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Beets
Chenopodiaceae
Beta vulgaris


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb



Chenopodiaceae Family

Beta Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Spinach Beet. Sea Beet. Garden Beet. White Beet. Mangel Wurzel.


Location

Native of North Africa. Cultivated worldwide

Physical Description
The common red beet has many great leaves next the ground, somewhat large and has a whitish green color. The stalk is great, strong, and ribbed, bearing great store of leaves upon it, almost to the very top of it. The flowers grow in very long tufts, small at the end, and turning down their heads, which are small, pale greenish-yellow buds, giving cornered prickly seed. The root is great, long, and hard, and when it has given seed is of no use at all.


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Chenopodiaceae
Caryophyllales
Caryophyllales
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

In earlier times, people exclusively ate the beet greens and not the roots. The ancient Romans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate beets to use their roots as food. The tribes that invaded Rome were responsible for spreading beets throughout northern Europe where they were first used for animal fodder and later for human consumption becoming more popular in the 16th century.

Beets' value grew in the 19th century when it was discovered that they were a concentrated source of sugar, and the first sugar factory was built in Poland. When access to sugar cane was restricted by the British, Napoleon decreed that the beet be used as the primary source of sugar, catalyzing its popularity. Around this time, beets were also first brought to the United States, where they now flourish. Today the leading commercial producers of beets include the United States, the Russian Federation, France, Poland, France, and Germany

Medicinal Uses: The red Beet is good to stay the bloody-flux, women's courses, and the whites, and to help the yellow jaundice; the juice of the root put into the nostrils, purges the head, helps the noise in the ears, and the tooth-ache; the juice snuffed up the nose, helps a stinking breath, if the cause lie in the nose, as many times it does, if any bruise has been there: as also want of smell coming that way.

It is a powerful liver and body cleanser and can be used to help overcome many blood problems. It is also a great tonic

Use beet juice combined with carrot juice as a blood builder for anemia; this is reported to also help lower the body cholesterol.

Food Uses: Soup, juice, pickled, baked, salads. The Russian culinary art use the beet in a very good and special soup, this name is Borscht. This beet soup is rich in iron.

Simply grate raw beets for a delicious and colorful addition to salads or decorative garnish for soups

Add chunks of beet when roasting vegetables in the oven

Serving homemade vegetable juice? A quarter of a beet will turn any green drink into a sweet pink concoction, pleasing both the eyes and the taste buds.

Healthy sauté beet greens with other braising greens such as chard and mustard greens.

Marinate steamed beets in fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh herbs.

Other Notes: Remember all those legendary Russian centenarians? Beets, frequently consumed either pickled or in borscht, the traditional Russian soup, may be one reason behind their long and healthy lives. These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.

It was so appreciated by the ancients, that it is recorded that it was offered on silver to Apollo in his temple at Delphi.

Cultivation: A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in sun or light shade in moist soils but prefers a rich well-drained light neutral to alkaline soil. Beets grow well in a variety of soils, growing best in a deep, friable well-drained soil abundant with organic matter, but doing poorly on clay. They prefer an open position and a light well-drained soil. The optimum pH is 6.0 - 6.8, but neutral and alkaline soils are tolerated in some areas. Some salinity may be tolerated after the seedling stage. Beets are notable for their tolerance to manganese toxicity. Beet is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 23 to 315cm, an average annual temperature range of 5.0 to 26.6°C and a pH of 4.2 to 8.2. Plants are tolerant of saline soils and respond positively if salt is added to non-saline soils at a rate of about 30g per square meter. Beetroot plants are generally hardy in Britain and can be left outdoors in the soil in most winters, though prolonged cold weather or severe winters can damage the roots. If the plants are exposed to prolonged temperatures below -10°c they will quickly run to seed. This also applies to the young plants of most beetroot varieties if they are sown in early spring - a short period where temperatures fall below zero can fool the plant into believing that there has been a winter and it will then try to flower and produce seed. There are, however, come varieties, such as 'Bolthardy', that are more resistant to bolting and so more suited to these early sowings. The beetroot is widely cultivated, especially in temperate zones, for its edible root. There are two basic forms, those with rounded roots, and those with elongated roots with many named varieties of each form. The roots can be available all year round from successional sowings. A fast-growing plant, some cultivars can produce a root ready for harvesting within 7 weeks from sowing the seed. Most beetroot seed is actually a cluster of several seeds, though monogerm varieties have been produced that only have one seed - these monogerm varieties are less likely to require thinning once they have germinated.

Propagation: Seed - pre-soaking for 12 hours in warm water prior to sowing encourages mare rapid and even germination. For the earliest crop, ready to harvest in late spring, sow the seed in situ in late February or early March, giving it some protection such as a cloche. The first outdoor sowings can be made in March in situ to provide a crop from early summer onwards. For both of these sowings it is important to choose varieties that are resistant to bolting in case there is a cold spell in the spring. Sowings for the main crop can be made in April to early June to provide roots for autumn, winter, and early spring use. Late sowings of fast maturing varieties can be made in June and early July in order to provide fresh young roots in the autumn

Companion Planting: Good for adding minerals to the soil. The leaves are composed of 25% magnesium making them a valuable addition to the compost pile if you don't care to eat them. Beets are also beneficial to beans with the exception of runner beans. Runner or pole beans and beets stunt each other's growth. Companions for beets are lettuce, kohlrabi, onions and brassicas. Beets are helped by garlic and mints. Garlic improves growth and flavor. Rather than planting invasive mints around beets use your mint clippings as a mulch.

A good companion for dwarf beans, onions and kohl rabi. Runner beans, charlock, and field mustard inhibit its growth





Beets




Beets


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