Sugar beet, in contrast to everyone's usual dining room, is quite rare in personal plots. Mostly this crop is grown on an industrial scale by professional farmers. But it has some advantages (hypoallergenicity, high yield), for which it is appreciated by amateur gardeners. Sugar beet care is not much different from what is required for other varieties of this crop. However, there are some important nuances that you need to familiarize yourself with in advance.
Sugar beet is not found in nature. This plant was bred by breeding as an alternative to sugar cane for a long time, in 1747. The work was started by the German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf. And in practice, his theoretical calculations were tested in 1801, when at a factory owned by his student Franz Karl Ahard, he managed to get sugar from root crops.
Sugar beets are mainly grown for the needs of the food industry.
Now the culture is widely used in the food industry and in agriculture - as feed for livestock. It is grown almost everywhere, most of the cultivated area is located in Europe and North America.
Sugar beets are widely grown commercially
The ancestor of the sugar beet is still found in the Mediterranean. The wild leaf beet has a thick, as if wooden, rhizome. Its sugar content is low - 0.2–0.6%.
Sugar beet roots are large, white, cone-shaped or slightly flattened from the sides. Somewhat less common are varieties in which they resemble a bag, pear or cylinder. Depending on the variety, they contain 16–20% sugar. The root system of the plant is very developed, the stem root goes into the soil by 1–1.5 m.
Most often, sugar beet roots resemble a cone in shape, but there are other options.
The average weight of a vegetable is 0.5–0.8 kg. But with proper care and good weather conditions, record-breaking specimens weighing 2.5–3 kg can also be grown. Sugar accumulates in them mainly during the last month of the growing season. The sweetness of the pulp increases in proportion to the weight gain. Also, the sugar content of the root crop strongly depends on how much heat and sunlight the plants receive in August-September.
The rosette is quite spreading, it has 50-60 leaves. The more of them on the plant, the larger the root crop is. The leaf plate is painted in a salad or dark green color, has wavy edges, and is located on a long petiole.
The rosette of leaves in sugar beets is powerful, spreading, the mass of greenery can be more than half of the total weight of the plant
This is a plant with a two-year development cycle. If you leave root crops in the garden in the fall of the first year, the next season the sugar beets will bloom, then seeds will form. They are quite viable unless the variety being grown is a hybrid.
Sugar beet blooms only in the second year after planting in the ground
The culture demonstrates good cold resistance. Seeds germinate already at 4–5 ° С, seedlings will not be affected if the temperature drops to 8–9 ° С. The optimal indicator for plant development is 20–22 ° С. Accordingly, sugar beets are suitable for growing in most of the territory of Russia.
Sugar beets are rarely used in cooking. Although it can be added to desserts, cereals, pastries, jams, compotes, to give the dishes the desired sweetness. After heat treatment, the taste of beets only improves, and not to the detriment of benefits. It is a worthy alternative to sugar for those who consider it a white death. But before use, the root crop must be peeled. The taste of the peel is specific, very unpleasant.
One of the undoubted advantages of sugar beets is hypoallergenicity. Anthocyanins, which give table varieties a bright purple hue, often cause corresponding reactions. And in terms of the content of substances beneficial to health, both crops are comparable. Sugar beets are rich in vitamins B, C, E, A, PP. Also in the pulp in high concentration are present:
Sugar beets contain iodine. This trace element is indispensable for problems with the thyroid gland and metabolic disorders.
Sugar beet contains many vitamins and minerals
Sugar beets are high in fiber and pectin. With regular use, it helps to normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract, increase the acidity of gastric juice, and get rid of constipation.
The vegetable is also useful for the nervous system. Sugar beet included in the diet has a positive effect on performance, helps to concentrate for a long time, and relieves chronic fatigue. Depression passes, attacks of causeless anxiety disappear, sleep is normalized.
Nutritionists recommend including beets in the diet for anemia, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. The vegetable stimulates the production of hemoglobin, increases the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, cleans them of cholesterol plaques. It also helps to cleanse the body of toxins and toxic substances, including salts of heavy metals and decay products of radionuclides.
