Sow beetroot seeds outdoors from mid – April to late June, into a shallow drill, 1cm deep. Space seeds 10cm apart, with 30cm between rows. Being a root crop, it does best if the soil is free of large stones, and prefers light to fairly heavy soil.
Beets can again be planted in late summer or early autumn 6 to 8 weeks before the first average frost in autumn. Grow beets as a winter crop in mild-winter regions. Beets require 45 to 65 days to reach harvest.
Beets are an annual crop that is in the same plant family as spinach and chard. This crop yields a beautiful two-for-one harvest: Nutritious greens as well as nutrient dense roots. This makes them an efficient way to grow more produce with less work and with less space!
Direct sow late April to mid-July. Beets will not produce roots if planted when the soil is too cold. Seeds will germinate in 5-12 days, depending on soil temperature. Optimal soil temperature: 10-26°C (50-80°F).
Parsnips, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, beetroot and swedes are all able to be left in the ground over winter, usually without losing any of your crops to rot, disease, or pest infestations. If beets are left in the ground throughout the winter, they will begin producing spring greens very early.
Depending on variety, beetroot is ready to be picked when the roots are between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball – this is usually 90 days after sowing. To harvest, gently hold the tops and lift while levering under the root with a hand fork.
Beets should not be grown near pole beans or field mustard, but a few good companions for beets are: Onions. Beans. Lettuce. Cabbages. Radishes. Catnip.
Using a hoe handle, stick or similar object, make a furrow ½ inch deep down the center of the ridge (Fig. 4). Each beet seed produces 2 to 6 plants. Space the seeds 1 to 2 inches apart in the row.
Absolutely, growing beets in containers is possible. Almost anything that can be grown in the garden plot can be grown in a container, given the proper nutrients and growing conditions.
Semi-hardy vegetables are those which can survive repeated light frosts in the 30–32˚F range. These include beets, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collards, green onions, potatoes, Bibb and leaf lettuce, mustard, parsnips, radishes, salsify, spinach, and Swiss chard.
The roots can be harvested at any size that suits you, from ‘baby’ beets up to chunky tennis ball size. Don’t leave them in the ground for too long though, as they can become tough and woody. Don’t cut the leaves off or trim the roots, or they will ‘bleed’ and make a terrible mess!
Of all the mistakes that are made growing beets, failing to thin seedlings is probably the most common. And crowded beets aren’t happy beets — you ‘ll get plenty of beet tops, but only spindly roots beneath the soil. You can allow your seedlings to get about 5 inches tall before you thin.
Exposure – Beet seeds need full sun and cool temperatures to thrive. Beets are a cool season crop and planted in spring and fall. Full sun is considered to be 6 hours plus of UV light. This means even if it is cloudy, on a clear day that area of your garden would be in full sun for 6 or more hours.
For a fall harvest, sow beet seeds from mid-summer through early fall, starting about 4 to 6 weeks before your first fall frost. Winter crops are a definite possibility in Zone 9 and warmer. Plant beets in early to late fall for a winter harvest.
21 – 0 -0 is the best fertilizer for beets, it is a popular early spring fertilizer for leafy vegetable crops – that’s assuming you want the greens as well as the roots. If you are growing them exclusively for the beet roots use a fertilizer slightly lower in Nitrogen. See – Understanding Fertilizer Labels.