Do-it-yourself fodder beets - what you need to consider
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If most housewives simply cannot imagine a kitchen without table beets, then for experienced farmers, fodder beets are a real salvation. So, in farms engaged in breeding cows with high milk productivity, these roots make up almost half of the total volume of succulent feed.
Fodder beets: crop features and soil requirements
Unlike semi-sugar beets and other types of root crops, there are no restrictions when using fodder beets as a milk-producing agent for cows, since it does not cause any harm to animal health.
Fodder beets are especially good for dairy cattle, as they increase milk yield, but other domestic animals, including small dwarf rabbits, happily eat both fodder beet tops and nutritious root crops rich in fiber and dietary fiber.
Video about fodder beets
As a biennial plant, fodder beet in the first season forms a lush rosette of green leaves and a rather large, thickened root, the shape of which can be cylindrical, oval-conical, saccular or spherical. The color of the root crop is not only traditional red and scarlet - there are also white, yellow and orange fodder beets. In the second year, slightly leafy flowering stems with paniculate inflorescences are formed in beets, in which the seeds ripen. Fodder beets are propagated mainly by seeds.
The most productive varieties of fodder beets are those with cylindrical, bag-shaped and elongated cone-shaped roots. And varieties with conical roots of pink, yellow and white are in first place in terms of sugar content.
As a biennial plant, fodder beets form a lush rosette of green leaves in the first season.
Fodder beets, like table beets, are a fairly unpretentious crop, and they are grown in a similar way. Nevertheless, the basic rules and some of the intricacies of the cultivation of fodder beets you need to know if you intend to succeed in growing this crop on your own for your small farm or for pets.
One of the main conditions for a rich harvest of fodder beets is the correct choice of a site for planting. This plant likes loamy, sandy loam, nutrient-rich soil. The crop grows well in floodplain places with a high content of black soil, but even on poor soils, subject to the introduction of suitable fertilizers, fodder beets can also give good yields. But on saline, overly acidic soils and on soils prone to waterlogging, it is unlikely that it will be possible to grow normal root crops.
How to sow fodder beet seeds?
In addition to the structure of the soil, the germination of beet seeds and its further development are also influenced by the timing of sowing, climatic features, the depth of seeding, and sufficient supply of water and oxygen to the sprouts.
One of the main conditions for a rich harvest of fodder beets is the correct choice of a site for planting.
Fodder beet seeds should be sown early enough - as soon as the soil temperature reaches + 7 ° C. Typically, these conditions are in mid-April.
Correct planting of fodder beets:
- Before planting, it is necessary to plow the field in advance and fertilize the soil with mineral fertilizers, wood ash and compost. In this case, the amount of fertilizer for each site is determined individually, based on the structure of the soil.
- The seeds intended for sowing are sorted out and pickled. They can be planted in the ground both without any preliminary preparation, and using growth stimulants, but in any case, you should plant them thoroughly dried, while the soil should be moist.
- When sowing, the seeds should be at a depth of 3 cm, the distance between them should be at least 20-25 cm - do not forget that the roots of fodder beets usually grow very large (some specimens can reach 10-12 kg).
- Also provide for an impressive distance between the rows - about 50-60 cm.
Such an unpretentious culture as fodder beet loves water very much, especially at the initial stages of its development. Timely and frequent watering is very important for proper seed germination in the soil. If you did everything correctly and did not forget to water the beets, then, as soon as it gets warmer, the first soft green sprouts will appear on your field.
Timely and frequent watering is very important for proper seed germination in the soil.
Fodder beet growing technology
Further cultivation of fodder beets is similar to the cultivation of table or sugar beets and does not require any special knowledge from the gardener.
During the growing season:
- do not forget about regular weeding of beets so that weeds do not interfere with their shoots;
- after the appearance of the first two pairs of leaves, it is necessary to thin out excessively thickened plantings, leaving only the largest seedlings at a sufficient distance, otherwise the root crops will interfere with each other's development;
- the soil between the rows must be loosened from time to time to ensure oxygen access to the root system of plants, light loosening is especially important after watering and rains;
- watering the fodder beets should be guided by the weather, the most important is regular watering during the period of intensive growth of the root crop;
- about a month before harvesting, stop watering the beets so that the roots are better adapted for long-term storage and do not rot in the ground;
- for the successful growth of fodder beets, it is advisable to apply fertilizers at least twice (immediately after thinning the seedlings and after another half a month).
The fodder beets must be harvested before the first autumn frosts.
