Saturday 13 April 2013

Beets and Carrots in Containers

I've grown beets in pots before, which were great for the greens. But the root bulbs did not get very big.  I didn't mind too much as baby beets are very tender, so I still had plenty of good eats.  But this year, I want to try growing sizable beets in containers in the greenhouse, along with carrots.

 The hungarian hot wax and San Marzano tomato plants that I left out in the greenhouse the past few days have survived (with just below freezing temperatures).  Although there is always a chance of a frost (the temperature will likely dip below freezing several times, even into May), I have decided to start some seeds right in the greenhouse.  I will also start to slowly move some of the sturdier plants to the greenhouse over the next week.

I  haven't been able to order any soil to be delivered, so I can't start using my new raised garden.  In order to get some veggies started, I'm using some of the styrofoam seed flats I picked up last month (see Bargain Gardening Supplies post).  Some lettuce and sunflower seeds were planted in single containers.  I planted Bon Vivant lettuce mix, and Mammoth Russian sunflowers.  For this type of mixed lettuce seed, it is best to plant in containers where you can control the soil. If you grow it in regular garden soil, it can be difficult to tell a lettuce leaf from a weed when there is a variety.

For the root vegetables, I wanted a bit more depth.  I cut out the bottom in order to stack two styrofoam flats on top of each other.  A bit of duct tape should keep them from shifting.  The flats are 4" high each, so considering the bottom of the flat and the soil not quite to the top, there should still be a good 7" for growth.  The straw mat over the carrot seeds is there because the seed packet suggested to cover the seeds for the first few days to assist with germination.

Containers should be OK for these two root veggies: I chose a carrot variety that is stubby (left) - Paris Market Atlas Carrots, and one of the round beet types (right) - Touchstone Gold Beets.