You may remember a recent post about the beets we grew in our vegetable garden this past summer. It was a respectable crop—not awesome, but not bad. In the past I’ve dedicated much more space to beets in my garden (up to three whole rows), but lately I’ve been trying smaller areas because I’ve just not had great luck with them.
One of the first years of our vegetable garden we had a fabulous crop of beets—I’d planted some red and some of the striped Chioggia. We must’ve had at least three rows—big, healthy beets that looked like they were trying to heave themselves right out of the ground. But it rained a lot that fall, and, weekend after weekend, it was too wet to dig
them up. I kept thinking, well, I’ve heard they get sweeter if you leave them in the ground for a few cold nights. . . they should be really good by now.
Then, the Saturday we were set to dig, wet or not, it started to snow. So there we were, standing out in the garden in our winter coats while the snow fell around us, our hands freezing, trying to dig the beets out of the wet clay soil. At that point we decided it just wasn’t that important to us to eat beets. . . so we left them to rot in the ground. In the spring we just tilled them under.
I haven’t had a real respectable crop of beets since. . . and I’ve always wondered if, somehow, it’s the spirits of the rotted beets crying out for retribution that makes the new beets fail to flourish. . . but probably I just read too much Stephen King.