What is the secret to growing beets? If you’re looking to add beets to your garden, you may be wondering what the secret is to growing these vibrant vegetables. The good news is that beets are relatively easy to grow if you keep a few things in mind.
To grow, beets need full sun and well-drained soil. They also prefer cooler weather, so if you live in a warm climate, you may want to plant them in the fall or winter. Once they’re ready to harvest, you can either pull them up by the roots or cut the greens off and leave the root in the ground.
If you follow these simple tips, you should have no problem growing healthy and delicious beets!
What month is best to plant beets?
For many gardeners, the best month to plant beets in March. This is because beets are a cool-weather crop and can withstand frost. April is also a good month to plant beets, as long as you give them plenty of water. May is too hot for beets, so they will not grow well if planted during this month.
How long does it take red beets to grow?
If you’re interested in growing your red beets, you may wonder how long they take to grow. On average, it takes about 60 days for red beets to mature and be ready for harvest. However, there are a few things that can affect this timeline.
For example, the weather can play a role in how quickly your red beets grow. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, your beets may mature faster than if you live in an arid climate. Additionally, the type of soil you’re growing in can also impact the growth rate of your red beets. Sandy soil will drain more quickly than clay soil, meaning that your plants will have to work harder to get the moisture they need.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that every garden is different.
How do you grow red beets?
Growing red beets is a great option if you want to add some color to your garden. These vegetables are not only beautiful, but they’re also relatively easy to grow. Here’s what you need to know to get them growing.
Choosing a planting location
Growing beets from seed in the garden or in containers is simple. They require direct sunlight and good soil drainage. Since they are related to Swiss chard and spinach and are prone to similar pest and disease problems, try to grow them somewhere different from those plants.
Support, depth, and spacing
Rows should be spaced about a foot apart, and seeds should be planted 1 to 2 inches apart. Less than half an inch should be covered by the seeds. Thin seedlings to about 4 inches apart once they are 3 to 4 inches tall. No support structure will be required.
Full sun, or at least six hours of direct sunlight most days, is what beets prefer to grow in. They can, however, withstand a little light shade.
The ideal soil is light, fertile, well-draining, and has a pH range of slightly acidic to neutral. Everything that could prevent root growth—including rocks, clay, weeds, and others—should be eliminated. Additionally, boron in the soil is necessary for beets to avoid black heart, a condition that results in malformed leaves and corky black blotches on the roots. You can provide boron by utilizing compost or seaweed extract as a soil amendment.
Every week, provide at least 1 inch of water. Adding mulch can prevent the soil from drying out and heating up.
Temperature and moisture
Although they may withstand a light frost, beets aren’t quite as cold-tolerant as some other cool-season vegetables. Ideal temperatures range from 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as the right soil moisture is kept and there is airflow around the plants to help discourage fungus growth, humidity is also often not a problem.
Beginning around two weeks after the beets emerge, extra feeding will be required if your soil is deficient in organic matter. Use any reputable vegetable fertilizer as directed on the label.
Beets are mainly pollinated by the wind; flowers do not appear until the plant has completed its life cycle in the second year. Pollination is not a concern because most gardeners grow beets as annuals rather than biennials.
Facts about Red Beets
Red beets are one of the earliest vegetables and one of the most nutritious crops for the home gardener. Beets, or beetroots, are a root crop; both underground beet and top greens can be used.
Both are high in vitamins A and C, fiber, and other minerals, such as potassium and calcium, and the leaves contain more iron than spinach.
Although the most common beets are the red varieties, beets can come in various colors, including white, yellow, orange, and a candy cane striped variety called “Chioggia.” They all taste similar, and all provide the same health benefits.
Beets are the sweetest vegetable grown in the home garden. Commercially, more sugar is produced from red beets than sugar cane in the United States.
While perhaps not the most popular vegetable, beets can be used in several recipes. Some claim oven-baked retains the most robust flavor and sweetness.
They can be canned and pickled, made into chips, and are the basis for Russian borscht soup. However, raw beets do not freeze well, so young beets should be cooked before being frozen.
The leaves can be cooked like spinach or other greens or eaten raw in salads. Because the leaf is high in magnesium, about 25 percent, the extras are great additions to the compost pile.
Companion planting is growing plants together, which are beneficial to each other. For example, red beets grow well together with bush beans but not runner or pole varieties.
Lettuce, onions, and kohlrabi are other early spring crops to plant near beets. Beets also enjoy growing close to the brassicas family of vegetables and garlic.
Beet seeds, technically a fruit, are somewhat large and easy to work with in the garden or containers.
Beets are generally not sold as nursery plants. The red beet seed is a collection of two or more seeds that will sprout within a week or depending on weather conditions and soil.
Some growers will soak the seeds overnight before planting to encourage more rapid germination.
The soil, with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8, should be well drained and loose, or loamy, with compost or other organic matter added.
Beets should be planted about an inch deep and about an inch apart in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. After the seeds sprout and grow, it is usually necessary to begin thinning.
Beets grow best in cool weather and can survive a light frost. Therefore, they should be planted where the area gets as much sunlight as possible with adequate moisture.
As the beets develop, a layer of organic mulch will help control the moisture in the soil.
Beets should be planted at two weeks intervals for a good supply during the growing season. However, most beet varieties can be harvested in about 55 days.
Beets are relatively pest and disease free, although they can be attacked by aphids and flea beetles which can be controlled with organic sprays or companion plantings. Dark spots on the beets can be an indication of a soil deficiency.
When the beets reach two inches in diameter, the tender skin can be left on while cooking. There is no need to peel them. However, beets can be harvested anytime later, and they will still retain the same flavor and sweetness.
Red beets are colorful additions to the home organic vegetable garden with multiple uses. They are one of the healthiest vegetables to grow and one of the easiest and sweetest.