Beet Seeds

Asked October 24, 2018, 11:04 AM EDT

Hello, we are three students from Jonathan Dayton High School. We are participating in the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (approved experiments that will be sent up to the ISS and tested) and we need information on Dark Red Detroit Beets. We are testing the effects of microgravity on beets, so we were wondering if you could send information on what beet seeds are made up of, how many seeds usually do not germinate properly, and what the possible effects could be. Thank you for you time and advice. Sincerely -Alyssa, Sofia, Braeh







Maryland vegetables beets in space

1 Response

Interesting project.
There is a federal seed law that lists minimum standards for germination rates for crops.The minimum germination for beet seed is 65%.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title7-vol3/pdf/CFR-2012-title7-vol3-part201.pdf

(page 324)

This is a bit complicated for beet because beet flowers fuse together resulting in seed clusters (balls) of 2-8 individual seeds (multigerm seeds). Gardeners and farmers may rub the seeds clusters prior to planting to get the seeds to separate. You can also purchase "monogerm" beet seed (one seed per fruit ball).

Story of monogerm beet seeds- https://www.starherald.com/farm_ranch/the-story-of-monogerm-sugar-beet-seed/article_80061002-06c1-54...

Detroit Dark Red is not a monogerm type of beet. Solo and Moneta are beet cultivars with the monogerm characteristic.

Please let us know how microgravity affects beet seeds in space. Good luck. jt