This is my first post for Fight Back Friday.
I love yellow beets. They hate me, but I adore them. I crave them no matter how stubbornly they refuse to germinate for me, or how long it takes the few that deign to grow in my garden to finally develop to eating size. I could grow red beets in the dirt that accumulates in the trunk of my car. Yellows are carefully seeded into flats and coddled atop the hot tub as I pray for germination. Then, carefully, with a special $7 tool purchased for no other purpose, I transplant the tiny four-leaved beets into the prepared garden bed at the tender age of three weeks. By the next morning, half of them fall over dead just to spite me. Or perhaps slugs crave yellow beets even worse than I do.
But today, after 226 long, anxious days, I lunched on yellow beets braised with their greens in homemade chicken bone broth. I dribbled tamari on a third of my bowl, some really snooty French apple cider vinegar on a third and left the center portion au naturel. The bliss! After lunch I seeded a new flat with ‘Touchstone Gold Beet’ from High Mowing and ‘Golden Detroit Beet’ from Natural Gardening Company.
Another root vegetable I struggle with is carrots. They are happy to sprout in my garden but the second I look away something, or someone, mows their tiny tops down to nubs and whatever is left of the seedling dries up and blows away. I got three patches of carrots to grow this fall and they have overwintered well. We’re still eating them in May, which is wonderful. But I would love to grow more. I have tried covering the seed bed with straw, I’ve tried covering it with burlap, I’ve tried interplanting with cabbages–which actually worked in one of the patches but not the other two.
Maybe it’s time to pre-sprout the seeds on paper towels and then transplant into a bed? I got some red carrots that look gorgeous in the catalog, but half the seeds are already gone with nothing but an empty garden patch nicely lined with onions to show for it. I know carrots are supposed to like tomatoes, but do they hate onions?
If you have a favorite way of growing carrots, please share it with me in the comments. I need suggestions!