About Beets

About Beets

Beets, like many root vegetables are biennials, which, if not harvested, will bloom in the second year of growth. One of the interesting facts about beets is they are closely related to Swiss chard, which can easily be seen by the similarity in their leaf structure and the intense colour of the petioles, or stems, not to mention their flavour....
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Beets, like many root vegetables are biennials, which, if not harvested, will bloom in the second year of growth. One of the interesting facts about...

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Beets, like many root vegetables are biennials, which, if not harvested, will bloom in the second year of growth. One of the interesting facts about beets is they are closely related to Swiss chard, which can easily be seen by...

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The much maligned dandelion actually has a lot to offer. It has been vilified in our culture as the invader of lawn spaces, thrusting its...

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The much maligned dandelion actually has a lot to offer. It has been vilified in our culture as the invader of lawn spaces, thrusting its dazzling yellow colour into an otherwise tranquil field of green. Homeowners pour millions of gallons...

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Beets are incredibly nutritious. Both the roots and the leaves are an excellent source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin C. They also contain betaine, a compound that is essential for cardiovascular health. Eat them raw, cooked, pickled – you can even make beet chips! Most important, it is very easy to grow beets from seed.

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Beets are incredibly nutritious. Both the roots and the leaves are an excellent source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin C. They also contain betaine, a compound that is essential for cardiovascular health. Eat them raw, cooked, pickled – you can even make beet chips! Most important, it is very easy to grow beets from seed.

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Direct sow from mid-spring to early summer. Try to plant during a warm, dry spell. Soil must be warm – if it is not warm enough, the seeds may rot, especially our untreated seeds. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 21-32°C (70-90°F). The seeds should sprout in 8-16 days, depending on conditions.

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Direct sow from mid-spring to early summer. Try to plant during a warm, dry spell. Soil must be warm – if it is not warm enough, the seeds may rot, especially our untreated seeds. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 21-32°C (70-90°F). The seeds should sprout in 8-16 days, depending on conditions.

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Planting asparagus seeds is an exercise in patience, but one of the most rewarding of all garden tasks. Asparagus seeds germinate slowly, and the crowns take three seasons before they can handle being harvested. However the grower’s patience is generously rewarded by early season harvests of asparagus with a flavour not to be found on store shelves anywhere. You will wish you had planted a bigger asparagus bed!

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Planting asparagus seeds is an exercise in patience, but one of the most rewarding of all garden tasks. Asparagus seeds germinate slowly, and the crowns take three seasons before they can handle being harvested. However the grower’s patience is generously rewarded by early season harvests of asparagus with a flavour not to be found on store shelves anywhere. You will wish you had planted a bigger asparagus bed!

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Arugula is a productive, cool season, annual salad green that works best in spring and fall, and can be managed all winter under cloche protection...

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Arugula is a productive, cool season, annual salad green that works best in spring and fall, and can be managed all winter under cloche protection where winters are mild. In hot weather, arugula tends to bolt and go to seed. Continue...

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It takes some work and a lot of patience to grow artichokes from seed, but it’s worth the effort. Commercial culture is limited to warm...

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It takes some work and a lot of patience to grow artichokes from seed, but it’s worth the effort. Commercial culture is limited to warm areas in Zone 7 and above. Artichokes require good soil, regular watering and feeding, plus...

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Whether growing amaranth from seed for its nutritious leaves or its high-protein, gluten-free seeds, it is easy to grow in warm soil with lots of...

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Whether growing amaranth from seed for its nutritious leaves or its high-protein, gluten-free seeds, it is easy to grow in warm soil with lots of sunlight. Amaranth is closely related to quinoa, but also beets, Swiss chard, and many other...

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Why garden for Bumble Bees? Bumblebees are a keystone species. This means much of our ecological system hinges on the survival of bumblebees. Not just...

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Why garden for Bumble Bees? Bumblebees are a keystone species. This means much of our ecological system hinges on the survival of bumblebees. Not just native plants rely on these furry pollinators, but also many other organisms; over 250 insect...

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Crop rotation is the practice of not growing plants where similar plants grew the previous year. Crop rotation prevents the build up of pests and diseases...

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Crop rotation is the practice of not growing plants where similar plants grew the previous year. Crop rotation prevents the build up of pests and diseases and optimizes the use of soil nutrients. Plants from different “families” need different amounts of...

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Micro-greens can be grown anywhere, at any time of year. You need to provide some basic elements like soil, moisture, and light, but that’s it. You can grow them in the winter in Yellowknife, or in the summer in Tahiti – it makes no difference. I also like micro-greens because of the wildly diverse potential they represent.

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Micro-greens can be grown anywhere, at any time of year. You need to provide some basic elements like soil, moisture, and light, but that’s it. You can grow them in the winter in Yellowknife, or in the summer in Tahiti – it makes no difference. I also like micro-greens because of the wildly diverse potential they represent.

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Organic gardeners share one challenge that has many faces – how to protect seedlings along to the point when they are strong enough to defend themselves. Because seedlings are so tender and tasty, and low to the ground, they are easy pickings for a host of animals, from the very tiny to the enormous. Everything from wireworms and millipedes up to raccoons and deer are perfectly happy to chomp on veggies, sometimes eradicating a whole bed of newly emerged plants.

