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. .
How to Grow Beets
Better yet, the classic beet's red coloring comes from betalains — a combination of the purple and yellow pigments that deter the formation of cancer-causing free radicals."The betalain pigments are potent antioxidants," says Irwin Goldman, Ph.D., a beet geneticist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.Beetroots' rich reds, golden yellows, creamy whites, and stunning stripes will add a brilliant splash of seasonal color to your autumn meals.And if you allow a little of the foliage to continue growing, you get plump roots that you can store and eat after cold weather sets in.Beets are adapted to grow in cool temperatures, making them a perfect vegetable to plant both in spring and late summer.Sow the seeds in full sun for the best roots; if you don't have a sunny spot in your garden, plant them anyway — beets still produce a lot of leafy greens in partial shade.Add a bit of wood ash, if handy, because its rich supply of potassium enhances root growth.Spread a layer of grass clippings, shredded leaves, or straw around your beet patch to help keep the moisture consistent — that's essential for uniform root growth.Get a pot that's at least 12 inches deep and you can grow beets on your deck, suggests Lance Frazon of John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds in Bantam, Connecticut.You can plant beet seeds directly in your garden about eight to 10 weeks before the first expected frost and harvest them in time for the holidays.Beets do transplant surprisingly easily for a root crop, so you can germinate the seeds inside and move them to the garden as soon as the soil dries out in spring.For instance, you can prevent diseases by rotating crops of beets, spinach, and Swiss chard with other types of vegetables.To keep leaf miners and other pests away, simply place row covers over your beets during the insects' busiest time between May and late June.When harvesting larger beets, leave 1 to 2 inches of the stems attached to prevent any staining or "bleeding.".Heirloom Favorite: Detroit Dark Red, a classic dating to 1892, is still one of the best for sweet roots and tasty greens.Cold-Tolerant: Bull's Blood is an heirloom with gorgeous dark maroon-red leaves that provide a great splash of color for salads.Asian style: "I like to stir-fry them or steam them with a little honey glaze," says Radish Bruce, of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in Virginia.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .
How to Harvest Beets
Once you have a patch growing, how do you determine when they’re ready to harvest?What’s more, there are so many easy ways to preserve them for later use, you won’t have to worry about growing more than you can eat all at once!Harvesting Beets.Expect to harvest your crop around 50-70 days after planting.If the greens are beginning to look wilted – and you know the crop is near its time to harvest – the root is likely passing its prime and should be picked right away.When you have decided it’s time to harvest, use a garden fork or knife to gently loosen the soil around each plant, being careful not to accidentally slice into any of the roots.Tip: If you water your crop a couple of days before you plan to harvest, it will help the plants to come out of the soil more easily.Preserving Beets.The greens will last a few days in the refrigerator.Remember to separate the greens from the roots, leaving an inch or two of stem protruding from the roots.When you want to eat some, just pull them out from the top layer.Be sure to set aside a few to eat fresh!It’s best to cook beets prior to freezing, as the raw roots tend to become grainy in the freezer.Once chopped or sliced to the desired size, spread them out on a baking tray and flash freeze them, to prevent them from sticking together.When you are ready to eat them, just remove the beets from the freezer and allow to defrost before cooking.Fermenting beets is incredibly easy.All you need to do is chop up the raw, peeled roots and place them in a jar or fermenting crock.Pour just enough brine into the crock or jar, cover the vegetables completely, and place a weight on top.Tighten the lid and keep your crock or jar at room temperature in a dark spot in the kitchen for about a week or so, or until bubbles to appear on the surface.The perfect temperature range for beneficial bacteria to grow is 65-78°F.It will be ready when the flavor becomes salty and a bit sour.Recipes and Cooking Ideas.No matter how you prepare them, beets will always add a bit of beauty and a flash of color to your meal!One of my favorite ways to preserve beets is by pickling them.It makes a delicious addition to sandwiches and salads, too.Incredibly healthy, refreshing, and delicious, this recipe from Foodal will surely provide an energetic start to your day.Last but certainly not least, don’t forget about those nutritious greens!You can cook and eat them as you would any other type of leafy green.What’s your favorite way to preserve and prepare these colorful root vegetables? .