As the fodder beet roots gain weight, the leaves will gradually begin to fade, turn yellow and partially die off. By the degree of yellowing and dying off of the beet tops, you can judge the ripeness of the root crops and the need to start harvesting. However, in some cases, the tops remain green until late autumn, although the roots have already reached technical maturity.
Be careful: the fodder beets must be harvested before the first autumn frosts, otherwise the parts of the roots that are visible above the ground (and in fodder beets, up to two-thirds of the root protrudes above the ground) will freeze and turn out to be unsuitable for storage.
But it is also not worth picking beets too early, because it is in the fall that dry substances accumulate in its roots, and the outflow of nutrients from the leaves to the roots occurs. If by appearance it is difficult to determine whether it is time to dig up root crops or not, be guided by the generally accepted terms - from the end of September to the second decade of October.
Video about growing beets
When growing fodder beets on an industrial scale, harvesting is carried out using potato diggers and potato harvesters. It is more convenient to harvest small plantings by hand, carefully digging in the roots with a shovel or pitchfork.
You can store fodder beets in the same way as dining room - in basements and cellars at the appropriate temperature and humidity.
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Growing fodder beets: the best varieties, planting and care
Rich in carbohydrates, pectin and fiber, as well as many other useful substances, fodder beets are indispensable in the diet of not only dairy cattle, pigs, but also other domestic animals. An unpretentious plant is fruitful, it allows you to use both the root crop and the aboveground part - the tops. It has a positive effect on the increase in milk yield in the winter stall period, strengthens the health of animals. Growing a vegetable and caring for it is not difficult, but it is worth knowing the nuances of the agricultural technology of its cultivation so that the effort, money and time spent will pay off many times with an excellent harvest.
Fodder beet growing technology
The cultivation of fodder beets is in many ways similar to the cultivation of other varieties. However, there are a number of nuances.
In terms of soil fertility, fodder beets are particularly demanding. Prefers slightly acidic or neutral chernozem with a pH of 6.2-7.5. According to the rules of crop rotation, it grows well on lands previously sown with cereals (wheat, rye) or legumes (corn, peas) crops.
Attention! Beets are not planted on the same plot for 2 years in a row.
Preparing for planting, compost or rotted manure, as well as wood ash, are introduced into the soil as fertilizer. Mineral fertilizers containing phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium are welcome.
Beets love loose soil, so before planting, the site should be dug up.
Landing terms and rules
The optimal conditions for planting fodder beets in open ground are usually established in late March - early April.
- Fodder beets are planted in the ground when the soil temperature reaches + 5 ... + 8 ° C.
- It is recommended to pre-treat the soil with herbicides to reduce the emergence of weeds.
- The depth of planting seeds is 3-4 cm. A distance of 40-45 cm is maintained between the rows.
- The soil in the beds should be slightly moist, without a crust - for this, the crops are run-in.
- The first leaves appear in 8-14 days. Seedlings can survive frosts down to -2 ° C.
Reference! In case of early warming, at a daytime temperature of + 15 ... + 20 ° C, crops can sprout 2-3 days after planting.
Agrotechnology of fodder beet does not present difficulties for gardeners of any level of preparedness:
- So that moisture and air circulate normally in the soil, the soil is loosened 48 hours after planting. In the future, it is necessary to regularly loosen the soil between the rows.
- As soon as the first 2 leaves appear, thinning is performed, leaving the strongest and most viable seedlings. The recommended density of fodder beets is no more than 4-5 plants per 1 m2, with a distance of 25 cm between plants. This will ensure healthy root crop growth.
- After thinning, the plants are fed with mineral fertilizers. The procedure is repeated a second time in a month.
- In conditions of insufficient moisture, fodder beets require regular watering. This is especially critical at the time of thickening of the root crop and the growth of young tops.
- Regular weeding is carried out until the beet tops are closed.
Important! The vegetable is not picky about lighting and gives rich yields even in shaded areas.
Diseases and pests
Beets are susceptible to various diseases and pests. To protect the vegetable, prophylaxis is carried out using mineral fertilizers - nitroammofoska and potash. In order to avoid infection with viral and fungal infections, it is recommended to include wood ash in the fertilizer.
Among the most common diseases:
- Corneed - occurs as a result of plant infection with a complex of pathogens, fungi and bacteria in the soil, less often in the seed. As a result, vitreous or brown spots, stripes of tissue necrosis appear on the roots. Soon, the affected seedlings die, not having time to come to the surface of the soil.
- Cercosporosis - a fungal disease manifests itself in the form of small light brown spots of a rounded shape with a red-brown border and a gray velvety bloom on the leaves. The disease is unpleasant in that it affects the tops, provoking the plant to give new shoots, which consume sugar from the root crops.
