Our beets were not doing so hot.
For a couple weeks I was in denial. I kept telling my husband, “Just give them one more day, honey. Just One. More. Day”. One more day turned into one more week, which turned into another. Darn it! What did we do wrong?! Did we water them too much? Not enough? Was the fertilizer not providing the proper nutrients? Or was it something from the outside…were the other plants mocking them for being so weak and they just eventually lost the will to live?
Sigh. Like any parent, I immediately blamed myself for creating such dead beets (I can never resist a pun), and then turned to the internet for a diagnosis – i.e. so I could find something else to blame. And the internet never lies.
What I found may shock you. A website that listed no less than 25 different diagnoses for beets failing to thrive. Twenty-five! Vent-cinq!
That is a lot. I expected about 5. You know, roots, seeds, a couple bugs, over/under-watering and we’re done. Nope! Check it out: http://www.harvesttotable.com/2009/06/beets_and_chard_growing_proble/
And check out some of the horrendous things they’re up against.
The online click-bait:
“[40-yr old mother finds] Small round spots with tan-brown centers, margins are purple; spots may drop out leaving ragged holes [and you won’t believe what happens next!]”
The nightmare-inducing horror movie plot:
“Leaves partially eaten; leaves webbed together [ew]; eggs in rows on undersides of leaves [double ew].”
The only one I can understand (also the plotline of a horror movie):
“Trails of silver slime on leaves; leaves eaten” [slugs obviously]
The fact that these guys even made it to the leaf-growing stage is astounding to me. I think it’s pretty safe to compare the life potential of beets to that of sea turtles. Yup. They are born on their own and expected to find their way to the ocean without getting eaten or falling into a hole, where they can grow up and live for hundreds of years! Just like beets, the odds are not in their favour.
Anyway, it’s become clear that these guys are not coming back, so I had to dig them up and hope to replace them with a stronger, happier plant (If only real parenting were so easy, right?!)
You will be missed beets. You lived a short and pain-filled life, but now you may rest.
R.I.P. 2015 beets.
Until Next Time,
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Garden (Wo)man