How to get a good beet crop?
Beetroot is a fairly common vegetable crop in our beds. But more and more gardeners complain about breeders, claiming that beet varieties have lost their qualities. Root crops have become woody, grassy aftertaste. Their sweet sweetness disappeared. The more experienced ones claim that nothing has changed, and the beets still form high yields of delicious root crops with pleasant sweetness. An analysis of the questions of our readers showed that not everyone takes into account its biological characteristics when growing beets, does not fulfill the agrotechnical requirements, which leads to a disruption of the metabolic processes in the plant, worsening the quality indicators of root crops.
- What you need to know about beets?
- How to get large and sweet beets?
- How to improve the taste of beet root?
- General beet care
What you need to know about beets?
Beets belong to plants of a long day and with early sowing, when the main quality indicators of the future root crop are laid, it lacks the intensity of lighting.
Does not tolerate beet shading. When sowing under trees, falling into the zone of the root system of perennial garden crops, it develops poorly under the influence of lower soil temperatures, lack of lighting and nutrients, which take away more strong and active tree roots from it.
Beets, forming root crops, need an increased amount of nutrients and their lack, especially in combination with uneven and untimely irrigation, limit cell growth. The root crop remains small, the tissues are stiff.
The lack of nutrients, and most importantly, the violation of their ratio in the soil significantly affect the taste of beet root crops. Beetroot is unique in its high sodium content and its ratio to calcium (10: 1). The experiments showed that sodium, when even a small amount of sodium salts is introduced into the soil, displaces potassium and other elements from the soil absorbing complex (PPC), making them accessible to plants. Exchange processes between sodium and cations of other elements contribute to an increase in the mass of the root crop and its sugar content by 0.5-1.0%.
The poor quality of the beet root can be due to the increased acidity of the soil, which disrupts the intake of the necessary nutrients into the plants.
How to get large and sweet beets?
The location of beets in the cultural turnover
When growing beets in a cultural turnover, the best predecessors are nightshade (sweet pepper, eggplant), pumpkin (zucchini, squash), onion, garlic. Lacy penumbra of asparagus beans and peas create optimal conditions for beets when planted in compacted beds. Still, root crops for beets are bad predecessors.
Beet requirement for soil quality
Like other crops, beets prefer well-heated areas, so it is better to place it on high beds, which will provide good lighting. The site should be leveled, as the beets do not tolerate prolonged stagnation of moisture. The physical condition of the soil should have good drainage properties, be light, moisture-resistant, breathable, so as not to experience oxygen deficiency.
The soil for beets should be neutral with pH = 6.5-7.2 units. Increased acidity reduces the quality of root crops, so the soil (if necessary) is deoxidized. The procedure is usually carried out in the fall, to dilute it in time with fertilizer. Fertilizers in this case are applied under spring tillage. With increased acidity, some nutrients become inaccessible to beets. As deoxidizing agents, dolomite flour or lime is used.
After harvesting the predecessor, the garden bed is cleaned of tops, weeds and other debris. Watered to provoke autumn shoots of weeds. Mineral fertilizers are applied to weed seedlings - nitroammophoskos or a complex of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers with a minimal addition of nitrogen fertilizers and dug up by 25-30 cm.
Useful for beets sowing siderates in the winter. Beets are often affected by scab. Sowing a mixture of sideral cultures from radish, rapeseed and mustard will not only serve as a good fertilizer and fluff the soil with its roots, but also disinfect it from scab, wireworm and rot. Siderat can be dug in the fall when the green mass grows up to 10 cm, and can be left under spring soil preparation.
If the soil is loamy, heavy in composition, they are again dug up in the spring. If siderates have not been used, it is possible to introduce soil physical condition improvers - agroperlite or agroermiculite to reduce soil density.
Beetroot does not like to “overeat”, therefore, under the main tillage, from autumn fall 60-70 g / sq. Nitrophos. m, ammophos 50-60 g / sq. m with the addition of potassium sulfate 30-40 g / sq. m. or fertilizer-mixture for vegetable crops. The lack of nutrients is supplemented by top dressing during the growing season of the culture. On highly fertile soils, only 1/3 of the fertilizer norm is applied under the main processing, or 1-2 glasses of ash per square meter. m square.
Dates of beet sowing
If the spring is warm without return frosts with a daily temperature within + 17 ... + 13 ° С, then beets can be sown when the soil is heated to + 3 ... + 4 ° С. If the spring is long and the sowing is frozen, then the root crop can go into bloom and not form long-awaited tasty root crops. Therefore, you don’t need to hurry with sowing beets, you need to wait for stable warm weather and good soil warming up to + 5 ... + 6 ° C in the root-inhabited layer.
Beet planting scheme
The plan for sowing beets is ordinary, with a row spacing of 40-45 cm or two-row, with a distance between rows of 25-30 cm between the lines and -40-45 cm between the rows. Seeding depth on dense soils is 2.0-2.5 cm, on the lungs - up to 3-4 cm. Depending on the air temperature, seedlings appear on days 5-6 or 10-11.
To keep the soil moist, after sowing beets, the bed is covered with a film until individual seedlings appear. You can cover with cardboard and water it systematically. Moisture impregnates the cardboard and prevents the formation of a dry crust on the soil.
