Often, gardeners who hope to maximize the yield of their outdoor vegetable crop will start seedlings indoors.Starting beets indoors to protect the young plants would seem to allow you to wait until the perfect time to transfer them outside.This goes for starting carrots indoors or for similar vegetables, and the yield, which grows from the root, can be easy to disturb during the relocation.With beets specifically, there are safe ways to transplant them from an indoor start to an outdoor garden, but you’ll have to be prepared and very careful.The easiest way to start a vegetable garden is to visit your local nursery and select a few young plants that are already growing in separate pots.The downside to this method is that you are at the mercy of your local shops in terms of quality, and you’re trusting that the nursery has taken care of growing the plants so they don’t carry any diseases.You’re also limited in variety because you can only grow what they’re offering for sale, but this remains the easiest way to start a garden.This is sometimes preferable for plants that don’t do well with transplanting, which can include root vegetables, like beets, carrots or radishes.Don’t wait too long to transplant them after that second set of leaves comes in; the older they are, the easier it will be to damage the roots.Beets usually don’t need a strong fertilizer, but they’ll do better with a layer of compost blended into the top 6 inches of the soil.Not all seed pods will sprout or grow well, but this ensures your garden will only have strong and healthy beet plants.You’ll want to plant the seedlings at a depth close to what they're used to, so prepare holes about 3 inches deep in your garden. .
How to Grow Beets: a 3 Season Crop
Beta vulgaris As summer winds to a close, the weather starts to cool off and the gardener’s thoughts shift toward other things.The past month or so has been all about staying on top of weeds, keeping pests away, watering your garden during dry periods, and harvesting some of your well-earned veggie bounty.But as any seasoned vegetable gardener knows, summer crops that move out of the soil and into the kitchen call for some new additions in your growing space.Before you know it, you’re weeding, prepping, and amending fresh beds to make room for yet another round of crops suitable for the autumn.There’s one vibrant veggie that always gets me stoked to plant in the cool seasons of spring or early fall: the beet!A root veggie notorious for that earthy taste you either love or hate, they also provide leafy spinach-like greens.In the modern APG III taxonomical system they are all classed within the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae) .Historical records show that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and even Babylonians cultivated this taper-like wild root into the bulbous, delicious produce varieties that we have today.Soil should be well-draining, fertile, loamy, and amended with plenty of compost and nitrogen for a successful crop.Don’t skimp on the phosphorus or potassium either – these plant nutrients are vital for healthy root growth.Beets are cool-weather crops, basking and flourishing especially in mild temperatures of around 60°F – typical of spring or fall.In zones with harsh winters, avoid planting them outdoors too early in the spring or too late in the fall.These veggies, along with carrots, spinach, and parsnips, do best when direct seeded (i.e. planted straight into a garden space).It works best if containers are deep and if seedlings are small – we’ll get to some transplanting tips later in this article.I’ve had experiences of this myself: laying down a ton of beet seed and expecting a huge turnout, only to be disappointed when just a couple little sprouts push their way up.Luckily, gardeners have a couple tricks to help you get the most plentiful crop, and an optimal germination rate.Scarification is a botanical term for assisting with the opening of a casing or shell around a seed, so it may germinate more easily.I’m no champion of this method (because it takes a bit more time and effort – call me lazy), but give it a try if it’s up your alley.After your preferred scarifying method (or after you’ve elected to skip it, if you’re feeling confident), it’s time to do the deed and get your seeds in the ground.If you elect to take a chance and sow beet seeds indoors in containers for transplant, you can warm the soil with a heating pad or another method, if you like.In the fall, don’t plant seeds outdoors less than about 50 days before the first expected hard frost in your growing zone.With biointensive or square foot gardening methods, follow the suggested directions or patterns for planting beets, and just make sure to keep that one-inch distance.Water thoroughly after planting so the topsoil has a good soak, but don’t go overboard and continue until the ground is waterlogged.If you’re a weird, brave gardening soul like me who has some bizarre methods up her sleeve, you might want to give transplanting beet seedlings a try.Similarly, some of my friends who are young community growers and farmers have also had transplanting success using these methods, even with some of the beet’s close relatives like spinach and chard (all of which, along with beets, are famous for hating it when you transplant them – tending to dither, wither, and die).Every gardener knows that starting seeds indoors in containers for later transplant adds a little extra legwork, but it can be well worth the effort with certain other vegetables.When you sow seeds straight into the ground, there is always the risk that some won’t germinate – and when that happens, you wind up with a patchy, scraggly-looking bed that doesn’t look quite as bountiful as you would have hoped.What’s more, you’ll choose to plant only successful seedlings, ridding yourself of any chance of having that patchy, only partially bountiful beet bed.Every single space only takes an already robust seedling, leaving no holes or partial beds that look incomplete and bare.Plus, I have observed that protecting small seedlings indoors greatly increases their ability to withstand common beet-loving pests that especially savor the chance to get at your little guys early, including rabbits, deer, and flea beetles.You can give them a little jumpstart this way with some extra growth indoors – and voila, you have a thick, lush bed of beets!Getting beets seeded and planted is the hardest part of the process, and the remainder of their life cycle is an