Beetroot grows best in soil that has been well manured for a previous crop. Plant the seeds from March to October. A beetroot seed is actually a cluster of seeds, so several seedlings will grow from one seed. Sow them in rows about 15 cm apart. Thin them when they're 10 cm high, removing any weak plants. Beetroot transplant easily, so any strongly growing seedlings can be planted elsewhere in the garden.
Pull them by hand when the globe-shaped roots have reached a reasonable size. If they're left to grow too large they will become woody and tough. Twist off the leaves, because cutting will result in the root 'bleeding'. Beetroot can be cooked as a hot vegetable, cold, sliced in vinegar for salads, or eaten raw. It can be picked from the garden as needed, but the roots will become tough and stringy in hot, dry weather.
Cabbage grows well where there is a good supply of moisture and the weather is cool. It can thrive in almost any kind of soil, but prefers one enriched with well rotted animal and chicken manure. The Sugarloaf and small hearting varieties are the best to grow because they will mature in ten to 12 weeks.
Sow the seed two cm deep, with 30 cm spacings. Rows should be approximately 40 cm apart. Because the seed is small, it is difficult to sow to the exact spacing necessary therefore, when the seedlings are about 10 cm high thin them out or transplant them to the correct spacing.
Foliar fertilise cabbages regularly to promote health and uninterrupted growth. Cutworm, which can cut off young seedlings at the base, can be controlled by placing a match into the soil next to the stalk of the plant. Protect them from cabbage butterfly with Dipel. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and was used in ancient times because of its health-giving qualities.
Chinese cabbages can be grown if you want a quick crop — they are excellent in stir-fries.
Carrots need a deep, friable soil and a sunny position. Sow the seed directly into their permanent position three to six mm deep. Rows should be approximately 23 cm apart Thin the young seedlings to seven cm apart to allow the carrots space to grow and develop. Carrots can be grown after peas or beans without any additional fertiliser being added to the soil. Choose a medium length variety for best results. Sow the seed in autumn or during the cooler months. Mulch lightly for good germination, because it is essential that carrot seed be kept moist. Carrots respond extremely well to moon planting.
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