- Peronosporosis, or downy mildew, which appears as a gray-purple downy bloom on the underside of the leaf. The affected parts of the plant become brittle and die off.
- Powdery mildew differs from peronosporosis in the color of the plaque - it is white, formed on both sides of the leaf.
- Fomoz - large light brown spots on the shoots of the plant and dry rot on the roots.
- Rust. Frequent small convex formations of bright yellow or orange color appear on the leaves.
- Bacterial spot leaves causing yellowing and further - necrosis of the affected organs.
- Mosaic - a virus in which a reticular pattern appears on the leaves interspersed with light green and yellow spots.
Dangerous pests of fodder beet:
- Beet leaf, or legume, aphid damages shoots and carries viral diseases.
- Beet bug sucks the juice from the leaves, leaving behind transparent spots on the tops, then blackening and deformation of the tops. Provokes a plant lagging behind in development.
- Common and gray beet weevils eat lateral roots and damage the root crop, cause developmental disorders, reducing the weight and sugar content of the vegetable.
- Beet fleas eat out small pits and through holes in the leaves, gnaw the apical bud.
- Beet flies, the larvae of which severely damage the tops, lead to its wilting and death.
For pest control, industrial means of protection "Samurai Super", "Bi-58", "Karbofos-500", "Decis Profi" are used.
Harvesting and storage
Signs of ripening vegetables:
- yellowed leaves against the background of the plant's lack of new tops
- reaching the diameter of the root crop, characteristic for a particular variety.
During the period of accumulation of dry substances by the root crop (a month before harvesting), watering is stopped.
It is important to harvest the crop before the first frosts and lingering rains in order to prevent damage to the root crop (this shortens the shelf life of the beets). Depending on the region, the collection is scheduled for early September, October or even November.
Reference! To collect fodder beets, potato diggers, potato harvesters or beet lifters are used. When harvesting by hand, root crops are dug in with a pitchfork.
To ensure longer storage, the tops are removed, and the roots are cleaned of adhering soil. Vegetables are lightly dried and sorted.
Important! Damaged specimens and cut off tops go to animal feed in the first place.
Store beets in piles or other storage facilities with ventilation and maintained at a temperature of 1 to 5 ° C.
Comparison of feed and sugar beets
The two related crops have a lot in common, but there are many differences between fodder and sugar beets.
Comparison of feed and sugar beets:
|Appearance||The fruits are dark, the leaves are shiny.||Differs in a large number of leaves.|
|Root growth||The degree of immersion in the ground depends on the variety.||The fruit is completely in the soil. Has a more powerful root system.|
|Using||Livestock feed. Both root crops and tops are used.||For the production of sugar. Tops and root crops can be used as feed.|
|Structure||It is inferior in energy value.||More sucrose by 20%.|
Growing forage cabbage
For a very long time, forage cabbage has been cultivated in the coastal countries of Europe. In Russia, it has been known about it since the 18th century, but it gained the greatest popularity in the 20-30s. 20th century, in connection with the emergence of successful varieties for cultivation. Fodder cabbage is very productive, and even if you cultivate fodder cabbage and do not use any special techniques, it is capable of producing about 800-900 centners of mass per hectare. With proper care, this figure can increase two to three times.
The maximum yields are obtained from forage cabbage in regions with high air humidity and sufficient rainfall. Acidic soils for planting are excluded, due to the high risks of contracting diseases.Kale is able to withstand temperatures as low as -10-15 degrees without much loss of nutrients.
In the first season of its life, the growing season for cabbage lasts 150-160 days, in the second it is almost half as long.
Preparing the soil
It is necessary to prepare the soil for planting as soon as the predecessors are removed. The most successful in this regard are leguminous and winter crops grown for green fodder. The soil is dug up to the full depth of the plowed layer, fertilized with mineral and organic fertilizers (their composition and quantity depends on the type of soil) and watered if the weather was dry for a long time. Due to the introduction of basic mineral fertilizers, the content of proteins in the green mass increases and the overall yield increases.
Features of growing forage cabbage
Fodder cabbage is grown both with the help of seeds and with the help of seedlings. At the same time, growing with the help of seedlings requires significantly higher costs, although the yield with this method increases significantly.
Seedlings are grown in cold greenhouses on well-fertilized soils. Seedling preparation begins one month before planting in open ground. Seeds are sown in wide rows at a shallow depth. Seedlings are planted in square nests (three to four plants in a nest), or in wide rows, with a distance of 60-70 cm. The sowing time for both seeds and seedlings is the same.