During the growing season, the optimum temperature for beets is + 18 ... + 22 ° C. When the temperature rises above + 25 ° C, metabolic processes in the root crop slow down, it becomes fibrous, and sugar content is lost. To restrain the effect of negative temperature, it is necessary to constantly keep the soil mulched, increase the number of irrigation, which will reduce the temperature of the soil, and use foggy spraying of plants.
How to improve the taste of beet root?
The formation of the density of standing
Beet seedlings form bush-shaped shoots and, if timely measures are not taken, then too small and numerous root crops will be formed. Therefore, plant standing density plays a significant role in the formation of root crops that are optimal in diameter and shape.
Thinning of seedlings and young seedlings of beets is carried out twice:
- In the phase of 2 true leaves. The distance between the seedlings is 3-4 cm. 2-3 beets are left in the bunch;
- In phase 4-5 of true leaves. The distance between young plants increases to 7-8 cm. Only one of the most developed plants is left.
When thinning beets, especially the first, seedlings pinch off the ground, but do not stretch. When pulling, you can pull out neighboring plants.
Beetroot seedlings from the second thinning can be used as seedlings for replanting to other crops on compacted beds.
When delayed with thinning, the overall crop yield noticeably decreases.
Sometimes, after emergence or after the first thinning, a mass case of beet seedlings begins. Probably, the root system of young seedlings was affected by a root eater. It is necessary to immediately treat the soil with phytosporin-M or planriz according to the instructions.
Beet top dressing
Timely and proper provision of a culture with nutrients plays a major role in obtaining high-quality root crops with a high content of sugars, vitamins, trace elements and other compounds that a person needs.
Top dressing will be ineffective if they are not combined with watering, hilling, weeding. All top dressing must be completed by early August. Beets need to be fed most intensively in mid-July (10-20th). During this period, beets spend the largest amount of nutrients on the formation of the quality of the root crop.
Beet top dressing scheme:
- The first feeding of beets is carried out in the phase of 2 real leaves (after the first thinning) with potash fertilizer at the rate of 15-20 g per 10 l of water. Instead of potassium fertilizer, it is possible to use infusion of wood ash to feed. Insist 1 glass of ash in a bucket of water for 3-4 hours, filter and water. Irrigate with nutrient solution along grooves located at a distance of 10 cm from the rows of beets. Nutrient solution should not get on plants.
- In the initial phases of development, plants should form a healthy, normally developed tops. Therefore, for the growth and development of beet leaves, the following dressing is carried out after the second thinning with urea or universal kemira at the rate of 30 g / sq. m landing area. In this phase, you can also use fertilizers "solution", "Rost-2", which contain trace elements in addition to nitrogen.
- The third beet top dressing is carried out in the phase of plant closure in a row. Contribute 20 and 25 g of superphosphate and potassium sulfate and a glass of ash per square meter. m
In the growth phase of the root crop, to increase the sugar content of beets and the formation of tender pulp, it is necessary to sprinkle the plants with boric acid at the rate of 2 g of the drug per 10 l of water.
To increase the sugar content of the root, in the phase of 8-9 real leaves, salt the soil under the root with table salt. During this period, the culture needs a high sodium content in the soil. Dissolve a tablespoon of table salt in 10 l of water and pour the beets over the furrows. One bucket of solution is enough for 10 linear meters of watering.
You can learn about the lack of sodium by redness of the leaves (not to be confused with the varietal trait). When redness appears, experienced gardeners recommend literally pouring beets from a watering can with a small nozzle. This procedure will increase the sugar content and increase the size of the root crop. Do not increase salt concentration. The development of plants from oversalt is inhibited. You can sprinkle plants with salt water up to 3 times during the warm season.
Beets are very responsive to boron, copper and molybdenum. Between the main dressings, plants are sprayed with a solution of trace elements.
Proper beet watering
You need to water the beets with warm water, since cold can provoke the appearance of fungal diseases of the root system.
In the heat, beets must be watered daily in the morning or evening with moderate rates. When using mulching, irrigation can be carried out less frequently, monitoring the wet condition of the soil under the mulch.
Do not allow the topsoil to dry out, and then water it with an increased rate of water.
Attention! Beet bitterness is caused by uneven watering, drying out of the soil, and the formation of soil crust after watering.
Starting in June, the number of irrigations is reduced to 2 to 3 times a week. The soil under the roots should be moist. In rainy weather, the beets are not irrigated.
Since the beginning of August, the irrigation rate has been reduced, and from the middle, watering has been stopped. In the last month, excess moisture negatively affects the quality of root crops, reducing their sugar content.
General beet care
In addition to top dressing, thinning, watering, beets are very responsive to the condition of the soil cover. The soil clogged with watering delays the development of the root crop, squeezes it out of the soil (except for the Cylinder variety). Therefore, during the growing season, it is very important to carry out weeding in a timely manner, which loosens the soil, and increases oxygen access to root crops.
The first cultivation of beets is carried out 3-4 days after the end of mass seedlings. Subsequent loosening of the soil is repeated after irrigation or precipitation. After watering and absorbing moisture, the soil is mulched with fine mulch. When squeezing root vegetables, use earthing up.
Thus, the precise implementation of the agrotechnical methods of growing beets will help to obtain high-quality root crops with a high sugar content and delicate pulp.