Growing Beets

Beets prefer full sun & cool weather but will do well in a wide range of conditions. Air temperatures of 60°F – 65°are ideal for beet plant growth and development. Beets will withstand a light frost

Beets prefer loose, well-drained, sandy loam soils rich in organic matter.

Beet seeds are actually a cluster of seeds and will produce more than one plant. Sow beet seeds 1/2″ deep, 2″-4″ apart within rows spaced at 12″-18″ apart. Do not thin. The tighter spacing is encouraged if you want smaller beets and/or just the beet greens.

Beets need consistent moisture during early development. Over watering can cause damping-off, beet leaves to turn red and plants to stop growing for a time.

Fertilize every three weeks with a diluted organic fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen. On the other hand, if you’re after lush greens rather than tasty roots, use an organic fertilizer with an even balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

The greens are even more nutritious than the roots. The tops or greens, when young, are excellent in salads and when the plant is older, can be cooked

Beets and greens can be harvested at any time. Beet greens are best when four to 6″ tall. Beets are generally most tender after growing for 40 to 50 days. Full-grown beets can be the size of a tennis ball depending upon variety. Cylindrical beets will grow to be about 5″ long and 2″ in diameter.

Cool immediately after harvest. Clean the beets of dirt and cool. Topped beets stored at 32°F will last between 4 to 6 months

Beet greens are a very perishable and should be stored close to 32°. At this temperature, they can be held for 10 to 14 days.

 

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