easy ride for most gardeners.You will begin to notice root growth at the very base of the leaf stalks, right above the dirt, about three to four weeks after seeding.At one to four inches tall, most weeds (even if they are tiny themselves) can rapidly overtake, overshadow, and sap nutrients from your little guys, crowding them out and injuring their growth potential.In the bigger spaces between plantings, such as between rows, you can use a larger hoe to get rid of unwelcome weeds.Once they are about five to six inches tall, I give them one last close hand-weeding, and weed the rest of the bed with a larger hoe.If you have planted a close-spaced crop of beets that hasn’t been thinned yet, the foliage will grow large enough to shade out and deter weeds from outcompeting them.Some may offer a counterpoint to this, describing their confidence and experience in watering their beets everyday, and I won’t argue with that.But many experienced gardeners will tell you that excessive watering of your beets will actually take away from full root development.An abundance of water can cause the plant to redirect energies to its leaves – which isn’t a bad thing either, since beet greens are definitely delicious.It is important to avoid soaking your soil every day, as this can backfire and lead to issues of rot and disease, both in the bulb and the greens.Regardless of your choice, each variety needs the same basic conditions to grow – though forage or sugar beets will require a little more patience, thanks to their slower maturation rates.This is a classic heirloom variety that dates to 1892 and was originally called ‘Detroit Dark Red Turnip.’.The mild flavor is great for adding a crunch to salads and they are equally delicious when roasted, boiled, or used in soups or stews.‘Ruby Queen’ is an ideal variety to grow in poor soils, and it produces globe-like two to three-inch roots.Whether it’s pests or disease, you’ll want to watch out for and protect your crop against these top threats to your patch.If the leaves of your plants (especially when young) are covered with numerous tiny, almost pinprick-sized holes, this could indicate flea beetle damage.While this little guy tends to be more attracted to brassicas (like kale, cabbage, and broccoli), you may sometimes find them on your beets.An adorable green caterpillar, these chew large holes in the foliage, and can completely defoliate a plant.Floating row covers during the day can protect plants from butterflies that lay their eggs, and prevent the next generation of destructive cabbage loopers from munching away at your crop.These typically grey and black nickel-sized beetles (though they can come in other colors, too) will eat very large holes in the foliage, sometimes only leaving only the veins behind.Your best bet is removing them directly by hand and killing them, but wear gloves – these insects release a chemical that can cause blisters on the skin.This 100 percent organic insecticide is made of wheat bran coated with Nosema locustae spores.If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that rabbits love beet greens – more than carrots, lettuce, or any other veggie.Putting a fence around your garden is a good first resort, but if the bunny-raiding becomes a real problem, check out our full article on the best rabbit-repelling tips and tricks.Unfortunately, deer also tend to find beets (as well as chard and spinach) irresistible, and often make a beeline for these veggies.Plant diseases caused by a variety of different fungi, bacteria, water molds, and viruses can attack your crop.Certain insects can spread this virus through your crop, most notably the leafhopper, a tiny little cute grasshopper-like bug.Veins of leaves will darken, plant growth will be stunted, and leaf edges may also curl upward in the presence of this virus.There’s no treatment for this virus, if you see signs of infection, remove and dispose of all plant material (do not place it on the compost pile).Water in the middle of the day if conditions are hot and humid, and use of anti-fungal sprays may be effective – organic preferred.Here’s to hoping all that watering, weeding, and pest-battling yields you successful, happy, and mature plants – all to get you to that last and best step: harvest time!With most types of beets, you will want to harvest the whole plant right around the maturity date (depending on the variety – see above), which will give you the biggest roots.If you’re impatient for a spring or fall salad or two, you can harvest some small greens here and there, even before the first little nubby showings of a beetroot.Of course, just make sure not to harvest all of the leaves – the plants need them to survive and grow those little roots into larger, tastier bulbs.You can cut greens from your beetroots as you use them, and save your roots for later by keeping them in their plastic bag in storage.Beetroots will store well in a dry area in a root cellar as well, preferably in a food-grade wax cardboard box.Sometimes, the outside skin of beets will lose their supple quality over time, feeling a bit softer and mushier to the touch (kind of like a ripe avocado, though firmer).If you’ve only ever enjoyed store beets from a can (if you could even call it that), then you don’t know the vegetable in its full glory – especially when grown and harvested straight from the garden.Kids and adults alike will love these nutritious wraps, perfect for a quick lunch.When they see this gorgeous chocolate cake with its colorful cream cheese frosting, you’re sure to get compliments – it’s totally Instagram-worthy.Plant Type: Annual Root Crop Maintenance: Moderate Native To: Mediterranean naturalized world-wide Tolerance Drought Hardiness (USDA Zone): 2-11 Soil Type: Rich loam Season: Spring, summer, fall, and in warmer climates, winter Soil pH: 6.5-7.5 Exposure: Full sun Soil Drainage: Well-draining Time to Maturity: 30-35 days for greens 50-65 days for roots Companion Planting: Cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, cauliflower, broccoli Spacing: When direct sowing, plant a 1 inch intervals and then thin to 3 inches when plants are 2-3 inches tall Avoid Planting With: Pole beans, members of the mustard family Planting Depth: 1/4 - 1/2 inch Family: Amaranthaceae Height: 1 to 3 feet Genus: Beta Spread: 10 feet or more Species: Beta vulgaris Water Needs: Moderate Sub Species: Beta vulgaris subsp.The best part of growing this ruby-red gem: it’s delicious and healthy, if you learn the right ways to cook and eat it! .
