Matamata Chronicle - - Gardening -

Sweet baby beets are per­fect in sal­ads and the best news is that they can be sown year-round. Sow beetroot seeds di­rect, into well cul­ti­vated soil in a po­si­tion that gets full sun. Space the corky clus­ters 15cm apart and wa­ter gently and of­ten un­til ger­mi­na­tion oc­curs (usu­ally 10-14 days). Beetroot also grows well in con­tainer – just make sure you place the pots where they will get some shade dur­ing the hottest part of the day or they could over­heat, caus­ing woody roots.

Beetroot tastes best when grown quickly so feed plants with liq­uid fer­tiliser dur­ing the next few weeks.

You can also trans­plant seedlings from pun­nets (pic­tured), rather than sow­ing di­rect. This will save about a month of grow­ing time if you’re in a hurry! Re­move the seedling plug from the pun­net with care so you don’t knock the roots too much.

Har­vest as baby beets from 6-7 weeks or let them grow to their full size for slic­ing or pre­serv­ing. Young beetroot leaves are also ed­i­ble. hum­ble mi­cro­green. Th­ese young vegetable (or herb) plants are har­vested at the baby leaf stage and are a fan­tas­tic stop-gap while you wait for your let­tuce crops to ma­ture.

Peas make some of the tasti­est mi­cro­greens I’ve ever eaten and are even eas­ier to grow. Sow the seeds thickly into a pot, cover lightly with seedrais­ing mix and mist with wa­ter daily. Ex­pect to start pick­ing in about a fort­night. Try ‘Fiji Feath­ers’ from Kings Seeds.

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