Daily Archives: May 16, 2012

Better beets

Gardening is a mysterious occupation and the mystery often remains unsolved despite our best human efforts.

These baby beetroot are part of my third attempt at growing a small crop of beetroot.

The first crop was a dismal failure which I shrugged off as “one of those things that happen when gardening”. I had no prior experience with this particular plant so I figured I hadn’t got something right.

I optimistically planted a second crop and gave the plants a lot more attention. I made sure the plants were watered, had plenty of sunshine and fed but again I was very disappointed to find that the beets were very small at harvest.

Not to be beaten, although my spirits were low, I went on to the internet to see what I could find about growing beetroot. I was fully expecting to find that I had missed a critical factor or two. But information I found reassured me that I was doing everything right.

With this determined attitude I planted baby beets in mid March this year with intentions to harvest them in early May. Lo and behold I have a good sized crop of baby beetroot.

What made the difference? I would have to suspect it was the sudden and prolonged period of warm weather we experienced and then some wonderfully, soaking rain that saw the beets swell up in size within a day or two. But I can’t be sure.

I have been a gardener for long enough to know I can’t beat nature, but like many gardeners I return to planting in the hope that the crops will eventuate if I care for them appropriately. I also know that every so often I manage to catch perfect growing conditions and magic happens alongside the mystery of it all.