Which seeds should I start indoors?
The following seeds typically transplant well, and can, therefore, be started indoors, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension:.The following vegetables can be started indoors, but must be carefully transplanted:.Just like vegetables, annual flower seeds can be started indoors, too.Purdue University Extension provides a general list of annuals that can be seeded indoors, such as pansies, violets, asters and marigolds.Your hardiness zone will determine when you need to start indoor seeding and when you can transplant seedlings outside.Clemson Cooperative Extension recommends not starting the following vegetables indoors:.The roots of these vegetables can be disturbed during transplanting, causing hindered growth.Here are some indoor seed starting tips from University of Minnesota Extension:.Farm and Dairy online columnist Ivory Harlow offers two indoor seed-starting projects: newspaper seed-starting containers and DIY potting medium.The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers suggested seed starting dates on their website.If you’re not sure whether starting seeds indoors is a task you need to take on, consider Harlow’s advice for being able to choose from more varieties and also for saving money on growing plants.The University of Maryland Extension says that starting seeds indoors can also increase your garden’s output, decreases pest and weather impact on plants and makes thinning out plants unnecessary. .
10 Vegetables You Should Start Indoors
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.The Clemson Cooperative Extension notes these two vegetables are easy to transplant, so when the time comes to move them outside, they’ll be hearty enough to survive cooler soil temperatures.The University of California Master Gardener Program notes tomatoes are a good choice for starting inside because they can be transplanted with few complications.Try starting a variety of lettuces inside and you’ll be eating salads from the garden long before your neighbors!If you have access to fluorescent lights, the University of Maryland Extension suggests starting beets indoors.The extension notes other good options for growing indoors with the help of fluorescent lights are kale, onions, leeks and beans.The National Gardening Association says celery can be a challenging plant since it has such a long growing period—130 to 140 days of mostly cool weather.Whether you’re growing them for salads or for pickling, start cucumber seeds inside about three weeks before setting them outdoors.While you shouldn’t be in a rush to plant sweet corn in the garden, you can get a jump-start on the season by starting the seeds indoors. .
How to Plant and Grow Beets
Sow beets in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before the last average frost date in spring.Beetroots can be red, orange, gold, yellow, white, and even concentrically ringed roots.Grow beets in full sun or partial shade in warm regions.Plant beets in well-worked loose soil rich in organic matter.Be sure to remove all stones and clods from planting beds so as not to impede or split growing roots.Add plenty of aged compost to growing beds in advance of planting; this will increase the yield.Alternatively, add 3 cups (700ml) of dried seaweed per 100 square feet (9 sq m).Carefully sprinkle 1 to 1.5 tablespoons (6-9g) of household borax along 100 feet (30m) of row and work it into the soil.Sow beets in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before the last average frost date in spring.In hot-summer regions, stop sowing 60 days before full summer heat arrives.When direct sowing during summer, keep the soil constantly moist or germination will be poor.Late plantings that mature through winter will be the sweetest because the roots store sugars during cool weather.Beets are grown from seed clusters about the size of a small pea.Because beet seeds will not germinate in heavy clay soil, transplants are a better choice.Lack of water will cause roots to become stunted, stringy, and tough.Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of seeding.To conserve soil moisture and keep down weeds, water the beets well and then put down a layer of mulch between the rows at least 4 inches (10cm) deep.A hoe or trowel can nick the developing beetroots and expose them to disease.Thin beets as soon as they are about 3 inches (7.6cm) tall to avoid crowding which can hinder root growth.If young plants flower and go to seed it is likely caused by temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or lack of moisture.Adjust the planting time to avoid cold exposure; keep the soil consistently moist.Black spots or brown hearts in roots can be caused by a lack of boron in the soil.Leafminers can tunnel inside the leaf surface leaving gray streaks.Young beet greens can be cut for salads about one month after planting.Beets will keep for 1 to 3 months in damp sawdust in a cold, moist place.For long-term storage, you can pack beets in containers of moist sand or peat and keep them in an unheated basement or garage (40-50°F/4.5-10°C is ideal).In cold-winter regions, you can store beets in an outdoor pit lined with dry leaves and straw.‘Chioggia’ has sweet roots with rings of red and white when sliced; use the greens in place of spinach; grow from seed in 54 days.‘Cylindra’ has long dark red roots which are ideal for pickling; ready for harvest 60 days from seed.‘Red Ace’ is fast growing with sweet roots and tasty greens; it is resistant to leaf spot; ready 50 days from seed. .