Sugar beet leaf gruel is applied to edema, ulcers, burns, and other skin lesions. Such a compress promotes their early healing. The same remedy helps relieve toothache. Greens are also in demand in cooking. Like regular beet leaves, it can be added to soups and salads.
Sugar beet is often squeezed out of juice. The daily allowance is approximately 100-120 ml, it is not recommended to exceed it. Otherwise, you can earn not only indigestion and nausea, but also persistent migraines. Before use, the juice should be allowed to stand in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. They drink it neat or mixed with carrot, pumpkin, apple. You can also add kefir or plain water. The systematic use of juice helps with spring vitamin deficiency, helps to restore immunity after suffering a serious illness or surgery. The complexion, the condition of hair and nails is also improved, fine wrinkles are smoothed out.
Sugar beet juice is consumed without exceeding the recommended daily dose.
There are also contraindications. Due to its high sugar content, the vegetable should not be included in the diet for any type of diabetes or overweight. Also, sugar beets should not be eaten by those who have been diagnosed with gastritis or peptic ulcer disease, especially if the disease is in an exacerbation stage. Another vegetable is contraindicated in the presence of kidney or gall bladder stones, hypotension, joint problems (due to the high concentration of oxalic acid), and a tendency to diarrhea.
There are many varieties of sugar beets. Basically, the Russian State Register includes hybrids originally from Northern Europe, where this culture is very widespread. But Russian breeders also have their own achievements. Most often, the following are found in garden plots:
Growing seedlings of sugar beet is rarely practiced, because basically this culture is planted on an industrial scale. But amateur gardeners often prefer this method. This allows you to protect the culture from the effects of low temperatures, which often provokes shooting.
Any kind of beet tolerates transplanting well.
The plant is tolerant of picking and subsequent transplanting, so the seeds can be sown in common containers - shallow wide plastic containers. The whole process of growing seedlings takes 4-6 weeks. The seedlings are transferred to the garden bed when they form 4–5 true leaves. An interval of 20–25 cm is maintained between them. The row spacing is 30–35 cm. By this time, the soil should warm up to at least 10 ° С, and the night temperature should not fall below 15 ° С. Therefore, the specific disembarkation time depends on the climate in the region. It could be the end of April or the beginning of June.
Several shoots appear from each sugar beet seed, so the grown seedlings need to be dived.
To identify those seeds that will definitely not germinate, the planting material is soaked in a saline solution (8-10 g / l). Then they need to be rinsed and disinfected. The easiest way is to soak sugar beet seeds for 6-8 hours in a bright pink solution of potassium permanganate. But the processing time can be significantly reduced (up to 15–20 minutes) if you use fungicides (preferably of biological origin), for example:
The treated seeds are washed again.
To strengthen the immune system, the seeds can be soaked in a biostimulant solution. Both store preparations (potassium humate, Epin, Heteroauxin, Emistim-M) and folk remedies (honey syrup, aloe juice) are suitable.
Potassium permanganate is one of the most common disinfectants
Sugar beet seedlings are grown according to the following algorithm:
Sugar beet seeds are sown as evenly as possible, one at a time
For planting sugar beets in open ground, choose a cool, cloudy day. In the bed, holes are formed, maintaining the required interval between them. Seedlings are watered abundantly about half an hour before the procedure. The seedlings are transferred to a new place either with a container (if it is a peat pot), or with a lump of earth on the roots. If it is not possible to save it, the root can be dipped in a mixture of powdered clay with fresh manure.
The beets are transplanted into the ground, keeping a lump of earth on the roots, if possible.
After transplanting, the sugar beet is watered, spending about 0.5 liters of water per plant. Watering over the next week is carried out daily. To protect from direct sunlight, arcs are installed over the garden bed, onto which any white covering material is pulled. It will be possible to remove the shelter when the plants take root and form a new leaf.
The covering material can be replaced with spruce branches or paper caps.
The culture is quite demanding on heat, light, soil moisture, so the preparatory measures should be taken seriously.
