Beetroot problems...

Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235

Over the weekend, i took my beetroot (Boltardy) seedings from the coldframe and put them out into a raised bed. They'd done pretty well in the cold frame and each had 4/5 true leaves etc.

Anyway, five days on and they look distinctly unhappy and having been put out - even though it's been the kind of coolish (18 day max, 9 night min) and damp (sun and showers) weather I thought beets liked. Some of the leaves though have gone entirely purple - in some cases the whole plant is now purple! Never seen that before with beets - obviously you expect the veins to be purple, but not this.

Any thoughts?!

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Posts

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Did you harden them off first?

  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235
    I thought so. They'd been happily sitting in a cold frame the last few weeks, with the lid fully open for the last week so exposed to the outside world. This week has been cooler than last but still pretty mild for time of year - and like I said, I thought beets liked around 17/18 C.
  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Maybe feed them with some chicken pellets? I don't know other than that to be honest.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I tend to plant beetroot where they will be growing, rather than have to move them. I also have a lightweight cold frame that I can move around; though have never used it for beetroot.image

  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235
    I've generally found planting beets in modules works well. You can then separate the plants when planting out so avoids thinning which I always hate.



    Ho hum. At least I've got time (and seeds) to try again...
  • Beetroot (along with all root crops) grow better sown in-situ....very little is gained by starting them off under glass.  

  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235

    Hmm, ok, my web research suggests too much water can do exactly this to beetroot. Although they're in raised beds, it was a very wet weekend down here so I guess that's it. Doesn't sound fatal but I may just sow more seeds in modules as insurance..

  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235

    My beets have actually done pretty well, despite their soggy start / red leaves in open ground. They're mostly growing new leaves which aren't red which seems promising!

    I've been nervously watching out for signs of beet leaf miners though - which have basically destroyed my crops in previous years (despite people generally saying they don't cause too much of a problem). I've been looking most days for signs of larvae on the underside of the leaves and suddenly, today, I noticed a group on one leaf - and on another, and on most of the plants!

    I've scraped them all off. Desperately hoping that if I can stop them getting established, I might actually have a decent crop this year...

  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235

    Well, famous last words, but my beets have now pretty much entirely overcome their soggy start. Lots of new growth and looking healthy and on track.

    The main problem more recently  has been my old enemy, the beet leaf miner... I've had the tedious job of, essentially on a daily basis, scraping off collections of larvae on just about every beet plant!

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