Welcome to my website in which I show you how I grow great organic vegies in a water conserving raised garden bed with the help of a built in worm farm and pest exclusion devices. I also show you how I rotate these vegies in a 4 year 4 bed cycle. Check out my website 'Gardening with Ecobeds' which shows you how Ecobeds are made and how they grow food without using poisonous chemicals....................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 7th May 2017.
Grated raw beetroot make a healthy addition to your salad, and they are delicious roasted in their jackets while still young.
Beetroot juice is considered by many health professionals to confer substantial health benefits. (read more).
of our crop is bottled in a sweet, spicey, pickling vinegar after
softening in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes. Its a tasty staple for salads in our
household, and we can usually maintain a supply all year.
Beetroot softened in the pressure cooker and then roasted with parboiled carrots, pumpkin and potatoes is simply delicious.
Clear a 300mm wide by 1500mm long row in February. Add a 60mm layer of thermal compost and cover it with 50mm of fresh straw mulch.
Leave the bed for 4
weeks to build up worm and microbial activity.
Soak the beetroot seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing.
In March, sow two beetroot seeds in each of 5 small jiffy (peat) pots in good quality organic potting mix. Sow them about 20mm deep and soak the pots in a tray of dilute seaweed extract about 15mm deep. After about 30 minutes bury the pots up to their rim in the wicking media of an EcoPropagator.
each beetroot seed capsule contains up to 4 individual seeds, they need
thinning to one seedling per pot. Use a pair of sharp scissors to
nip off the unwanted seedlings at ground level, as soon as they are big
enough, so the soil is not disturbed by pulling them out.
When the beetroot seedlings are about 70mm tall, transfer their jiffy pots into a prepared bed. Plant all 5 seedlings in a single row 300mm apart. Make a space through the mulch to expose the soil and bury the jiffy pot'sup to their rim. Water them in once and cover the exposed soil with mulch.
Sow new crops of beetroot in June, September and December in the propagator ready for planting about 6 weeks later. Protect the seedlings against extremes of weather.
Plant the beetroot seedlings when ready in a prepared bed and water in once.
Its best not to grow beetroot more than once in the same ground each season.
Harvesting and Storage.
Beetroot can be harvested in May, September, December and February.
current aim is to grow my beetroot to a full size, and that's why I now
propagate just 5 plants in biodegradable pots which can be planted with
the seedling in the growing bed. There is no thinning involved, and
the plants have plenty of space to quickly grow to maturity.
Most of my beetroot crop is stored after cooked for 30minutes in a pressure cooker, skinned and pickled in sweet spiced pickling vinegar in sterilised preserving jars. The rest is eaten raw or roasted with other vegetables.
Organic Pest Control.
My beetroot are rarely subject to attack by pests or diseases, but in case such an event occurs, here are a few remedies.
Beetroot should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of the Ecobed.
these molluscs get into your Ecobed as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically approved iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
Organically active soil is the best deterrent for root knot nematode. The beneficial microbes protect a plant's root surfaces by colonising them, and predatory microbes control their numbers in the plant's root zone.
applications of aerated compost tea boost the natural defences of
beetroot by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
They defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made
compost boosts the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.
Wire net tunnelsstops birds digging up worms in your Ecobed, and protect the beetroot seedlings until they are large enough to withstand this behaviour.