When to Harvest Beets So They Are Just Right
Beets grow quickly and will be ready to harvest in less than two months.You can eat the beetroot leaves and stems too.When to Harvest Beets.After 7 – 8 weeks, there’s no right or wrong time to pick a beet as long as you see at least part of the beet growing toward the surface of the soil.As they grow, the tops of the roots protrude from the soil.You will see the beet on the surface of the soil.After this time, you can harvest it.Like all plants, beets will have different Days to Maturity (DTM).Others, such as Early Wonder and Detroit Supreme, are ready closer to 60 days.Some gardeners pick them early because smaller beetroots have a more robust flavor.Depending on the types of beets you grow, you can leave some in the ground for up to 4 months (12 weeks).As the beets stay in the ground longer, they will continue to mature and grow larger.If you have several beet plants growing, it’s best to cultivate them at different times to see what size you prefer.Otherwise, they can grow to be 2 – 3″ for mature beets.Depending on the variety you plant, beets will grow to be different sizes:.Cylindra: Grows like a cylinder, more like a carrot; 6 – 9 inches long; as they grow, they can fill out like a potato.Harvesting Beet Greens.Can You Pick Beet Greens Before the Root?You can pick beet greens before the root.Aim to harvest the leaves when they are 6 inches in length, especially if you will eat them raw.Picking Beet Greens and Beetroots at the Same Time.But try cooking or sautéing them, especially if they are large leaves, over 6 inches.Depending on the variety you plant, the green leaves and red stalks and stems grow to varying heights.If you harvest the beet the same time you harvest the greens, the greens will grow large.Harvesting Beets.At the end of this stage, which is about 1.5 months into the beet growth cycle, you can start harvesting small beets and young leafy tops.Of course you are ready to enjoy your beet harvest!If you test your soil and it’s too acidic, try mixing the soil with lime.Are Your Beets Ready for Harvesting?You can even try planting a new batch every couple of weeks in the early spring and fall so that you can enjoy fresh beets at the size of your liking for a longer period. .
Like most vegetables, beets prefer growing in full sun and they like to get about 1" of water each week.Beets are cold tolerant, so they can be planted in early spring, several weeks before the last frost date.If you want the most food for the garden space, wait until the root has filled out to several inches in diameter.Depending on the variety, most beets will still be tender and flavorful, even when the root measures 4 or 5 inches across.Early season crops such as lettuce and peas can be replaced by a midsummer planting of beets.Gently brush off any soil, put the beets into a plastic bag (do not seal it up), and store them in your refrigerator crisper. .
How to Plant and Grow Beets
Continue succession plantings every 3 weeks until temperatures reach 80°F (26°C).A rosette of large edible leaves sprouts from the root; green leaves can have red, yellow, or white veins.Planting Beets.Add plenty of aged compost to growing beds in advance of planting; this will increase the yield.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 seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost; harden off and transplant outside 4 weeks later.Continue succession plantings every 3 weeks until temperatures reach 80°F (26°C).Beets Planting Time for Autumn Harvest.Beets Planting for Winter Harvest.Planting and Spacing Beets.Beets are grown from seed clusters about the size of a small pea.Use small scissors to thin successful seedlings to 4 to 6 inches (10-15cm) apart when seedlings are 3 inches tall.Alternatively, you can gently separate young seedlings and replant the extra seedlings in a row nearby.Space rows 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) apart.Add thinned seedlings to salads.As beetroots grow, the roots can push themselves out of the ground, so hill up soil around roots as necessary.If you start seed indoors, sow one seed cluster per peat pot and thin seedlings to one plant per pot when the first true leaves emerge.Container Growing Beets.Do not let the soil dry out.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.Young Plants Go to Seed.Beet Root Problems.Beet pests and disease help: Beet Growing Problems: Troubleshooting.Beets will reach harvestable size–1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.6cm) in diameter–40 to 80 days after sowing.In cold-winter regions, you can store beets in an outdoor pit lined with dry leaves and straw.Beet Varieties to Grow.‘Cylindra’ has long dark red roots which are ideal for pickling; ready for harvest 60 days from seed.‘Lutz Green Leaf’ is a good choice for winter storage; it has a dark red root and tasty greens; ready 70 to 80 days from seed sowing.Beets, beet greens, beetroot. .
