Here are 4 root vegetables you can try growing in containers this summer
The long roots of carrots grow strong and straight in stone-free compost and their feathery leaves also look decorative in containers. Choose pots or growing bags that are at least 10-inches wide and deep, and ensure drainage is good.
Sow seeds every few weeks from early spring until late-summer. When the seedlings have their first divided leaves, thin them to about 2-inches apart, either by pulling them up between your fingers or snipping off the plants with scissors at soil level. Avoid carrot fly attacks by raising containers off the ground or creating a barrier. Harvest carrots from 12-weeks after sowing by pulling them gently from the compost.
Not all turnips are white with purple tops. There are sweet tiny golden turnips and creamy, bright red turnips too. The really nice thing is they are all easy to grow and fast to mature. You could be eating turnips within 2-month’s time.
To grow, choose deep planters, at least 12-inches deep and wide. You can grow 4-5 plants in such a planter or experiment with the spacing. Keep your turnip container in full-sun and water often to keep the soil slightly moist, use all-purpose organic fertilizer or compost to feed it.
Beets are considered a root crop, but the leaves are edible too. Probably the hardest thing about growing beets is thinning the plants. The seeds form in clusters and if you don't break the clusters apart, they sprout all crowded together. The good-news is that you can eat any plants you thin. The tender greens are a great addition to salads and stir fries.
Beets grow quickly and taste best when harvested small and young. You can pull some and re-seed, for a continual harvest. For such an earthy looking vegetable, they are surprisingly sweet when roasted.
While potatoes are not root-crops, they grow under similar conditions and so they are included in this list. Potatoes are a stem tuber. There is an incredible diversity of potatoes and the only way to sample them all is to grow them yourself. They are easily started from pieces for actual potato and grow fairly easily, although there are several pests vying for their attention.
Potatoes are easy to grow in containers. You'll need a large container, like a half barrel. Just add a layer of soil, a layer of seed potato pieces and then cover with an additional layer of soil. As the plants grow, continue covering them with soil and potatoes will sprout all along the buried-stems. Tip it over and harvesting is a breeze.
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