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Organic gardeners share one challenge that has many faces – how to protect seedlings along to the point when they are strong enough to defend themselves. Because seedlings are so tender and tasty, and low to the ground, they are easy pickings for a host of animals, from the very tiny to the enormous. Everything from wireworms and millipedes up to raccoons and deer are perfectly happy to chomp on veggies, sometimes eradicating a whole bed of newly emerged plants.

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In many cases pre-packaged soil from the garden centre may serve its purpose when filling containers or raised beds. It is usually manufactured in massive amounts by mixing various raw ingredients before bagging. Here is our container soil recipe.

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In many cases pre-packaged soil from the garden centre may serve its purpose when filling containers or raised beds. It is usually manufactured in massive amounts by mixing various raw ingredients before bagging. Here is our container soil recipe.

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There are four central issues that offer a better understanding of garden soil and how it can be improved: Soil structure, soil components, soil life, and soil pH. Gardeners (and farmers) will benefit from contemplating these four factors on their own and in harmony with one another.

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There are four central issues that offer a better understanding of garden soil and how it can be improved: Soil structure, soil components, soil life, and soil pH. Gardeners (and farmers) will benefit from contemplating these four factors on their own and in harmony with one another.

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We often talk about cultivating organic soil that is rich in microbial action, and full of organisms. Soil in the garden combines naturally occurring minerals...

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We often talk about cultivating organic soil that is rich in microbial action, and full of organisms. Soil in the garden combines naturally occurring minerals with various organic and and any organic or mineral amendments you add. As the organic...

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Most potting soils have enough nutrients that fertilizers are not necessary for seedlings until they are transplanted to the garden. Generally speaking, you want the fertilizer to go beneath each transplant, but not in direct contact with its roots. In a typical situation (transplanting a tomato plant, for example), you would dig a hole slightly deeper than the root ball of the seedling.

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Most potting soils have enough nutrients that fertilizers are not necessary for seedlings until they are transplanted to the garden. Generally speaking, you want the fertilizer to go beneath each transplant, but not in direct contact with its roots. In a typical situation (transplanting a tomato plant, for example), you would dig a hole slightly deeper than the root ball of the seedling.

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Stored manure is often referred to as “rotted manure.” It has no unpleasant smell, and its texture has changed since it was produced. Rotted manure is a fantastic soil amendment. Ideally it will retain some of its natural nitrogen, but not to the extent that it causes burning or excessive foliar growth in your crops. In some farming systems manure is stored for a year in a pile with steep, compacted sides.

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Stored manure is often referred to as “rotted manure.” It has no unpleasant smell, and its texture has changed since it was produced. Rotted manure is a fantastic soil amendment. Ideally it will retain some of its natural nitrogen, but not to the extent that it causes burning or excessive foliar growth in your crops. In some farming systems manure is stored for a year in a pile with steep, compacted sides.

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Growing food outdoors over winter is easy if you equip yourself with the right gear. Outdoors, we use cloche protection, row cover, and mulches to...

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Growing food outdoors over winter is easy if you equip yourself with the right gear. Outdoors, we use cloche protection, row cover, and mulches to insulate the soil and keep frost off plants. And we choose the hardiest varieties of...

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No matter where you live, growing food in containers can be accomplished if you learn some basics. While some types of vegetables are simply better...

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No matter where you live, growing food in containers can be accomplished if you learn some basics. While some types of vegetables are simply better suited to growing with their roots in the ground, the determined gardener can grow almost...

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In a relatively short growing season, we need to grow most food crops in a fairly intense way. We need to select crops that mature quickly....

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In a relatively short growing season, we need to grow most food crops in a fairly intense way. We need to select crops that mature quickly. Some crops, like mescluns and salad greens grow so fast that we can take several...

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Author and blogger Andrea Bellamy recommends these varieties for container growing on balconies and in other small spaces. These seeds are perfect for the urban...

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Author and blogger Andrea Bellamy recommends these varieties for container growing on balconies and in other small spaces. These seeds are perfect for the urban grower or part-time farmer who lacks garden space, but wants to grow a little food....

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Gardening for birds is another way to build biodiversity in garden spaces. Like pollinators and other insects, wild birds are under pressure due to habitat loss, pollution, and ever expanding human settlement. By including certain plants and building certain habitats, gardeners can ease this pressure, and even benefit from the presence of some bird species.

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Gardening for birds is another way to build biodiversity in garden spaces. Like pollinators and other insects, wild birds are under pressure due to habitat loss, pollution, and ever expanding human settlement. By including certain plants and building certain habitats, gardeners can ease this pressure, and even benefit from the presence of some bird species.

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With over 1,100 seed varieties to choose from, finding a clear path to the checkout can feel overwhelming. There are beginner mistakes to be made - as well as ways for seasoned gardeners to bite off more than they can chew. Here are Mark's top ten pointers to consider when planting a new garden.

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With over 1,100 seed varieties to choose from, finding a clear path to the checkout can feel overwhelming. There are beginner mistakes to be made - as well as ways for seasoned gardeners to bite off more than they can chew. Here are Mark's top ten pointers to consider when planting a new garden.

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Clubroot is the thickening and distortion of the roots of Brassicas by the soil fungus Plasmodiophora brassicae. Roots are distended and swollen and may appear...

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Clubroot is the thickening and distortion of the roots of Brassicas by the soil fungus Plasmodiophora brassicae. Roots are distended and swollen and may appear to be shaped like fingers or tumors. Infected plants will exhibit day wilting (wilting during...

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