Monday, April 4, 2011

Beets- Beet Pulp- Growing Beets

There is a growing trend of buying beet pulp to feed to livestock.  I don't really understand this trend.  Beets are extremely easy to grow either inside or outside.  They are truly almost bombproof, do well in partial sun/shade. 

Beets do well in a sunny window inside the home.  I get a cardboard box- the cases that Powerade/soups come on work really well- put the box in a trashbag (the 13 gallon inside bags work well) then toss a whole bunch of potting soil (about a gallon) onto the bag/cardboard flat.  Plant seeds, water, put in a sunny window and wait.  In about a month you will be able to start harvesting your beets for either yourself or your animals.  I prefer this method over rubbermaid containers due to the flats being fairly shallow and wide/long.  The plastic containers would work well too.  Just make sure to water sparingly. 

Even easier would be to plant a raised bed/container right next to your animals pen.  Then practice the pull and place method- pull up a plant or two and place into your animals cage/pen.   This is what I do with Mangel beets.  Mangel beets can be grown inside, but they get so large that I prefer to grow them outside.  They should be planted in an enclosure as deer/rabbits/etc LOVE mangels, at least they do mine.  Don't feed mangels till after they've gone through a good frost as it makes them sweeter. 

I feed 1 reg beet per rabbit per day or 1 mangel beet (after frosts) per communal pen per day.  Baby bunnies don't get beets till they are at least a month old, and even then I don't add the popples to the rations list.  So they will only get one or two bites of beet per day- not enough to upset their tummies.

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