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why dont my beets form bulbs?

I have been trying to grow root crops like beets and radishes but they do not form a bulb root. Is it my soil? I used a organic furtilzer from Gardeners Alive for root crops and still did not from a bulb. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 
What is your soils pH?
What are the nutrient levels, N, P, K, in your soil?
Root crops like carots, beets and radishes need a soil with not as much N as lettuce would and higher levels of P and K, while the pH can be in the 6.2 to 6.8 range just like for any other vegetable.
Too much N and there will be lots of top growth with little root development. Perhaps these simple soil tests might be of some help,
1) Soil test for organic matter. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. For example, a good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains’ too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.
Along with a good reliable soil test from your state university, or other soil test lab, may help.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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ditto on the soil test..contact your closest university testing lab..tests will not only give you a realistic snapshot of your soil but if you ask what to use to organically improve your soil you will be a step ahead. We all know that compost is a excellent admendment but new gardeners may not have enough ready to go initally.
 
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okay, thanks so much for your advice. I will give it a try and let you know next year if i was able to get root crops. Smiler
 
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Welcome to the forum!
How was your moisture situation this year? My beets were slow to begin forming bulbs this year until I gave them some extra water. I planted mine in a different spot than usual this year and they seemed to need more water. Haven't had that problem with radishes so can't speculate.
How do the tops look? Do they seem to be putting all their energy into making the tops?
As for the soil test, suit yourself. If you're really into science and micro-managing I'm sure it can be interesting. I've been gardening for over 40 years and have never had a soil test for my gardens. Just keep adding organic matter in the form of compost and mulches and the worms will come and take care of your soil for you.

Kimm1: If you have no useful answer to a person's question, why can't you refrain from your endless cut and paste answers? Really, this poster's question was quite specific and your basic cut and paste answer was so vague so as not to be any kind of answer at all.
 

“We’re gypsies in the palace, he’s left us here alone The order of sleepless knights will now assume the throne.”

 

western Kentucky, the land between the rivers

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granny kate, I am sorry you find my answer so hard to comprehend but most often what I have found over the years is that when plants do not grow like they should the soil is the problem and knowing what is going on in your soil is important. I am hearing, and reading, more and more from many garden programs and writers that the key to growing strong and healthy plants is a good, healthy soil and the only way to know about your soil is to take a good look at it.
scientia potentia est
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I would also recommend a soil test, but I would look more at your texture. If your trying to grow them in clay or a soil that compacts easily you would need to amend heavily with lots of organic material (grass clipings, leaves, straw). Root crops do better in a loose soil. A least thats been my experience.
 
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quote:
granny kate, I am sorry you find my answer so hard to comprehend but most often what I have found over the years is that when plants do not grow like they should the soil is the problem and knowing what is going on in your soil is important. I am hearing, and reading, more and more from many garden programs and writers that the key to growing strong and healthy plants is a good, healthy soil and the only way to know about your soil is to take a good look at it.
scientia potentia est


Kimm1 -

your answer is not hard to comprehend. your answer is the same answer for every and any problem presented.

try: weather

it's the same type of thing as with the beets question. for forty years I've had marginal to no luck growing beets. last year with tomatoes and peppers failing really really big time I had fantastic beets. in heavy clay soil. go figger.


no one of the regulars is having any problem "comprehending" your point.

the problem people are having, me included, it is the one and only one answer you have available for any poster questions. perhaps you can ask the Admin people to auto-attach your boiler plate answer to every new post...? think of the time it would save having to cut and paste . . . .
 
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quote:
Originally posted by WikiLeeks:
quote:
granny kate, I am sorry you find my answer so hard to comprehend but most often what I have found over the years is that when plants do not grow like they should the soil is the problem and knowing what is going on in your soil is important. I am hearing, and reading, more and more from many garden programs and writers that the key to growing strong and healthy plants is a good, healthy soil and the only way to know about your soil is to take a good look at it.
scientia potentia est


Kimm1 -

your answer is not hard to comprehend. your answer is the same answer for every and any problem presented.

try: weather

it's the same type of thing as with the beets question. for forty years I've had marginal to no luck growing beets. last year with tomatoes and peppers failing really really big time I had fantastic beets. in heavy clay soil. go figger.


no one of the regulars is having any problem "comprehending" your point.

the problem people are having, me included, it is the one and only one answer you have available for any poster questions. perhaps you can ask the Admin people to auto-attach your boiler plate answer to every new post...? think of the time it would save having to cut and paste . . . .


