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Self-contained Box Gardens: Any advice on beets, spinach please post it here

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joy112854
Crestview, FL

July 30, 2009
2:09 AM

Post #6882878

I tried to grow vital spinach the last time and used a whole packet of seeds, not one plant sprouted. So; I was reading where this one person said they buy plugs? Can anyone explain this to me?

I want spinach so badly in my EBs this fall and winter. I'm thinking maybe it was the kind of spinach I tried to grow from seed; there are some few kinds that grow here tyee being one of them, and a few others. Anyways, I am hopeful that I will find spinach startings and beet startings also.

The beets I will grow in a #10 smart pot, and the spinach in my EBs. How many beets can I put into a #10 smart pot?

Any suggestions will be appreciated here folks, I'm new to gardening but really new to this as I have never grown beets or spinach.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2009
5:37 PM

Post #6885308

Joy,
I grew beets from seeds for the first time last fall. I planted my seeds during the Thanksgiving weekend, and they didn't take long to come up at all. This season I'll be sowing the seeds much earlier, the first weekend in October.

The problem (that I caused myself) was in not THINNING them to the proper spacing. This is VERY IMPORTANT TO DO because if you don't, they won't have room to develop a decent-sized root ball. Too crowded = Stunted Growth. THIN IS IN...

Also, because they seem to be a "water" veggie, they shouldn't be allowed to dry out at any point, so make sure you're prepared to keep the soil moist. I sowed my seeds in a very small bed (3.5 x 5 x 10" deep) that was filled with my sifted homemade compost, coffee grinds, Black Kow composted manure, and potting mix. The planting medium was VERY loose, to allow the beets room to grow without fighting tight soil.

The bed sits on the fringe of my yard in and area with some trees overhanging. They got bright light most of the day, but not any direct sunlight. They can tolerate, and do well, in some moderate shade. All-in-all, the beets were relatively stress-free.

Oops, almost forgot. If you've got snails and roly poly pillbugs, they tend to like to munch on the beet tops which, for me, was a declaration of WAR, since I've decided to grow beets this season more for the beet tops (greens) than for the root balls. So, when I sow this time, I will sprinkle some Sluggo Plus around the perimeter of my bed to handle the pillbugs and snails.

The pic shows my two boxes, side by side. I grew Chioggia and Bull's Blood beets. The roots taste about the same, but there's a big difference in the taste of the green tops. I'll be growing Chioggia for their tops from now on. There's another beet I'll try next season (or maybe this one if I order the seeds in time) that is grown only for the large green leaves it produces. The rootballs don't get large in this variety.

That's all I know. Hope it helps!

Linda

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joy112854
Crestview, FL

July 30, 2009
6:16 PM

Post #6885463

Linda: I think I will wait til I got more experience before trying to grow my own from seeds, I spoke with Ace Hardware and they are pretty sure they will have the seed startings I need. Bonnie Bell does a better job of growing seeds then me at this point in the game I'm sure. Yes, that information is very helpful, will make sure I remember to thin properly, underwatering has never been a problem of mine, it's overwatering that is the problem. Should I make sure they have shade?
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 30, 2009
6:25 PM

Post #6885488

Joy,
They don't necessarily need full sunlight. Don't go out of your way to put them in shade. If you have the sunlight, go for it!
joy112854
Crestview, FL

July 30, 2009
6:27 PM

Post #6885499

Gymgirl: Thanks. Any tips on Spinach, I've never grown that either and love Spinach. Someone said to buy plugs, is that what they call the startings?
joy
rvnsbrk
Leesburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 1, 2009
11:06 PM

Post #6895232

I have just sowed spinach and beets. They have both sprouted, but that's about it. They barely have their second set of leaves. I have the spinach in an EB, and the beets in a smart pot. It may just be too humid here. Hot too. We have had about 4 inches of rain though in the last week, so maybe they are just not happy with that. We shall see.

Juanita
joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 2, 2009
12:04 AM

Post #6895427

Juanita: I have been trying to get my summer garden pulled up so I can start my fall garden and we have thunder storms forecast for the next 10 days, can't believe it. I did get all the cukes pulled up and most of the tomatoes and was ready to start on the peppers and eggplants, when I noticed flowers on all the eggplants and on the melons, problem is there is ants everywhere, and with ants there must be aphids drawing the ants, and I can't spray for 10 days (sniffles). I want to spray ahead of my fall garden really well, as I'm going to be using malathian to be my big guns against them all. I will start my seeds indoors next week; but they aren't going outside til I get this blasted bugs under control.
joy

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