Give Root Crops A Try
September is a fantastic month to begin planting your root crops. Usually the weather has started getting cooler around the third week of the month, but there is plenty to do during the first and second week to get prepared for planting.
Beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, and onions are considered root crops and they are available in a variety of beautiful colors. They are also packed with vitamins and proteins. Root crops, such as beets and turnips are not as appealing to some people, but give them a chance. They add color and zang to many different dishes. Scroll Down to see our roasted beet and carrot recipe if you need a reason to add them to your garden.
Now that I have convinced you to give beets and turnips a try, let's get your beds ready.
Root crops need loose soil, that holds in moisture well. For most spring crops I prefer to use one bag of Sungrow (fafard) 3B Mix to one part Black Cow Organic Compost. However, with my root crops, I add in much more Black Cow Compost. Two bags of Black Cow to one bag of Sungrow 3B Mix will make your root crops jump.
If you are planting directly into the ground, make sure to till in your compost, heavily. The soil should be loose. You may also use well decomposed compost from your own compost bin instead of or in addition to the Black Cow.
Whether you plant in the ground, in containers or in a raised bed, make sure you pick a sunny spot that gets six to eight hours of sunlight.
Your homework is to go ahead and get your beds ready. Next week I will go into detail on how to start your beets, followed by your other root crops in the weeks to come.
I have not forgotten about your collards, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and other leafy vegetables. I like to plant these in late September, because they like much cooler temperatures, so stay tuned for advice on growing the rest of your fall garden.