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  • starting beets inside to transplant

    Has anyone started beets inside in starter cells and then transplanted them outside? I have very spotty germination in the garden, so I want to plant more, and I was wondering if I could do them this way?

    I read on the forum somewhere about starting Swiss Chard inside, and tried it with good results, but maybe beets are different.

    Any advice will be appreciated,

    Thanks, Dick

  • #2
    I've never started them inside, but I know my germination rates went way up after I soaked the seeds for an hour or so before planting them. They also like to be "packed in" pretty good. Hope this helps.


    • #3
      Always do my first sowings as transplants. Go for it, and good luck!

      Don't forget to thin


      • #4
        I also start everything inside. Bugs will eat any sprouting seed.


        • #5
          Chard was started inside, planted in the garden for the summer and repotted temporarily for the winter.

          The beets could've been eaten, but were saved from the garden for 2010 seed production.
          Also, to see how much cold they would actually take!
          The ones in the bags were started in spring 2009 in the greenhouse.
          I'd hoped to get seed from them this year.
          I planted them in separate parts of the garden.
          Only one went to seed, so I'm suspicious of what it pollinated with.
          The rest of the beets were still in good condition, so I saved them in the bags.

          I started some Delaware cabbage which turned out to be Kale and there were some rutabagas mixed in.
          They turned out to be soccer ball sized.
          We ate one and it was fine!
          I didn't mix our started rutabagas, because I only had 7 survive and they are in the chickens' winter pen, still in ground.
          Those had to be bigger than these, but maybe not?
          These on the table are from October regular harvested, originally planted from seed.
          Like your experience, sparse, not many for a 30' row.
          I have some smaller rutabaga roots in the greenhouse potted also, for 2010 seed production.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Soaking the seeds is the way to go, then direct seed them.


            • #7
              How many have had success with transplanting carrots and beets? I may try this this year...



              • #8
                Originally posted by Sam_I_Am View Post
                How many have had success with transplanting carrots and beets? I may try this this year...

                I had great success with onions and leeks, started in little pots made from newspaper that I rolled around a bottle and held together with a couple of pieces of scotch tape. When they were ready to go outside, I planted the paper pot without ever touching the root or plant. I think that not having to transplant the root is a big help.

                I plan to try a lot more things that way this summer.

                For beets and carrots, maybe a paper tube-like pot -- long and narrow, would be suitable. I've got some tall round bottles, from soy sauce, or vinegar, that I think would give enough depth. I think it would need to be 2 to 3 times as deep as it is wide. Also, You only have to use 2 thicknesses of newspaper.

                I'm definitely going to test paper pots for beets, doubt if I will for carrots.

                Please report back if you do transplant either of these.

                good luck all,



                • #9
                  Beets, yes; carrots, no. With beets, the part that is harvested is really an above-ground portion. Transplanting does not affect that. With carrots that first little taproot is the beginning of the portion which is harvested. Just as a tiny pebble may cause a distorted carrot, so will any inevitable damage done when transplanting.

                  Beets, incidentally, are best started in 144 or 288 cell trays for convenience and making a straight tap root.


                  • #10
                    Never Tried Starting Beets Indoors

                    I follow the rule of my parents & grandparents & soak the seeds before direct sowing. I had wonderful luck with chioggia's this past year.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GardenPixie View Post
                      I follow the rule of my parents & grandparents & soak the seeds before direct sowing. I had wonderful luck with chioggia's this past year.
                      How long does everyone soak their seeds for? An hour or two? Overnight? I have never done this and have had poor germination on beets.



                      • #12
                        I did a test run of beets this fall with good success. I soaked the seeds for an hour (maybe a little over). Also, if you are worried about transplanting, you could always start them indoors in pots. Mine did great in pots, nice beets and very sweet. I used Detroit Dark Red seed.


                        • #13
                          update on greenhouse beet storage

                          most of the greens had died back & these are fresh leaves!

                          2 1/2 weeks ago, our carrots were getting wiggly, so we canned them.
                          We don't have a regular root cellar so they were drying out and..
                          see post #5;

                          in this thread is a pic in post #13, of some beets that started to go soft
                          I put them in dirt and only had to pull one due to rot
                          along with them is garlic bulbils
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by sarah31612; 01-26-2011, 06:30 AM.


                          • #14
                            I soak mine overnight just like my parents & grandparents did. Seems to work very well as I had a very good harvest last season. I ordered all my seeds from Seed Savers Exchange last year & I had a wonderful germination rate...I'd say at least 95% or greater. This year I will plant from SSE & from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds...hope the BCH seeds germinate as well as the SSE seeds did.


                            • #15
                              I love the idea of making my own paper pots! That would make for easy transplant into the garden & less stress to the plants. Wonderful idea Dick! I'm definitely gonna try this out this year with my onions as I have poor luck with direct sowing of seed. I had never planted onion from seed until last year. My fam always planted from sets. Personally, I love to start seedlings in doors while it's still cold outside.