Oh dear God - THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for saying what others have said before but which continue to fall on deaf ears. Or at least on the deaf ears of Kimm1 - the self-imposed be all & end all of organic gardening.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

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"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

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My answers are not the same for every problem, but very often for NEW gardeners, and sometimes for old gardeners I will suggest looking at your soil because over the many years I have found that the problem most gardeners have is soil related. I am not sure why, for organic gardeners, the soil is the most important part ot the garden is so difficult for some to comprehend. I am not sure why some people cannot understand that a nutrient imbalance in the soil can be the reason for problems.
It was once thought a gardener should add large amounts of nutrients to "bank" them until further research showed that excess nutrients in soils is washed out to pollute the water we drink. While large sources, such as CAFOs, are major polluters the average home also contributes and each home adding some equals a fairly large amount in total.
The other quaestion that might be asked is why are some people so afraid of doing those soil tests?
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I generally have trouble with radishes but this year we had a nice cool wet spring and presto, great radishes! Easy like they are supposed to be.
 

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. Francis Bacon

 

Virginia  Zone 7

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quote:
Originally posted by Kimm1:
My answers are not the same for every problem, but very often for NEW gardeners, and sometimes for old gardeners I will suggest looking at your soil because over the many years I have found that the problem most gardeners have is soil related. I am not sure why, for organic gardeners, the soil is the most important part ot the garden is so difficult for some to comprehend. I am not sure why some people cannot understand that a nutrient imbalance in the soil can be the reason for problems.
It was once thought a gardener should add large amounts of nutrients to "bank" them until further research showed that excess nutrients in soils is washed out to pollute the water we drink. While large sources, such as CAFOs, are major polluters the average home also contributes and each home adding some equals a fairly large amount in total.
The other quaestion that might be asked is why are some people so afraid of doing those soil tests?


That's funny! I've been reading what you post for a few years now on this board, on hgtv board & on garden web board...and I would just about bet that 90% of the time you reply with basically the same thing you did here the first time.
Just like you give the same answer every time for fire ants...Tx. A&M...except they don't have any better information now than they did several years ago and it still remains that we aren't getting rid of them and there still aren't any super, duper ways to control them!

Whether or not I was a new gardener, I wouldn't do all the stuff you tell everyone to do. I wouldn't dig up soil & put it in a quart jar, I wouldn't dig a hole & fill it with water, I wouldn't count earth worms either! And still, all that doesn't make a whole lot of difference if there has been drought, floods or NO sun! It takes more than just SOIL to grow a crop of anything!

And I don't have a problem with doing soil tests, I think you should if you are just starting out or are going to plant a new area/property. However, it doesn't bother me any if someone who has been gardening for many years is able to eye-ball & feel if their soil needs something without having a soil test done. That is their choice!

katand, I'm sorry we have sort of hi-jacked your thread. I hope you got some ideas to look into from the answers you did get.
This has not been an ideal growing season for most of the country so it could be any number of a combination of things.
I didn't get roots on some of my radishes this spring...mine were planted too late and didn't get enough water...plus my seeds may have been old too. Radishes won't grow during the really hot part of the summer.
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

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I'm certainly not an expert beet grower, but I have noticed that I often get very small bulbs if I do not thin early enough or aggressively enough.
 

North Central Illinios

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Karen, you are right that it takes more than soil to grow plants, but since the soil the plants are growing in contributes a great deal to the growth of plants is becomes a very, if not the most, important part of the garden. Plants do need sunlight, and do photosynthesize nutrients by that sunlight, using the nutrients the roots pick up from the soil to make the stuff that plants need to grow. Plants need adequate levels of soil moisture to pick up those soil nutrients, but too much moisture can also be a problem since excess moisture limits the air those plant roots also need to pick up those soil nutrients and that moisture is needed to move those nutrients up and down the plant.
Too much Nitrogen can cause lush green growth that is very attractive to insect pests as well as interfere with the uptake and use of many other nutrients needed for optimal growth. An imbalance of Calcium to Magnesium can keep a plant from properly utilizing the Calcium which in some plants is indicated by Blossom End Rot and is why soil ph is fairly important to know, although not just pH but why it is where it is.
The more you know about your soil and take steps to correct any problems before they get too big the better what you grow will be.
Scientia potentia est
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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