Thursday, September 10, 2015

Three Root Vegetables

The holidays are behind us, the children are back in school, and the tourists have gone home, and it is time for me to get out, turn the soil in the garden, and plant some cold weather root vegetables.  Carrots, beets, and rutabaga are easy to grow and delicious and nourishing.

There are two different kinds of Carrots that we do like:  The long and slender Imperator and the short and stubby Danvers, both from Ferry-Morse.  The germination time is 8 - 12 days and about 75 days to harvest.  There are plenty of seeds in a package to cover a 10 foot row.  1/2 ounce of seeds will cover a 100 foot row.  The carrots need to be carefully thinned out when the tops reach about two inches.

Plant the seeds in separate beds and mark them well (in case of the planter's memory loss).  They prefer full sun, well-drained soil, deep enough to grow in, loamy and fertile.  Isn't that the kind of soil we all have?

This year, I am planting most of the vegetables in blocks as opposed to linear rows.  Since there are a lot of seeds in the packages, I am also going to stagger the planting schedule keeping in mind that we are able to gardening year round in northern Florida.   Seed companies suggest to stop planting about 75 days before frost.  In my case, it's before the heat sets in.

Another interesting root vegetable is the old-time heirloom Rutabaga  with purple shouldered tops and I was delighted to find that it has yellow flesh.  It is also a cold weather root and light frost may even improve its taste.  It stores very well. As you may have seen in stores, it has been waxed where the tops have been cut.

The germination time is 3 - 10 days and the harvest time is in 90 days.  It is recommended that two (2) seeds be planted every two inches and when the seedlings measure about two inches, it's time to thin the plants and leave one plant every two inches.

The third important cold weather root is the Beet called Ruby Queen to brighten the fall/winter garden.  Like most vegetables, it prefers full sun and well-drained soil.  Ferry-Morse suggests that the seeds be scattered but I prefer to plant the seeds in a row and not to crowd them too much but to give them plenty of room to grow.

The seeds germinate in 10 - 12 days and the beets are ready to harvest after 55 days.  Thin the plants to about two inches apart when the seedlings reach two inches tall.  If you like, add a very small amount of Nitrate of Soda when the plants are 4 to 6 inches tall.

I have gleaned information from Ferry-Morse and Wyatt-Quarles Seed Companies as well as information from the local Standard Feed Company, plus my own trials and errors.  Dr. Earth maintains that "gardening is based on science not magic."  See, I need all the help I can get from different sources.

I am sure that the seeds are sowed under the best conditions at the seed companies and the days to germination and harvest are approximate.

Special thanks to my dear husband for so many years of gardening with me.

Thank you for visiting my blog where cookies are used.

No comments:

Post a Comment