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Vegetables - Beets

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Beets are very readily grown on almost any soil, not too sandy nor too heavy, preferably a very rich, well-worked and deep loam. For earliest use the round forms should be chosen. Of these there are many that Are of quick growth. They are planted in rows 16 inches apart, as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Not more than ten seeds should be sown to the foot nor should these be covered more than an inch deep. When 5 or 6 inches high the seedlings should be thinned so the plants are not closer than 4 inches apart; for the larger kinds and slower growing sorts 6 inches is better. The thinnings need not be destroyed, because they make excellent greens. Planted and cared for in this way the crop of early varieties should be ready in about 6o days. Successional sowings may be made at intervals of ten days or two weeks, but usually for home use different varieties are used, so as to do all the planting at once. The beets will remain in good condition for weeks and those that are not used up during the summer may be stored for winter.

Beets may be easily forced by sowing the quick-maturing kinds in hotbeds during February or March. There they may be left to mature or can be transplanted while still small. They do best without transplanting. During late fall the beets should be pulled and their tops twisted off. They are not injured by light frosts and frequently are greatly improved by being allowed to remain in the ground until rather late. They may be easily kept in a cold cellar. Generally, however, it is best to store them in pits outside, as they are apt to become dry and corky if the air is not sufficiently moist in the cellar. Among the well-known and highly appreciated varieties are the Eclipse, Egyptian, Bastian's Early Turnip, all of which are early varieties, and Dewing's Improved Blood Turnip, which is a good late variety. There are also long rooted varieties, which, however, are not as popular as before the turnip-shaped kinds were perfected.

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