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urbanseed

ROOTS


WISDOM Bet you did not know it, but beetroot is a Hangover cure. Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its color, is an antioxidant, so the humble beetroot could be the key to beating your hangover.

OF BEET ROOT


Many people wonder about beets and if they can grow them at home. These tasty red vegetables are easy to grow. When considering how to grow beets in the garden, remember that they do best in home gardens because they don’t require much room. Growing beets is done for both the red root and the young greens.

Tips on How to Grow Beets When thinking about how to grow beets in the garden, don’t neglect the soil. Beets do best in deep, well drained soil, but never clay, which is too heavy for large roots to grow. Clay soil should be mixed with organic matter to help soften it. Hard soil can cause the roots of the beet to be tough. Sandy soil is best. If you plant beets in the fall, use a slightly heavier soil to help protect against any early frost.

Planting Beets If you’ve been wondering when to plant beets, remember that they can be grown all winter long in many southern states. In northern soils, beets shouldn’t be planted until the temperature of the soil is at least 40 F. (4 C.). Beets like cool weather. If you want to know when to plant beets, it’s best to plant them during cool weather. They grow well in cool temperatures in spring and fall and do poorly in hot weather. When growing beets, plant the seeds 1 to 2 inches apart in the row. Cover the seeds lightly with loose soil, and then sprinkle it with water. You should see the plants sprouting in seven to 14 days. If you want a continuous supply, plant your beets in several plantings, about three weeks apart from each other. You can plant beets in partial shade, but when growing beets, you want their roots to reach a depth of at least 3-6 inches, so don’t plant them under a tree where they might run into tree roots.

When to Pick Beets Harvesting beets can be done seven to eight weeks after the planting of each group. When the beets have reached the desired size, gently dig them up from the soil. Beet greens can be harvested as well. Harvest these while the beet is young and the root is small.

Why are beets healthy? If you’ve never considered beets for breakfast, snacks, or potluck food, these facts may spark your imagination: Research has demonstrated that eating beets, especially raw, or drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure, and improve both exercise performance and blood flow to the brain—probably because of the high concentration of nitrates in beets. Our bodies eventually convert nitrates to nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes and opens blood vessels. Research suggests that the red and yellow pigments found in beets (betalains) may help fight arthritis, several cancers, neurogenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease. Beet greens are highly nutritious and also contain the carotenoid pigments beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, important for eye health.


Pests / diseases?

Flea Beetles Leaf Hoppers Mexican Bean Beetles


Raw

beet

Low

beat


SECRET OF Radishes are members of the Brassicaceae family, containing mustard or cabbage. The root is related to kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and horseradish, among others. Radishes are a great low-cal snack;- one cup of sliced radishes has only 19 calories.

R A D I S H


If you’re looking for something extremely easy to grow in the garden, then growing radishes is for you. As soon as you can work the soil in your garden in the spring, you can start growing radishes. Using a hoe, make some rows in your garden soil that are about an inch deep. Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and try to keep them about an inch apart in the row.

Choosing a radish to grow

Once the seeds have been placed to fill up a row, cover them lightly with the loose garden soil, plant the next row in the same manner. When all done, sprinkle the row or rows lightly with water enough to settle things in, but not soaked to the point of becoming muddy. Remember to sprinkle lightly with water, as watering too hard can wash the seeds right up out of the soil they were just planted in.

There are said to be five main varieties of radish with hybrid types branching off from the five main varieties, those varieties being:

When selecting the radish seeds you wish to plant, check the back of the seed packet for the days to harvest listing; that way if you want to enjoy some radishes sooner than later, you’ll be able to select a type that has the shortest time to harvest, such as the Cherry Belle type.

Red Globe radish Daikon radish Black radish White Icicles radish California Mammoth White radish

The radishes will germinate in anywhere from four to 10 days and be ready to harvest in 20 to 50 days depending on the type planted. Usually with radishes you can have two or three plantings and harvests during the growing season, again depending on the type planted. I have found that keeping them well watered during their growing time to harvest tends to make for a flavorful but not as hot a radish, while not keeping them well watered seems to turn up the heat, so to speak.

Pests / diseases?

Wireworms Flea Beetles Aster Yellow Disease


KNOWLEDGE

Carrots are available year round, which might explain why they are such a kitchen staple. But they are not just for dipping into hummus. They will bring you your daily dose of beta carotene as well.

OF CARROTS


If you are wondering how to grow carrots (Daucus carota), you should know they grow best in cool temperatures like those that occur in early spring and late fall. The night temperature should be dropping to about 55 F. (13 C.) and the daytime temperatures should be averaging 75 F. (24 C.) for optimum growth. Carrots grow in small gardens and even flower beds, and can accept a little bit of shade as well.

Tips on How to Grow Carrots When you grow carrots, soil surfaces should be cleared of trash, rocks and large pieces of bark. Finer pieces of plant material can be mixed down into the soil for enrichment. Start out with soil that will help your carrots grow. When you grow carrots, soil should be a sandy, well-drained loam. Heavy soils cause the carrots to mature slowly and the roots will end up unattractive and rough. Remember that when you grow carrots, rocky soil leads to poor quality roots. Till or dig up the area where carrots will be planted. Make sure the soil is tilled up to soften and aerate the ground to make it easier to grow carrots long and straight. Fertilize the soil with one cup of 10-20-10 for every 10 feet of row you plant. You can use a rake to mix the soil and fertilizer.

Planting carrots Plant your carrots in rows that are 1 to 2 feet apart is the best way how to grow carrots. Seeds should be planted about a ½ inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart. When growing carrots in the garden, you’ll wait for your carrot plants to appear. When the plants are 4 inches high, thin the plants to 2 inches apart. You may find that some of the carrots are actually large enough to eat. Thin the carrots regularly to 4 inches apart. When growing carrots in the garden, make sure to plant, per person, five to ten feet of row to have enough carrots for table use. You will get about one pound of carrots in a one foot row. You want to keep your carrots free of weeds when growing carrots in the garden. This is never more so than when they are small. The weeds will take nutrients away from the carrots. This will cause poor carrot development.


When do carrots grow? They grow continuously after you plant them. They also don’t take too long to mature. You can start the first crop in mid spring after threat of frost has passed and continue to plant new seeds every two weeks for continuous harvest through the fall.

How Do You Harvest Carrots? Harvesting of the carrots can begin when they are finger size. However, you can allow them to stay in the soil until winter if you mulch the garden well. To check the size of your carrots, gently remove some dirt from the top of the root and check the size of the root. To harvest, gently lift the carrot from the soil.

Wit & Wisdom Carrots are biennial plants. If you leave them in the ground, the tops will flower and produce seeds the second year. Carrots have a long list of health benefits, not just those from Vitamin A. Can dogs eat carrots? Yes! Carrots aren’t just great for humans—they make a great treat for your pets! Try this dog-friendly peanut butter carrot cake for your dog’s next birthday.

Pests / diseases?

Wireworms Flea Beetles Aster Yellow Disease


How many is too many carrots?


Vegan Beet Pesto Pasta by Heather Christo


Beet pesto pasta is a signature recipe of mine that I have been making for many years. I tried beets for the first time as a child (fresh from the can!) only to take a rather lengthy hiatus while my taste buds recovered (or maybe matured). I had them again many years later when I was working at La Folie in San Francisco, post culinary school. I was basically told “eat the beets.” So I ate the beets.

Next, you toss this luscious purée with pasta, and you won’t believe how this simple dish transforms into something spectacular.

I have always said that the magic of this dish is that it gets people who love beets excited about them all over again. For those who think they don’t like beets, the color is enough for them to give it a try, and chances are they will I can still remember the varieties: purple, like it — I know because my sister is a loud candy cane, and golden. They were fresh and and proud beet hater and she will even eat beautiful and, to my great surprise, I absolutely this pasta! loved them. Beets and I have been involved in a love affair ever since. Plus, you know having a 6- and 8-year-old gobbling it down is a sure sign of a winning While I am mad for their texture and earthy dish. Of course, to my kids, it is known only as flavor, I think my true enchantment comes from magical pink unicorn pasta, but that couldn’t the vibrant fuchsia color of the purple variety; have anything to do with it. it is absolutely intoxicating to me, so I make sure these gorgeous beets make their way I love to garnish this beautiful dish with edible into everything from salads to pizza to pasta flowers — especially on Mother’s Day! It is — which brings us to this beet pesto pasta. just even prettier when sprinkled with chive blossoms, bachelor button petals, or little By puréeing roasted or boiled beets, you pansies. It will be the visual star of the table really get to take full advantage of the visual and your mother will be wowed. Feel free to allure. It also gives you a great opportunity to serve with a large bowl of freshly shredded enhance the flavor of the beets with add-ins Pecorino, if desired. This pasta can be made like garlic and red wine vinegar. In this recipe, with gluten-free pasta or regular; kept vegan the almonds and olive oil bring a nice, smooth if you hold off on a sprinkle of Pecorino; and richness to the pesto, and then a sprinkling of served warm, room temperature, or slightly kosher salt is all you need to bring depth. chilled. It’s meant to be flexible so you can do what works best for the people in your life.

Ingredients

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

1 pound regular or gluten-free spaghetti 2 cloves garlic 1/2 cup raw slivered almonds 2 large cooked and peeled purple beets, coarsely chopped 1/3 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar Kosher salt Minced fresh chives, for garnish

Meanwhile, place the garlic and almonds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the almonds are a fine meal and the garlic is minced. Add the beets, olive oil, and vinegar and pulse until you have a smooth pesto-like sauce. Season to taste with kosher salt. When the pasta is ready, toss with the pesto and season to taste with kosher salt. Serve hot. (If you want to serve the pasta at room temperature or chilled, rinse the pasta with cold water before tossing with the pesto.)


VERONICA BLUGUEMANN


Veronica Bluguermann is an Argentinian service designer living in Copenhagen for 5 years and this issue’s urban gardener hero. The garden, she takes care of together with her husband and neighbours couple, is situated on the 6th floor of the rehabilitation clinic in Østerbro. The space is accessible as well for the patients of the clinic and a lot of them are elderly people enjoying the view in the sun during the spring and summer. How did you come with the idea of having your own urban garden? “It started very improvised. We tried to put seeds there and see what grows. Today we have much more systematic approach to do it so around match we get together, we have a little dinner and then we plan. We see into rotation of the boxes. If we planted onions in this box then next season there has to be something else, what goes well with each vegetable. We have planning now. We divide the tasks, have to start seeding inside the house when it’s still cold outside and then we plant. It requires work but that’s the point I guess.’ If you are curious to get to know Veronica and listen about her garden and experience check our podcast series ‘Seed’ on www. urbanseed.com

‘There is a pleasure in growing your own food and eating it row just from the plant. It goes beyond the taste itself of the vegetable’


ØSTERBRO


BEET S EED STAR TIPS


Beets are a cool-season crop; they are best grown in spring and fall.

Start seeds in the garden about 4 weeks before you expect the last frost.

Sow seed in shallow trenches ½ (8 mm) inch deep and be sure to heel or stamp the soil firmly in.

Pre-soaking the seed in water before sowing can aide germination.

Beet seeds are actually an aggregate of seeds—a seedball of 2 or 3 individual seeds.


Sow seed in loose, fertile soil. Add aged compost to feed the soil.

The seeds should germinate in 5 to 8 days at an optimal temperature of 77°F (25°C) or thereabouts.

Make additional sowing at 3-week intervals for a continuous harvest.

Common pest enemies are aphids and flea beetles. Protect the seedlings from pests and cold.

Beet roots can be red, yellow, white, or striped. Some varieties have bright red leaf veins.


CREDITS Art Direction Karolina Sikorska & Lumir Spanihel Written by Kathee Mierzejewski Robin Sweetser Heather Christo Stan Griep Steve Albert


2018

Urbanseed Journal: Roots  

With expanding urbanisation more and more people are growing into urban gardeners. While deciding to have an urban garden, the first stage o...

Urbanseed Journal: Roots  

With expanding urbanisation more and more people are growing into urban gardeners. While deciding to have an urban garden, the first stage o...

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