If sowing was carried out by seeds, after two pairs of true leaves appear, it is necessary to thin out the plantings, leaving between plants a small distance of three to four centimeters. Kale is a light-loving plant, it does not tolerate shading, moreover, if there are a lot of weeds on the site, and the plantings grow too densely, the yield will be much less.
Two or three times during the growing season, the crops are loosened between the rows, the weeds are weeded as they appear. During the season, two fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers should be carried out. The first time - with the second inter-row loosening with ammonium nitrate, the second time - with the third.
Harvest the plantings of forage cabbage from the end of October to the end of November, immediately after the green mass has stopped growing. On inferior soils, harvesting is carried out earlier than on more fertile soils. If carried out growing fodder cabbage for silage, it must be cleaned before the onset of stable frosts. See you, friends!
How to increase the yield of beets in the greenhouse?
When growing table beets in a greenhouse, the following features are taken into account:
- The soil. Loamy, sandy loam, non-acidic soils are suitable. Sandy, podzolic and waterlogged soils are not suitable.
- Predecessors. Better to plant after cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Fertilizers. Before planting, organic matter and mineral fertilizers are applied. Manure is not used in greenhouses. For 1 sq. M. take 5 kg of humus and 30 g of superphosphate.
- Seed preparation. Before sowing in the greenhouse, the seeds are calibrated, soaked and allowed to germinate.
The soil is constantly loosened so that there are no lumps. Thanks to proper care, seedlings appear twice as fast. Since beets love moisture, drip irrigation can be done in the greenhouse.
Beets are not a frost-resistant crop, therefore, in the middle lane and in the northern regions, the cultivation of this crop in greenhouses is quite justified. The culture is less sick and does not die from frost, so gardeners get larger yields than in the open field. Roots grown in the greenhouse are larger and more regular in shape.
Suitable varieties for greenhouses:
- Boltardi. Not prone to shooting.
- Burpiz Golden. Differs in good taste.
- Pablo. The variety is early ripening and resistant to shooting.
- Also sowing Red Ball, Detroit, Ataman and Bordeaux.
How to plant beets
Hello dear guests of the site!
Today we'll talk a little about how to plant beets, look after her and when to clean.
Beets are a more moisture-loving plant than, for example, carrots and are more demanding on heat and light. Tilling the soil is similar to tilling the soil for carrots, which is described in the previous article on how to plant carrots.
To speed up the emergence of seedlings, the seeds must first be soaked for a day, since when sown in moist soil with germinated seeds, seedlings appear already on the 5th - 6th day.
Recommended nutrient steeping solutions:
1. In 1 liter of water, dilute 1 tablespoon of ash.
2. In 1 liter of warm water (30 degrees), dilute 2 grams of the "Bud" preparation.
3. In 1 liter of water, dilute 1 teaspoon of the drug "Drop".
4. In 1 liter of water, dilute 1 teaspoon of Agricola-Vegeta
Now let's move on to the beds and prepare the grooves at a distance of 45 - 50 centimeters from each other. The grooves are made with the back of the hoe or shovel. The ground should be loose and fluffy.
After that, you need to slightly moisten the grooves and sow, sprinkling the seeds with loose earth. Embedding depth - 2-3 centimeters.
Beets must be sown when the ground has already warmed up to 8 - 10 degrees. For early consumption, it is sown from April 25 to May 5. For winter storage - from May 10 to 15.
When 3-4 true leaves appear on the beets, it is necessary to carry out the first thinning, leaving 3-5 centimeters between the plants. For the second thinning, I leave 10 - 12 centimeters between the roots.
During the growing season of beets, it is necessary to carry out 5-6 irrigations of 5-8 liters per square meter with the obligatory subsequent loosening of the row spacings and mulching.
The first feeding should be done in the aisles after the first thinning, at the rate of 5 grams of ammonium nitrate, 10 grams of superphosphate, 10 grams of potassium chloride per square meter.
I give the second dressing after closing the leaves of the tops of one row of beets with another. I increase the fertilizer dosage 1.5 times compared to the first feeding.
I harvest beets before the onset of frost. Around the end of August - beginning of September.
Beets can be stored well and are not particularly demanding on storage conditions. It can be stored in bins, boxes, trenches, etc. The best temperature for storing beets is +1 degrees Celsius at a relative humidity of 90 - 95%.
But this video describes a method of planting beets using the seedling method
The article describes how to plant beets in relation to the regions of central Russia and the Middle Volga region. In other zones, planting times, fertilization rates, and harvest times may vary significantly.