets, but we did it more...

aggressively than I would have thought possible.

These beets are grown to baby size before they are harvested and sold, but instead of taking extra time and effor to thin out the beets looking for the most ready in size (about the diameter of a dollar coin) we harvested the entire bed transplanting all the smallest beets to a new bed where they will have plenty of air, space and water without competition any longer.

A fascinating technique and one that I believe will provide a much higher yielding crop since there will be less lost to crowding.

The smallest, thinnest almost unformed beets are transplanted to the edge of the planting box because that is the area with the most moisture and air since there are only other beets on one side, not two like the ones in the middle. This concept matches up with how things went at Stone Barns. Even though those plants were directly in the ground, the ones on the edges always seemed to have an advantage in our salad soil beds.

Once we lined up the new soil bed and it was at least slightly moist, we simply used our fingers to burry the beets up to the stem of the beet greens. Water thoroughly immediately after transplanting and that's it.

Water is key since it provides easier access for the roots to bind with its new surroundings.  It looks sloppy at first, but in a few days these babies are going to be standing up straight and tall while they continue to bulb.


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