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 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. .
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 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.
Just sow the seeds and let the plants grow for about 6-8 weeks.You can harvest the roots at any time between midsummer and late fall.Beets should be planted from seed, directly into the garden.To keep the soil consistently moist during germination, cover the area with row cover until the seedlings break the soil surface.For baby beets, harvest when the root is no more than 1 or 2 inches in diameter.Cook the leaves as well as the roots — all parts of the plant are delicious. .
How to Grow Beets in Containers
Home-pickled beets taste fantastic in all sorts of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, and the recipe I use is this one, from our sister site Foodal.Since most of us aren’t lucky enough to have adorable root cellars in our backyards, we have to resort to purchasing store-bought veggies at some point during the year.You can grow beets outdoors in containers through fall, winter, and spring if you have a greenhouse or a cold frame and you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 7-10.For reference, when it’s -10°F outside here in the Anchorage area of Alaska, I tend to set my house’s heater at 67°F – perfect for growing beets!Beets need a pot that’s ten inches deep at the very least, so the roots have plenty of room to grow and stretch.It smells funky – kind of like a horse barn – but it’s safe for use around pets and people, which is important to me as the parent of both a child and a dog.A couple days later, I found fuzzy white mold – saprophytic fungus – all over the surface of the soil.When you sprinkle organic fertilizer onto the surface of your potting mix without working it in, the fungi in the soil start feeding on the nutrients.So instead of freaking out, just take a fork or trowel and gently mix the moldy goodness into the soil.While you can technically start beets in seedling trays, the delicate roots can get blunted or damaged easily if you aren’t extremely careful when transplanting.You’ll want to do this just two to three weeks before the average last frost date, when the weather warms up enough for your beets to survive outdoors.Beetroot seeds strike an uncanny resemblance to a handful of nutritious cereal.To help with germination, soak the pods in warm water for two to three hours before you sow.And with beets, dragging a 10-inch-deep container all over the place would be even harder.I solved the problem by getting this little galvanized watering can from Amazon.Make sure to use a similar method to water your freshly planted seeds so they don’t move around.Thin the seedlings about a week after germination by cutting the weaker stems at their base with a pair of sharp, clean scissors.For indoor growers, placing your container on a milk crate, chair, or table next to a sunny window can work to help them germinate and grow.If you’re like me and live in a location where it tends to be pretty dark (and cold) in the winter, you’ll need a grow light.While beets will grow leafy greens even without full sun, they won’t develop the juicy roots they’re known for.The grow light described above features a handy timer function that allows you to keep it on for three, nine, or twelve-hour periods.Red Ace Hybrid This extra cold-hardy, lightly sweet root produces smaller globes than other varieties, making it perfect for a container crop.Moulin Rouge This beautiful dark-red beet also produces smaller fruit, but it’s no less tasty than larger varieties.For more information on combating creepy crawlies that are attacking your crop, be sure to check out our guide to common beet pests.Plus, the soil in containers tends to be less humid and dry out more quickly than the earth does, which helps keep fungal diseases away.But keep an eye out for cercospora leaf spot, one of the most common fungal diseases to plague this plant.It appears as patchy spots on the foliage, eventually spreading over the entire leaf area.Taking two to four leaves from the outer portion of the plant will help with this while allowing the root to keep growing well – plus you’ll get a tasty treat for your salad.In addition, avoid watering the actual leaves of the beet so that they don’t get damp and prone to fungal diseases.Around six to eight weeks after the germination of your seedlings – check your seed packet for maturity date – you’ll have leafy green tops with juicy bulbs waiting just below the surface of the soil.Another added bonus is that container-grown beets are often the most perfectly shaped roots of all, since it’s easy to give them exactly the type of growing conditions they need. .