Beets Me: Starting Seeds Indoors Step by Step
Step One: Purchase several flats, companion clear plastic cover domes, and interior plastic dividers.As we are planting tomatoes in this demonstration, and since I don’t want to “plant up” – or transplant the tomatoes into larger pots before setting them out into the garden – I’ve chosen 2″ squares, 32 to a flat, which will allow the seedlings to stay in place until its time to go outside.Step Two: When the flat has drained, place two or three seeds in each container segment, on the surface of the soil.Step Three: Next LIGHTLY cover the surface with soil-less mix.Afterward, water the flat GENTLY to moisten the top, being careful not to disturb the surface.Once the seedlings sprout, remove the domes, keep the flats evenly moist, and thin to one plant per segment, gradually acclimating the plants to outdoor light and temperatures (preferably in a cold frame) before placing out in the garden. .
How Do I Grow Beets? - joe gardener®
Beets are a cold-weather crop that I look forward to growing in both spring and fall.They also grow quite fast, so you can enjoy beets before many other crops.If you want to grow beets in your garden, here’s everything you need to know.Where, When & How to Plant Beets.Amend the soil prior to planting time with compost to improve its tilth and fertility.Beets enjoy warm days and cool nights.If you practice succession planting, you will have a few tries within the same year to get the timing down.For a fall crop, direct sow beet seeds 10 to 12 weeks before the first frost.The seeds will germinate in about five days.You don’t need to break the cluster apart, but you will need to thin the seedlings.Once they germinate and grow to 3 or 4 inches tall, thin the seedlings to one plant every 3 to 4 inches.(Enjoy the thinned plants as beet greens.).The mulch will also keep the sun off the tops of the beetroots so they don’t turn green, which negatively affects flavor.Mixing up the varieties that you grow will add color to the garden and will also result in different harvest times for beets that were planted at the same time.Staggered harvests are great for enjoying fresh beets for weeks on end.The root diameter is 2 to 3 inches at maturity.The 2-inch roots are round and semi-flat.It’s ready for harvest in 55 days, and the green tops with bright red stems are excellent beet greens.Subeto is an organic, smooth-skinned red beet that matures in 50 days.The stems are purple and the leaves are green.The round taproot is mature at 1.5 inches.Beets’ taproots grow high, sticking well out of the ground, so water gently to avoid washing the soil away.But if there is an abundance of nitrogen, the leaves will grow large at the expense of the root.If beet pests or diseases do become a problem, practice crop rotation to reduce recurrences.Cutworms, of which there are several species, feed on roots and stems.If cutworms are a known problem in your garden, turn up the first couple of inches of soil two weeks before planting time to expose the larvae to birds, which will reduce the number of overwintering pests significantly.You can make this easier on yourself by deeply watering the soil the day before.Damaged beets won’t store well, so eat those the day they are picked.Episode 094: How to Start and Care for Seedlings Indoors: My Steps for Success.Episode 122: Fall Vegetable Garden Success: Best Plants and Tips for Cool-Season Growing.joegardener blog: How Do I Grow Tomatoes?How Do I Grow Beets?joegardenerTV YouTube: How to Protect Cool-Season Crops in Hot Weather.joegardenerTV YouTube: How to Start Beet Seeds in Containers for Better Results.joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Three popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; and seed starting!joegardener Online Gardening Academy Beginning Gardener Fundamentals: Essential principles to know to create a thriving garden.At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, Wild Alaskan Seafood Box and TerraThrive. .