Beets are a cool weather loving root vegetable, perfect for pickling or serving in side dishes. Beets don’t require a great deal of space to grow, so they are perfect for gardeners with little space as well. If you are considering growing beets, take a look below at tips for growing beets in your garden. With a little work and effort, you will be pulling beets out of the ground in no time!
Tips for Growing Beets in Your Garden
How to plant beet seeds:
Beets are another quick maturing seed, so you really don’t need to worry about starting them indoors. Whether you decide to start them indoors or wish to sow them directly outside, softening the hard seed covering is key. This will help speed up the maturity process. To do this, soak the seeds in a bowl of water overnight so the shell is softened and the seed swells.
Once you are ready to sow, choose a spot that gets six hours of sun and has well drained, rich soil. You want to plant seeds 1 inch deep, and 3-4 inches apart. When planting multiple rows you will want a decent foot in between each row so you can easily access and harvest the plants.
How to care for beet seedlings:
Beet seedlings will need to be thinned out. You can do this around 4 weeks into the growing process. Just remove your skinnier seedlings and keep the hardier ones. This will allow your remaining seedlings to thrive and grow a decent size.
Beets rely on nutrients in the soil to thrive, one of which is phosphorous. Most soil blends don’t have ample amounts of phosphorous in it already, so you can add bone meal to your soil several weeks into your planting. This will help enrich the soil and best feed the seedlings. Besides phosphorous, watering the beets with 1 inch of water per week will keep the soil moist and the roots fed.
General tips for producing a good beet crop:
You will find that beets do not attract many pests. Should you see any, pick them off by hand and use a light netting to cover your plants. This should do the trick.
Beets grow quickly when their soil is kept moist, but not soggy. Be vigilant about watering the beets and not allowing the soil to dry out.
When and how to harvest beets:
The leaves of beets can be harvested at anytime. Some people enjoy these in salads. If you want to harvest the root of the beet, wait until the outer leaves are about 6 inches long. This will help you determine if the buried root is ready without pulling the entire beet out.
To harvest your beet, gently loosen the soil around it and pull. As mentioned, you can serve the leaves or cut the beet from the leaves at ½ an inch down from the head.
To serve your beets and their leaves, try them fresh in salads. You can also pickle beets for a treat you can enjoy all year long. However you decide to serve them, you will find growing them to be a cinch. Give these tips for growing beets in your garden a try and enjoy a healthy crop you can be proud of.
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Todd Hiser says
If you harvest the greens only, will the beet root continue to grow?
Alea Milham says
Yes, but don’t harvest all of the greens – leave some for the plant.
Alan tate says
What is the best way to cook the tops.
Todd Hiser says
I like to put about 1/4 cup of water in a pan, add beet greens, and cook on medium-high for about 5-7 minutes, or until greens are reduced. Turn heat down to simmer, add sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, add a couple of tbsp. of white cooking wine, and simmer another 5 or 10 minutes. My wife, who claimed not to like beet greens, stood there at the stove and ate them all!
can you replant the beet if it is too small?
Yes you can if you gently lift the plant, then carefully re plant in loosened soil water carefully, and if possible keep the newly planted seedling shaded for two or three days ,if the weather is too hot. Treat like any transplant. The tops of beets are very good for you too.
I have replanted small plantings from both carrots & beets. I’ve had great success in doing this. Just make sure there’s a good amount of roots on the immature planting. Happy gardening 🤗