Yum yum yum! The “Grow your Own” trend continues to be popular and our friends at MayFord Seed have added two great options to our shelves. Berry sweet news indeed is the new Strawberry seed, a first in South Africa. Eat from leaf to root – the new beetroot variety Ruby Velvet gives you red spinach like leaves and when the root is ready a yummy red beetroot.
Sow and Grow Strawberries
MayFord Seeds brings Strawberry Seeds and not just any strawberry. This is a high quality, world class delicious strawberry variety you may expect to be served at Wimbledon, of course accompanied by whipped cream and a glass of Pimm’s! This is not the traditional strawberry trailing plant you might be thinking of! Strawberry Florian forms a compact plant of just 35cm with bright pink flowers and is a Japanese style delicious full aromatic flavour strawberry.
Sown in spring and harvest the delicious fruit from early summer right through until next autumn.
How to grow strawberries from seed
Our top tip is to start them in seedling trays with Germination Mix which is formulated to make germination easier. It is a fine seed and the trick is to not plant it but to rather sow onto the soil and then water them in with a fine sprinkle. Once sown keep them warm. If the soil in the tray gets too cold it really slows down germination. Keep them indoors through early spring or in a greenhouse to help. As soon as temperatures stabilise in spring they can go outside. Keep the trays moist at all times and once the leave have started to show feed them with an organic fertiliser Nitrosol or Wondersol will help them get strong and sturdy.
Plant out into the garden when the young plants have three or four true leaves.
Eat the Beet from Leaf to root
The new release of this variety of beetroot has us excited. Ruby Velvet is a dual purpose beetroot with blood red leaves that are delicious when picked as a baby leaf for mixed salads and in stir fries. The full size leaves are broader than other beetroot varieties and have a mild, sweet flavour, when steamed or boiled like spinach. If grown just for its leaves, plants can be closer together. The root is medium-sized and round. The leaves can be harvested within 35 days as baby leaves and the root within 60 days. When picked the young root tastes super sweet and earthy.
Why not plant some yellow beetroot to mix up the harvest with Touchstone Gold from MayFord. As a vibrant orange-red ball root on the exterior it has a rich gold yellow centre. Combined with its striking light green, golden-veined tops to contrast and sweet, mild flavour, this beet is sure to catch your eye on the dinner plate. Very sweet, with a milder taste compared to red beets, Touchstone Gold will not stain in the way standard red beet does
Where to grow Beetroot
Beetroot prefer to be grown in moist, fertile soil in a sunny spot, but will also thrive in raised beds or pots. Sow seeds directly into the soil, no need to start off in trays.
Dig over the area and rake level. Adding BioOcean organic fertiliser to the bed before sowing will give your crop a boost.
Dig a 2cm-deep row in your bed and sow two seeds every 10cm. Cover over with soil and water well.
When the seedlings have grown to about 2cm in height remove those that are struggling so that the strongest can flourish.
For a continuous supply of beetroot, rather than a lot ready for harvest at once, you can continue to sow beetroot seeds throughout the summer.