Yesterday, I finally was able to tend to the last of the beet beds.
You can see why there was no hurry.
This beet bed got quite a bit of critter damage before we were able to cover it with the netting, and never really recovered. I think I lot of that has to do with the ornamental apple trees shading it too much.
This bed has four varieties of beets, planted in blocks. One variety does seem to be recovering a bit better. Those are the chioggia, if I remember correctly.
Just for the sake of comparison, this is the L shaped beet bed right next to the little one (after being weeded). These were planted on the same day, with the last seeds of all the varieties mixed together. In this bed, the critters did get at the end in the photo a bit, and it recovered a lot more, even though it has more shade than the rest of the L shaped bed. It still gets a lot more sun than the one along the retaining wall!
This is after weeding and loosening the soil a bit. The soil is really compacted for some reason (it got fresh new garden soil, just like the other beds). Very few of the beets seem to be developing their roots.
After planting the L shaped bed with the mixed seeds, I still had some left, so I scattered them in the sapce on the very left of the photo, which is pretty much right at the trunk of one of the ornamental apples. This spot never got covered. Not only did it get eaten by critters, but cats and kittens like to roll on it. Amazingly, there are still tiny little beets trying to recover in there!
Before putting the netting back, I did add pairs of sticks to hold the net above the greens a bit. Hopefully, it will dissuade kittens from jumping on it! 😀
This netting had been originally used to create a wall on the outside of the blocks to keep deer away from the lettuce that was planted there – only to have the groundhogs eat them all. To hang the net, part of it was torn so it could be placed around a tree trunk for support. That’s the tear you see at the end in the photo. The long side of the inside is pegged down snug. The long side along the retaining wall got shoved between the soil and the blocks. Though I could roll lengths of wood into the ends and weight it down with bricks, there is nothing I can do about the tear right now. I think it should be fine.
It doesn’t look like we’re going to get many beet roots out of here at all this year, but who knows? As long as the weather stays mild overnight, they will be left to grow as big as they can before we harvest them. Plus, we can still eat the greens. 🙂