• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Steve Thorn
  • Leigh Tate
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Nancy Reading

Beet slips?

 
Posts: 121
Location: Piedmont, NC
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last year we planted beets in the fall and let them run into the spring.  We left a few plants to go to seed.   I kept watching and feeling, but could never figure out how to harvest the beet seeds, so I figured I would just let them go to seed on their own and keep checking for plants.  When I checked them the other day, I did not find lots of plants coming up, but I did find that the beet root had grown up out of the ground and had lots of what looked like "slips" (reminded me of sweet potatoes.)  So today I went and picked them and planted them in my new beet row.  Can't wait to see what they do/don't do.  Anyone ever try this?
 
steward
Posts: 11466
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3240
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any pictures?  Never heard of beet slips.  Are you sure they weren't just the young leaves coming up?

When I grow them for seed, I take the ones that stored the best in the root cellar and plant them out in the early spring.  They grow leaves and send up a flower in mid summer.  Harvest the seed once it gets dry in late fall.
 
Sherri Lynn
Posts: 121
Location: Piedmont, NC
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Probably never heard of it because I made up the term, which is why I used a question mark.  These particular beets flowered.  I just couldn't figure out when the seeds would be ready, then couldn't find anything that looked like what I buy in a seed packet.  I left them in the ground thinking they would seed themselves when they were ready.  These look like big giant beets with lots of little plants on them.  I pulled them off with a little bit of beet and planted them.   I will see if they root and grow.  Had nothing to lose.  They just reminded me of the way sweet potato slips look.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1831
Location: RRV of da Nort
362
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Your beet 'slips' may actually grow, but may just wither away if they can't regenerate root tissue fast enough.

With regard to seeds, beets are naturally 'multigerm'......each of the 'seeds' that you get in a seed packet actually has the potential to produce many sprouts.  (There is a natural 'monogerm' condition where you get one seedling from one seed, but that need to be bred into the crop and maintained carefully, otherwise you will mostly go back to the typical multigerm type.)   So on the dried stalk....the bottom photo of the picture cluster below....each of those 'nubbins' on the stalk is a multigerm seed.  If you rubbed off some of the rough edges, that would be similar to the polishing that some seed suppliers do before packaging.  But often I get seed from commercial suppliers that looks like it was picked directly off of the stalk.  The flowers are shown in the upper left photo and some additional depictions in the free-hand drawing.  The circled drawing would be the equivalent of the multigerm flower that gives rise to the multigerm seed.   If you only had one plant that was flowering, it could be that you had no filling of your seed because, generally speaking, beets are self-incompatible.....they need 2 or more plants present to provide cross-pollination in order to set seed properly.  Good luck!
BeetSeeds.JPG
[Thumbnail for BeetSeeds.JPG]
 
Sherri Lynn
Posts: 121
Location: Piedmont, NC
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks John Weiland!  Very good information!  I had more than one plant blooming.  Are beets known to volunteer?

Sherri
 
John Weiland
pollinator
Posts: 1831
Location: RRV of da Nort
362
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sherri Lynn wrote:Thanks John Weiland!  Very good information!  I had more than one plant blooming.  Are beets known to volunteer?

Sherri



If beet seeds are fertile and fall to the ground, they can volunteer from those seeds, provided the winter is not too cold.  I don't know how cold is too cold, but up here in northern Minnesota, we do not find beet volunteers typically.  The Willamette Valley of Oregon is one of the largest producers of beet and Swiss chard seed in the nation.  I suspect if the seed fell in the winter in that location, it would overwinter just fine.  That said, the typical 'rotation' for beets in cold climates would be to plant seed in the spring and let the roots grow to maturity.  All roots would be harvested in the fall and stored in a root cellar, but if you wanted seeds you would replant some of the excess beets from the root cellar into your garden.  These roots would then flower and produce seed (and this is why beets are considered biennial like cabbage and kale).  There are times when some of my beets planted from seed will produce the normal root and then go on to produce flowers after the summer.....all happening in one growing season.  This can be due to the fact that some 'vernalization' can be broken by environmental cues or due to the possibility of 'annualism' genes that may have gotten into the seed lot.  It may *seem* like a better deal to have beets that flower in the fall and produce seed in the fall, but that event robs the beet root of sweetness, size, and storability.  Their natural cycle is to store sugar in the winter in the root and use that energy the following spring to produce flowers/seeds.

A long answer to your question, ...... the short answer I believe being "yes, if the climate stage and the reproductive cycle of the beet permits".  Added note:  If your climate is mild enough, you could simply leave a few beets in the ground that you do not harvest in the fall.  They will go dormant over the winter months and then come spring will bolt and set flowers and eventually seeds.
 
master steward
Posts: 6024
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1796
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sherri, your experiment with your "beet slips" reminds me of my growing things from groceries experiment.

I didn't try it with beets but did with carrots.  The carrot scraps grew well and made a bunch of nice edible greens though the root never regenerated into a carrot.

I hope you will keep the forum informed on how this turns out.  At least you will probably have great edible greens.
 
Joel Salatin has signs on his property that say "Trespassers will be Impressed!" Impressive tiny ad:
Natural Swimming Pool movie and eBook PLUS World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set - super combo!
https://permies.com/wiki/135800/Natural-Swimming-Pool-movie-eBook
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic