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can't grow beetroot what's wrong with my soil??  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I cant' grow beetroot and kohlrabi. What's wrong with my soil too little too much? I tried a quarter teaspoon of borax on one watering can but this didn't really change. Beetroots are supposed to be so easy!
 
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Are those the only things you can't grow?  Have you had your soil tested?  What is the ph?
 
pollinator
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I don't have an answer, but beets also failed in my  veggie plot this season.  I suspect my seed was crap.  Will try again next season.
 
gardener
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Hi Angelika

I'm going to second what Walt has asked and really a soil test is the best way to know for a fact what's going on with your soil. Crops that don't grow well, succumb to infections, or die from pest infestation is the indicator or proof that something is not balanced in a soil. It could be low minerals, or inadequate soil pH, or microbes in the soil can be dormant if they don't have quality conditions to thrive.

I believe the borax was a good idea, as soils with adequate quantities of naturally occurring boron, which was in limited regions on the globe to begin with largely don't exist on the planet anymore, they've been depleted.

Just about any soil can be converted into a thriving, nurturing, biologically abundant and active arena that will yield healthy, nutrient dense foods. All it takes is time and money. Time for labor to do things like make compost, compost teas, incorporating organic matter, applying mulch. Time also for the prior mentioned inputs to "do their thing" in the soil, and time for the soil fungal and microbial life to come to life and populate a soil and thrive. Money to purchase needed amendments that a soil analysis will identify.

This kinda goes for anyone out there who is having difficulties with growing food and garden success. It can be done, garden success isn't all that difficult and is within reach of anyone!

If you or anyone has more questions, I'm happy to help.

 
pollinator
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Angelika Maier wrote:I cant' grow beetroot and kohlrabi.



Can you give a better description of what's happening?   Are you planting seed and they are not even emerging or are they growing, but not in a thrifty way?  Any chance you could include some photos of either the beets growing in the soil or pulled-up beets so that we can get a better look at the appearance of them?  Thanks!
 
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I would make a guess that you may be letting them get too dry, or to hot, neither are fond of that.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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No big bulbs. Going to seed before really setting.
 
Walt Chase
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If your beets are bolting before making bulbs then they have experienced a "shock" or "check".  Possibly too hot, too dry etc.  They really don't like heat.  Try again.  Start with a proper soil sample and amend to bring your soil into balance.  Plant the beets at the proper time of the year for your area and keep them moist.  They aren't hard to grow.  BTW, the young greens are yummy in salad.
 
Mother Tree
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I suspect not enough water.  If a biennial plant thinks there's not enough water to make a good storage root, it tends to put what resources it has into flowering so it has some hope of getting its seeds out there.

We try to plant ours out so that they catch the autumn rains, though they are late this year and the soil is still very dry.

planting-beetroot-before-autumn-rain


So we are making sure we water them well until the rains appear.

beetroot-like-plenty-of-water
 
gardener
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Many biennials are triggered into flowering by cold weather. So if it gets cold enough while they are growing, then they act like they have been through a winter and bolt. One time in my valley, we had almost no carrots at the farmer's market, cause an unusually chilly frost triggered most farmer's crops into bolting.

 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Thanks for the replies! Yes it gets how and cold here and yes we had a drought. Maybe it was that it is warm now maybe I restart and maybe it will be too hot for the beets.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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My target date for planting beets is while the apple trees are flowering.
 
gardener
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In my area you plant beets like joseph, when the apples are in bloom, other things we have found that do make a difference;
Beets like sandy loam that has been well loosened.
Beets want full sun all day long.

When we didn't have those things in order, we had small beets only, now that we have everything set up for beets, the way they want it, we get a nice bumper crop of them.
 
pollinator
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I agree with most of what's been said. I like to amend my beds with horse manure. I have also, when planting a little late and without having time to rot manure in place, used rabbit pellets and bedding. They can be voracious feeders. Beyond manuring the bed (oh, and since my success with rabbit pellets, I also topdress and mulch with them now) regular hydration is key. One corner got less water this season due to a pinched hose I didn't see until too late, and many of those beets had healed cracks in them when I pulled them.

-CK
 
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