Beets are an excellent addition to the home garden. They produce an extremely nutritious and plentiful yield that grows fast. They are a cold weather crop that can be grown in late spring and again in the fall. In warmer regions they can be cultivated as a winter crop. They also make good container plants and can be grown indoors. Here’s how to grow beets with a few simple guidelines to help your beets flourish.
WHEN TO PLANT BEETS
Beets need 45 to 65 days to harvest. They are best if planted about 3 weeks before the last frost of winter or 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost of the fall.
WHERE TO PLANT
Beets can be grown in your outdoor garden or in container pots. Choose a spot that gets full sun in cooler regions or partial shade in hot climates.
Beets need loose, well-worked soil. Till thoroughly before planting sowing beet seeds. Remove any rocks, roots or other obstructions that may impede growth. The soil should be loose, moist and enriched with organic compost before planting. Soil pH should be between 6.0 and 6.8.
SOWING BEET SEEDS
Beet seeds come in clusters the size of small peas. Sow each cluster about 1 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Thin the seedlings to 3 inches apart once they reach 3 inches tall. Rows can be spaced about 12 to 18 inches apart.
Beets do fine in containers. Be sure they have good soil depth, 12 inches is usually sufficient. Grow 6 beets per 12” container and they should thrive.
Water evenly and regularly. Don’t let the soil dry out but avoid letting it get soggy.
Beets benefit from a little feeding before seeding and at midseason. Use a compost tea or organic fertilizer.
Most beets are ready for harvest 40 to 80 days after planting the seeds. They should be about 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Simply lift them gently from the soil. You can also harvest the beet leaves as a healthy, delicious addition to any salad or use them as you would use spinach. They will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 weeks.
TIPS & ADVICE
Avoid planting beets with pole beans or shade crops. They do well with onions and kohlrabi.
Weed carefully to prevent root competition.
Have tips on how to grow beets? Let us know in the comments section below!