Growing and Harvesting Beets Year-Round
Follow this guide for the best way to grow beets in all seasons, companion planting tips, and more.Interestingly, they are also related to common edible weeds such as goosefoot, lamb’s quarters, and pigweed.This crop yields a beautiful two-for-one harvest: Nutritious greens as well as nutrient dense roots.A cool-season vegetable, they grow best in the spring and fall seasons, but can be nurtured through winter and summer as well with a little extra care.I was able to grow 80 pounds of vegetables by focusing on shade-friendly root and leaf crops (like beets and carrots) in my forest garden.Two weeks before planting I loosen the soil about six to eight inches deep with a digging fork in my no-till garden.Gourmet Blend Beet Seeds: Enjoy this beautiful combo of ‘Chioggia’, ‘Detroit Dark Red’, and ‘Golden Boy’!In my hardiness zone 6a garden, I begin sowing around mid-March and continue through the end of August.This crop, like many root vegetables, does not tolerate transplanting very well, so your best bet is to sow it directly in the garden.Once the seedlings have grown to about four to five inches high, mulch in between the rows to help retain moisture and keep weeds down.Companion plants assist each other in growing well, and Carrots Love Tomatoes (CLT) is the classic guide on the topic.But take caution: While many of the recommended plant combinations are supported by science, others appear to be old wives’ tales.When harvesting a row/block of beets, blend in some compost soil, aged manure, or worm castings, and then sow that row/block again.You can sow beets four weeks earlier than normal in the spring when using a cold frame.Beets are hardy to around 29 degrees unprotected, so if you don’t have a cold frame, you can start sowing them about two weeks before your spring frost date.Used together, row covers and cold frames can help you grow beets down to 15-18 degrees F, allowing you to harvest almost year-round, especially if you mulch well.Beets are most often afflicted by fungal related diseases such as leaf spot and downy mildew.To reduce the chances of fungal infections, thin seedlings to allow for good air flow.If your garden area is typically waterlogged with heavy soil, raised beds may be your best chance for success.Line your garden with fragrant, anti-fungal herbs or mulch with them to help prevent a fungal outbreak.Cut the greens about one inch above the root top and store them separately at around 32 degrees F with 90-95% humidity.For example, grate fresh beets over a salad for a pop of color and nutrition without affecting the taste (seriously!This root crop is a really unique and easy vegetable to grow, and a good way to add more nutrition to your homegrown and home-cooked meals. .
How to grow an amazing crop of fall beets in your garden
If I asked you for a list of your favorite vegetables to eat, beets probably wouldn’t make an appearance in the top five.And with good reason – most people grew up eating slimy and bitter grocery store canned beets.(If you were one of the lucky ones, like many of my neighbors in Wisconsin, maybe you were treated to your grandma’s canned pickled beets instead.I think my mom was scarred by the aforementioned canned beets growing up, so we never saw one on our dinner table.If you thought of dark nights, warm ovens, and cozy winter dishes you’re not alone!Make sure you’re watering your newly seeded garden bed 1-2 times a day (morning and evening) until germination.Luckily, beets are quick to germinate in warm soil and should be poking through within a week.To achieve this you’ll need to pluck out or cut off at the soil level every beet that isn’t 2-3 inches from the one next to it.I save all of my beet thinnings in a jar in the fridge and we use them in our lunch wraps and sandwiches.I highly recommend keeping your entire garden mulched at all times, unless you’re waiting for seeds to germinate.But, plant growth slows down in the fall as the days get shorter, so conventional wisdom says add about a week to this number.The great thing about fall growing is that the cooler weather is like natural refrigeration.They’re frost hardy, so they don’t mind the colder nights of fall and early winter.Beets are incredibly easy to store fresh for long periods of time.You can store your fall beets in your fridge for use in savory recipes all winter long with a few easy steps.Using this method I’ve successfully stored fresh beets in my fridge until the following spring.One of the benefits of growing your own food is the opportunity to plant things you can’t get (or are really expensive) at the grocery store.Did you know that beets are one of 30 different vegetables you can plant in your fall garden to extend the season?Every year I harvest a huge cooler full of vegetables to cook up for Thanksgiving dinner, even though I live in Wisconsin.Learn how you can grow a cold weather garden, too, by checking out my Masterclass below.The key to having more fresh food right outside your door for more months of the year is to extend your garden season.And if you do it right, you can be harvesting delicious veggies for up to 10 months of the year, even if you live in a northern climate!In 25 different videos and accompanying worksheets, checklists, and calendars, I distill my years of trial and error down to just the essentials you need to know to help you plant and harvest from a robust cold weather garden. .
Give Beets a Chance: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Beets
Beets are a hassle-free vegetable to grow!Before planting your seeds, make sure the soil is properly watered.It’s critical to thin out the seedlings once they start to grow so they are not too close together.Water the ground a few days before harvest to loosen up the soil.Once pulled, beets generally last 5-7 days, so make sure you know how you’re going to use them.Beets can be steamed, pickled, juiced, or used in dessert recipes for an added sweetness! .