Monday, October 21, 2013

How to Grow Beets

My wife is more of a fan of eating beets then I am, which is why I continue to grow the many beet varieties available. Combined with beets’ ease of growing, this root crop can be a staple in anyone’s home vegetable garden.

Not only is the root edible (the part everyone calls the actual beet), but beet greens are a tasty treat as well. If you weren’t sure what to do with beet greens, be sure to check out the article 7 Things to do with Beet Greens.

If your growing season is extremely short, you can start your beet seeds indoors about two weeks prior to the last frost in your area. However, direct sowing your beet seeds after your final frost should suffice.

Plant your beet seeds in a pH neutral soil about a half inch deep. Your seeds will germinate better when the soil temperature is 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 Celsius). If it is still cool in your area, and you have decided to direct sow, try a cold frame, or hoop houses to increase the soil’s temperature.

Be sure to space out your beets no less than four inches, especially when it comes to the varieties where the diameter of the beet root itself will be two inches or larger. Give your seeds a good amount of water in the early stages and then level the watering off to a more moderate amount as the beets continue to grow.

Beets do not require a lot of nitrogen. In fact, beets do not do well when exposed to a lot of nitrogen, so be sure to use a fertilizer to feed your beets that is low in nitrogen but high in phosphorous and potassium. There are plenty of organic varieties on the market.

Beets make for great companions to beans, members of the cabbage family and lettuce.

Additional Resources on How to Grow Beets
Beets: From Seed to Harvest

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