I took pictures of what I have done this season and all the color on the racks. Believe it or not I am planting still this time for the fair. I am not just planting the containers to decorate the fair grounds but also plants to sell.
I have had a couple questions about why their beets aren't coming up? So here is what I found out about planting beets. Planting Beets: Beets don't transplant well and are always direct sown from seed. The beet seed in packets is really clumps of 4-6 seeds. You can plant the whole clump and thin when they get a few inches tall or you try and separate the clumps into individual seeds before planting. The safest way to do this is to gently run a rolling pin over the clumps. Be careful not to crush the seeds. Personally, I find it easier to simply thin the young greens. You can eat the thinned leaves in salads.
Beet seeds can be slow to germinate, because of their tough outer shell. Soaking the seed clusters over night will help soften the shell and speed germination. You can always use the old trick of planting fast sprouting radishes in the same row as your beets. It helps mark the row and loosen the soil. By the time the beets start to develop, the radishes are ready to be pulled.
Another germination trick is to cover the seed in the garden with vermiculite, peat moss or some other non-crusting material. This will keep the seed moist and warm, but not inhibit it from breaking through the surface. This trick is very useful in gardens with less than ideal soil.
Beets grow with a portion of the root above ground, so seeds do not need to be planted deeply. 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep is sufficient. Go with 1 inch deep, as the temperature warms. Beets are planted only about 2-3 inches apart. That's all the space the roots need and when the leaves start growing together, they provide a cooling mulch for the roots. You can plant in rows, wide rows or blocks. It's easiest to simply broadcast the seed and thin to the recommended spacing. All thinned plants can be eaten. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa