Monday, July 20, 2015

Urban Farming Project in Oslo: Part 3 - Sowing Beet Seeds

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
The lettuce seeds are in the ground, and so are the red beet seeds! :-)

Scroll down to read about what we learned in the process.
Urban gardening in Oslo: Marking the beets and salads Urban dyrking i Oslo: setter opp planteetiketter
Urban gardening in Oslo: Marking the beets and salads
Urban dyrking i Oslo: setter opp planteetiketter



I'm unsure if the beets will have enough time to become full-grown vegetables before the frost comes. As we speak, it's the second last week of July. We're taking a chance by sowing the beets now.
According to sites I've read, beets can be harvested after about 3 months. So, maybe it'll work, and maybe it won't.

We're taking a risk here, but what's the worst thing that can happen, right? :-)
Organic red beet seeds and yellow plant markers Økologiske rødbetefrø og gule planteetiketter
Organic red beet seeds and yellow plant markers
Økologiske rødbetefrø og gule planteetiketter

Soaking the beet seeds before they go in the ground

The beet seeds arrived on Friday, and the night before I did some research on how to sow beet seeds.

Several seemingly credible sites mentioned that you should soak the beet seeds in water before sow them, to speed up the germination. The seeds are surrounded by hard, tough shell and by soaking them beforehand - the seeds will hopefully sprout more quickly.

You should place the seeds in a bowl with hot water and soak them for a recommended time of 8-12 hours. The goal with soaking is to speed up the germination in the soil, not to make them sprout while they're soaked.

Our soaking ritual went well I think. After 10,5 hours I noticed that the seeds had softened a bit.
Soaking beet seeds in hot water - before and after picture Bløtlegger betefrø i varmt vann - før og etter bilde
Soaking beet seeds in hot water - before and after picture
Bløtlegger betefrø i varmt vann - før og etter bilde

The garden is 25 minutes away but we had some quick errands before that, so I moved the soaked beet seeds into a small, empty glass bottle that was filled with water (1/4).

Before sowing, we made sure that the soil was moist. It had rained the night before, so the sowing area didn't require much water. And the soil was already fertilized (from Day 2). And to make sure that the beet roots have enough space to grow freely, we turned the soil once more and removed weed and any large objects.
Urban gardening in Oslo: Sowing beet seeds in the soil Urban dyrking i Oslo: Planter betefrø i jorda
Urban gardening in Oslo: Sowing beet seeds in the soil
Urban dyrking i Oslo: Planter betefrø i jorda

I gently removed the water from the glass bottle. Then I made a shallow 'channel' (1 cm depth) and sprinkled the beet seeds in the ground. It was a bit tricky to handle soaked beet seeds, but all of them eventually got in - one by one.

At this stage, I didn't care much for distancing the seeds according to the package instruction - you can always thin them out when the beet seed sprouts come out.
Covering the beet seeds with soil Dekker til betefrø med jord
Covering the beet seeds with soil
Dekker til betefrø med jord

Once all the beet seeds were in, I gently covered them with soil. I just hope that the birds don't eat them!!
Boyfriend taking an afternoon nap

It's been two days now since we planted the beet seeds. We're maybe stopping by tonight to check on the plants. The last rain shower was on Saturday night.

Read: Gardening glossary from A-Z.
Urban gardening project in Oslo: Day 3 - planting red beet seeds
Urban gardening project in Oslo: planting red beet seeds

What we learned:

Research the plant you want to grow - every plant is different (how much water and sunlight they need, type of soil), and some type of seeds should be soaked in water the night before.

Examples of seeds that should be soaked before planting:
    1. Beets, beans, onions - and any other seeds that have a tough shell
    2. You should check out this site called Grow it Organically, which has in-depth information on how to plant various vegetables



Also read: 
Urban farming project in Oslo - Part 1 - A Newbie's Journey

Urban farming project in Oslo - Part 2 - Removing the Weed and Planting Lettuce Seeds

22 signs that you may have an eco-conscious lifestyle


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