The first thing to consider is that the plant does not like acidic soil. To remedy the situation, dolomite flour, crushed chalk or chicken egg shells crushed to a powdery state are introduced into the soil. This is done 2–2.5 weeks before the substrate is fertilized.
Dolomite flour is a natural deoxidizer, which, if the dosage is observed, has no contraindications and restrictions in use
Sugar beet prefers loose soil, but at the same time fertile. The ideal option for her is black soil, forest gray soil, or at least loam. Light sandy soil, like heavy clayey, is not suitable for the plant.
Digging the beds makes the soil looser, contributes to better aeration
Even in the fall, the selected area must be well dug up, cleaned of plant debris and 4–5 liters of humus or rotted compost, 25–30 g of potassium sulfate and 50–60 g of simple superphosphate per linear meter are added. From natural fertilizers, sifted wood ash can be used (a liter can is enough). Fresh manure is categorically not suitable as a top dressing. Root vegetables tend to accumulate nitrates, which significantly impairs the taste.
Humus is a natural remedy for increasing soil fertility
In addition to potassium and phosphorus, sugar beets especially need boron. With its deficiency, chlorosis of the leaves develops, the roots become smaller, and hard plugs form in the tissues. Boric acid or fertilizer Mag-Bor is introduced into the soil annually at the rate of 2-3 g / m².
Sugar beets need boron for normal development.
The root system of the plant is quite powerful. Due to this, sugar beets are drought-resistant. But she really does not like stagnation of moisture at the roots. Therefore, if groundwater approaches the surface closer than 1.5–2 m, it is advisable to find another place for the crop.
In damp areas, beets can be planted in ridges at least 0.5 m high.
A certain distance between root crops is necessary both when planting seedlings and when sowing seeds in open ground
Sugar beet is a long day crop. The more sunlight a plant receives, the faster it develops. The sun is also necessary in order for the roots to gain sugar content. An open area is chosen for the garden bed, especially since the plants do not pay special attention to drafts and gusts of wind.
Getting a bountiful harvest of sugar beets is impossible if the crop does not have enough sunlight and heat.
Poor precursors for sugar beets are legumes, cereals, flax. They strongly deplete the substrate, drawing out trace elements from it. Even applying fertilizer before planting will not correct the situation. You should not plant it after carrots - they have some common diseases. A good option is the beds previously occupied by pumpkin, nightshade, herbs, onions, and garlic. The culture is transferred to a new place every 2-3 years, observing the crop rotation.
Garlic is one of the suitable precursors for sugar beets
Sugar beet seeds germinate at fairly low temperatures, but in this case the process takes almost a month. Therefore, it is advisable to wait a little. Moreover, return frosts (-3–4 ° C) can destroy young seedlings. The optimum temperature for normal plant development is 20 ° C or slightly higher.
When the temperature drops to 6–8 ° C, the accumulation of sugar in root crops stops.
The preparation described above is also necessary for sugar beet seeds before planting in open ground. They are buried in the soil by 3-5 cm, leaving 8-10 cm between them. Subsequently, a pick will still be required. Only one seed is placed in each hole. Sprinkle on top with a thin layer of humus mixed with peat chips or sand. Seedlings should appear in about 1.5 weeks. Until this time, the bed is covered with a film.
Beet seedlings, after the emergence of seedlings from seeds, must be thinned out so that each root crop has sufficient area for nutrition
The air temperature should not be lower than 8–10 ° С, the soil temperature - 7–8 ° С. Otherwise, the sugar beet can go into the arrow.
Sugar beet does not require anything supernatural from a gardener. Caring for it comes down to weeding and loosening the beds, fertilizing and proper watering. The latter should be given special attention.
Three additional dressings are enough for sugar beets during the growing season:
Some gardeners, in order to activate the growth of outlets, add carbamide, ammonium nitrate, and other nitrogen fertilizers to the solution, but this is advisable for farms, and not for personal household plots. It is easy for someone who does not have much experience in growing a culture to exceed the dosage and provoke the accumulation of nitrates in root crops.
For the first feeding of sugar beets, any store-bought fertilizer is suitable.
