|My garden has raised beds on a cedar log float.|
I plant my seeds directly in the soil at Easter. This is after the last freeze, but the weather can still be rainy and cool. This year we had a warm spring, so everything was about two weeks early.
This year I think my root crops are better because I really thinned them at the seedling stage. In the past, too many plants struggled for room. Now they all have more personal space, and the result is bigger, more flavourful produce.
This year I planted beets again. Because my garden is small, I rotate the crops and change things a little each year. Beets are easy to plant because the big seeds are easy to sow. When it came time to do the thinning, I was careful and relocated crowded seedlings to bare spots. Now I can make lots of fresh pickled beets. They're really easy.
Simple Fresh Pickled Beets
Remove the tops about one inch above the root.Thoroughly wash the root, but do not break the skin.Place beets in a pot and cover with water.Bring to a boil then reduce to medium for 30-45 minutes.Rinse in cold water and remove skins (they slip right off).Slice the beets and place in a covered dish.Pour Marukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar to cover beet slices.Add about 1 teaspoon sugar and stir.Refrigerate beets, then enjoy.
You can cook young beet tops like spinach or use them raw in salad. That makes beets a versatile part of a kitchen garden. Plus, you can mulch and leave beets and carrots in the ground over winter if you live in a mild climate. I love being able to go out and pick them fresh, even in January. -- Margy