Starting Beets and Other Vegetables.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.Many gardeners choose to start plants from seeds; they’ll sow seeds into specifically made seed trays and wait for plants to germinate, sprout and grow until they’re ready to move outside.This is sometimes preferable for plants that don’t do well with transplanting, which can include root vegetables, like beets, carrots or radishes.Start with the seed pods rather than direct seed.You can also directly sow beet seeds into a container and grow them that way.When sowing seeds, use one to two seed pods per expected plant (per container in a seed tray or in a row with holes at least 1 inch apart).Choose a seed tray or container where the young plants have at least 3 inches of soil depth to establish themselves.Transplanting Beet Seedlings.Not all seed pods will sprout or grow well, but this ensures your garden will only have strong and healthy beet plants.Don’t disturb any of the soil at its roots. .

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.We link to vendors to help you find relevant products.Chard is grown for its above ground edible greens rather than its root.vulgaris, while chard is another variety of beet selected and bred for its leaves rather than its roots: B. vulgaris subsp.These veggies, along with carrots, spinach, and parsnips, do best when direct seeded (i.e.

planted straight into a garden space).In some cases, transplanting has been known to work.It works best if containers are deep and if seedlings are small – we’ll get to some transplanting tips later in this article.), each seed is actually a fruit cluster of encased multiple seeds, usually about two or three.So even if you feel you are planting just a few beet seeds in total, you’re really sowing a twice or three times as many.And this is a common complaint among gardeners when planting these roots.I have actually soaked beet seeds in a jar of room temperature water overnight for full 12 hours, and then seeded them in the morning.Scarification is a botanical term for assisting with the opening of a casing or shell around a seed, so it may germinate more easily.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.Take note that the ideal temperature for beet seed germination is 61°F.In the fall, don’t plant seeds outdoors less than about 50 days before the first expected hard frost in your growing zone.After working your soil, amending it with compost or green manure, and prepping the ideal bed for your future beets, place one or two seeds together into holes or ruts about 1/2 to 1/4 inches deep, and at least one inch away from each seed planting.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.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.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.Plant in Seed Trays.Seed your beets in a seed tray with individual containers, each container having around three inches of soil depth.Before seedlings have produced their first true leaves beyond their cotyledons (the botanical term for their first non-true leaves, which will look long and slender comparatively), get them ready for transplant.Watering before removing them from the container helps.As you watch them grow and mature, you’ll notice their true leaves coming on – small at first, then getting bigger over the weeks to come.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.As the beets enlarge with time, just a few weeds may grow to tower above your plants.One of the nicest things about beets is that you don’t need to water them much.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 whether the water comes from the sky or my spray nozzle – or if it’s wet or dry season – I always allow the soil to completely dry out before their next watering.The best you can do it take this as a lesson, and make sure you give your next crop even more moisture.Think you know which variety of beet you want to try?This is a classic heirloom variety that dates to 1892 and was originally called ‘Detroit Dark Red Turnip.’.It works well for raw eating, roasting, pickling, or for canning.Dark green leaves with red stems and veins make this one of the prettier varieties.It takes just 35 days from seed to harvest the greens and the roots are ready at about 60 days.‘Avalanche’ is a beet that doesn’t look like a beet to the untrained eye and is a perfect way to introduce this vegetable to those children and adults who are convinced that they don’t like them.‘Ruby Queen’ is an ideal variety to grow in poor soils, and it produces globe-like two to three-inch roots.The greens grow to just 10 to 12 inches tall, and roots can be harvested after 55 days.Whether it’s pests or disease, you’ll want to watch out for and protect your crop against these top threats to your patch.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.If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that rabbits love beet greens – more than carrots, lettuce, or any other veggie.Unfortunately, deer also tend to find beets (as well as chard and spinach) irresistible, and often make a beeline for these veggies.Be sure to check out our full guide on identifying and controlling beet pests.Read more damping off prevention tips here.In some cases, the color can engulf the entire leaf.Try removing and tossing out (not composting) affected leaves without touching the good leaves.Make sure you thin your beets if they are planted closely together, as crowded plants increase the chances of spreading.Water in the middle of the day if conditions are hot and humid, and use of anti-fungal sprays may be effective – organic preferred.Harvesting Roots.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.Leave it in the ground, and the root could grow larger, it’s true; but the larger most beets grow, the woodier and less edible they may become, too.If you planted beets close together, you can also thin out every other beet while they’re still small, leaving the rest in your bed to get bigger.Small beets are called baby beets, and are quite delicious.Harvesting Greens.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.Or, you can harvest larger, more mature leaves and cook them in much the same way as spinach.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.Read more about how to harvest beet greens here.If you have pulled whole plants out of your garden and know you’re going to be eating them up soon, you can store the whole plants – roots and greens intact – in a closed container or sealed-up plastic bag in your fridge.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.You’ll find the recipe on Foodal.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.vulgaris Pests & Diseases: Flea beetles, cabbage loopers, blister beetles, grasshoppers, rabbits, deer, damping off, curly top virus, cercospora leaf spot.Beets are wonderful veggies to grow in your garden.If it’s the middle of spring or fall and the first hard frost is over two months out, give them a try!Almost all varieties have similar growing requirements (except for the sugar type), and are very simple to get started.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!Do you grow beets?And for more information about growing beets in your garden, check out the following guides next: How to Grow Beets in Containers. .

Transplanting vs. Direct Seeding

Snapdragons, nasturtiums, spinach, beets, carrots, and peas are examples of plants that like to start and finish in the same place, mostly due to having a delicate root system.You can browse seed catalogs and choose from the infinite options, rather than being confined to growing whatever transplants your local farmer or garden center has to offer. .

Beet Transplanting Tips

To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Beginning gardeners will appreciate how easy it is to re-plant a beet seedling, as well as the high success rate of their survival.In many cases, your beets are safe to transplant when the seedlings have at least two sets of true leaves.TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Wait to transplant until plants are at least 2 inches tall.".Beets are versatile plants, and one that you can begin inside the home before transplanting to larger pots outside.When you have enough growth, use a pencil, popsicle stick, or butter knife to gently tease the other seedlings apart.TIP: Susan recommends, "Cover new plants with newspaper for a few days to protect them from hot sun.". .

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.If slugs are a problem, wait until the plants are a few inches tall before mulching.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. .

Tips for Thinning Beets

Beet seedlings have to be thinned properly for a good beet plant.Thinning seedlings helps maximize crop production and ensures a healthy development and growth of the plants.A small bunch of beet seedlings emerge when the beet seeds germinate.There are two ways to prevent this, you can either dig the bunch and transplant the seedlings or take off the unwanted seedlings.You can enjoy the taste of the small beets and leave the rest in garden to grow into their full size.Leave a space of six inches between the seedlings and refill the planting hole with soil. .

Can you transplant beetroot thinnings?

Beetroot seedlings respond well to being transplanted, so use them to pad out any gaps in the row where germination had been patchy.Unlike most root crops, beets transplant well when grown and planted properly.Set them cut-side down in a dish of water and leave in a sunny spot in your house.The latter is the preferred method because it results in less root disturbance to the seedlings you keep, but I usually just pull the extras out. .

Thinning Seedlings – Vermont Organic Farm

Thinning Seedlings.In general, you should thin your root crops to one seedling every few inches. .


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