The infusion of nettle is prepared for 3-4 days, before use it must be filtered and diluted with water
Wood ash - a natural source of potassium and phosphorus
During the growing season, once every 3-4 weeks, you can spray the leaves of sugar beet with the preparations Adobe-Bor, Ecolist-Bor, or simply boric acid diluted in water (1-2 g / l).
Due to the developed root system, sugar beets tolerate drought quite easily, but this negatively affects the quality of the crop and its keeping quality. And excess moisture provokes root rot.
Young plants especially need regular watering within a month after planting seedlings in the ground. The soil is moistened every 2-3 days, adjusting the intervals depending on the weather. From mid-July, you can water less often, about once a week. Water consumption rate - 20 l / m². About 3 weeks before the planned harvest, irrigation is stopped, the plants are bypassed with natural precipitation.
The best time to water is late in the evening. The method does not matter, but the water must be warm. The drops falling on the leaves do not cause any harm to the plants. And in the morning, it is advisable to loosen the soil. To retain moisture in the ground and prevent weeds from growing, you can mulch the ridge.
Sugar beet does not need hilling. Even if the root vegetable sticks out slightly from the ground, this is normal. Such a procedure will only harm the plant, slowing down the process of its formation.
In the process of growth, the roots begin to stick out a little from the ground - this is normal for culture, they do not need hilling
The immunity of sugar beets is higher than that of a canteen, but under unfavorable conditions it can also suffer from pathogenic fungi and be attacked by insects.
The most dangerous diseases for culture:
Of the listed diseases, only true and downy mildew can be treated. The rest appear on the aerial part of the plant only when the process has gone far, and the affected specimens can no longer be saved. When growing sugar beets, special attention should be paid to preventive measures:
Fungicides are used to fight diseases. The least harm to human health and the environment is caused by modern drugs of biological origin, but there are also gardeners who rely on old proven means (copper sulfate, Bordeaux liquid, copper oxychloride).
Beets have a lot of pests. This applies to all its varieties. To protect plantings from insect attacks:
It is undesirable to use insect control chemicals so that harmful substances are not deposited in root crops. If you regularly inspect the plantings for suspicious symptoms, the problem can be noticed at an early stage of development. In this case, as a rule, folk remedies are sufficient. Insecticides of general action are used only in the event of a mass invasion of pests, which happens extremely rarely.
Depending on the variety, sugar beets ripen in the middle or towards the end of September. It is stored well, in optimal conditions, root crops, removed before the first frost, will last until spring.
Sugar beets must be harvested before the first frost if you plan to store them for a long time.
Just before harvesting, the garden bed should be watered abundantly. Root crops are harvested by hand, then left in the open air for several hours to dry the soil adhering to them. But you should not overexpose them on the street - they quickly lose moisture and flabby. After that, the beets are cleaned of soil and carefully examined. For storage, only root crops are selected without the slightest suspicious traces on the skin. They are not washed, but the tops are cut off.
The harvested sugar beets are left in the garden for several hours to dry the soil adhering to the root crops
Root crops are placed in a cellar, basement, or other dark place, where a constant temperature is maintained at 2-3 ° C, high humidity (at least 90%) and there is good ventilation. In the warmth, sugar beets germinate quickly, the roots flabby, and at freezing temperatures they rot.
They are stored in cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, open plastic bags or simply in bulk on racks or pallets at least 15 cm high. It is advisable to place root crops with their tops up. The layers are sprinkled with sand, sawdust, shavings, peat chips.
To prevent the development of fungal diseases, root crops can be powdered with crushed chalk.
Beets are stored in any available container or without it at all, the main thing is to provide root crops with high humidity and access to fresh air
Sugar beet is considered an industrial crop and is grown mainly for further processing. But some gardeners plant it in their personal plots, citing the fact that they like the taste more. Plus, sugar beets are great for your health. Unlike ordinary burgundy, it rarely causes allergies. Even a gardener with little experience will not be difficult to get a bountiful harvest. Agricultural technology differs little from that required by table varieties.
27 years old, higher education in law, broad outlook and interest in a variety of topics.
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