Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nothing beats beets

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

The beet (Beta vulgaris) is a plant in the Chenopodiaceae family which is now included in Amaranthaceae family.[1][2][3][4][5] It is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties, the most well known of which is the purple root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet. However, other cultivated varieties include the leaf vegetables chard and spinach beet, as well as the root vegetables sugar beet, which is important in the production of table sugar, and mangelwurzel, which is a fodder crop. Three subspecies are typically recognised. All cultivated varieties fall into the subspecies Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, while Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima, commonly known as the sea beet, is the wild ancestor of these, and is found throughout the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast of Europe, the Near East, and India. A second wild subspecies, Beta vulgaris subsp. adanensis, occurs from Greece to Syria."

As I had a few systems that were not being used I started some Yellow Decorticated Swiss Chard and Ace beet seeds intending to use the seedlings as baby greens in salad mix.

The seedlings, as seen above, are a little under three weeks from the start date and they are doing fantastically. At this point, I am thinking of passing on the baby greens in salad and letting these plants mature for cooking, as these are our very favorite vegetables.

The days are getting shorter and cooler, so I removed the automatic vent openers from the greenhouse, and going forward I will operate the vents manually. I like to close the vents and let heat built up about 90 minutes before the sun sets so the greenhouse retains some of the day's warmth.

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