How Long Does Beets Grow
Edward R. Forte
October 18, 2021
Sow beets in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before the last average frost date in spring.Beetroots can be red, orange, gold, yellow, white, and even concentrically ringed roots.Grow beets in full sun or partial shade in warm regions.Plant beets in well-worked loose soil rich in organic matter.Be sure to remove all stones and clods from planting beds so as not to impede or split growing roots.Add plenty of aged compost to growing beds in advance of planting; this will increase the yield.Alternatively, add 3 cups (700ml) of dried seaweed per 100 square feet (9 sq m).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 beets in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before the last average frost date in spring.In hot-summer regions, stop sowing 60 days before full summer heat arrives.When direct sowing during summer, keep the soil constantly moist or germination will be poor.Late plantings that mature through winter will be the sweetest because the roots store sugars during cool weather.Because beet seeds will not germinate in heavy clay soil, transplants are a better choice.Lack of water will cause roots to become stunted, stringy, and tough.Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of seeding.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.A hoe or trowel can nick the developing beetroots and expose them to disease.Thin beets as soon as they are about 3 inches (7.6cm) tall to avoid crowding which can hinder root growth.If young plants flower and go to seed it is likely caused by temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or lack of moisture.Adjust the planting time to avoid cold exposure; keep the soil consistently moist.Black spots or brown hearts in roots can be caused by a lack of boron in the soil.Leafminers can tunnel inside the leaf surface leaving gray streaks.Young beet greens can be cut for salads about one month after planting.Beets will keep for 1 to 3 months in damp sawdust in a cold, moist place.For long-term storage, you can pack beets in containers of moist sand or peat and keep them in an unheated basement or garage (40-50°F/4.5-10°C is ideal).In cold-winter regions, you can store beets in an outdoor pit lined with dry leaves and straw.‘Chioggia’ has sweet roots with rings of red and white when sliced; use the greens in place of spinach; grow from seed in 54 days.‘Cylindra’ has long dark red roots which are ideal for pickling; ready for harvest 60 days from seed.‘Red Ace’ is fast growing with sweet roots and tasty greens; it is resistant to leaf spot; ready 50 days from seed. .
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.Before you know it, you’re weeding, prepping, and amending fresh beds to make room for yet another round of crops suitable for the autumn.There’s one vibrant veggie that always gets me stoked to plant in the cool seasons of spring or early fall: the beet!A root veggie notorious for that earthy taste you either love or hate, they also provide leafy spinach-like greens.In the modern APG III taxonomical system they are all classed within the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae) .Historical records show that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and even Babylonians cultivated this taper-like wild root into the bulbous, delicious produce varieties that we have today.Soil should be well-draining, fertile, loamy, and amended with plenty of compost and nitrogen for a successful crop.Don’t skimp on the phosphorus or potassium either – these plant nutrients are vital for healthy root growth.Beets are cool-weather crops, basking and flourishing especially in mild temperatures of around 60°F – typical of spring or fall.In zones with harsh winters, avoid planting them outdoors too early in the spring or too late in the fall.These veggies, along with carrots, spinach, and parsnips, do best when direct seeded (i.e. planted straight into a garden space).It works best if containers are deep and if seedlings are small – we’ll get to some transplanting tips later in this article.I’ve had experiences of this myself: laying down a ton of beet seed and expecting a huge turnout, only to be disappointed when just a couple little sprouts push their way up.Luckily, gardeners have a couple tricks to help you get the most plentiful crop, and an optimal germination rate.Scarification is a botanical term for assisting with the opening of a casing or shell around a seed, so it may germinate more easily.I’m no champion of this method (because it takes a bit more time and effort – call me lazy), but give it a try if it’s up your alley.After your preferred scarifying method (or after you’ve elected to skip it, if you’re feeling confident), it’s time to do the deed and get your seeds in the ground.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.In the fall, don’t plant seeds outdoors less than about 50 days before the first expected hard frost in your growing zone.With biointensive or square foot gardening methods, follow the suggested directions or patterns for planting beets, and just make sure to keep that one-inch distance.Water thoroughly after planting so the topsoil has a good soak, but don’t go overboard and continue until the ground is waterlogged.If you’re a weird, brave gardening soul like me who has some bizarre methods up her sleeve, you might want to give transplanting beet seedlings a try.Similarly, some of my friends who are young community growers and farmers have also had transplanting success using these methods, even with some of the beet’s close relatives like spinach and chard (all of which, along with beets, are famous for hating it when you transplant them – tending to dither, wither, and die).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.When you sow seeds straight into the ground, there is always the risk that some won’t germinate – and when that happens, you wind up with a patchy, scraggly-looking bed that doesn’t look quite as bountiful as you would have hoped.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.Every single space only takes an already robust seedling, leaving no holes or partial beds that look incomplete and bare.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.You can give them a little jumpstart this way with some extra growth indoors – and voila, you have a thick, lush bed of beets!Getting beets seeded and planted is the hardest part of the process, and the remainder of their life cycle is an easy ride for most gardeners.You will begin to notice root growth at the very base of the leaf stalks, right above the dirt, about three to four weeks after seeding.At one to four inches tall, most weeds (even if they are tiny themselves) can rapidly overtake, overshadow, and sap nutrients from your little guys, crowding them out and injuring their growth potential.In the bigger spaces between plantings, such as between rows, you can use a larger hoe to get rid of unwelcome weeds.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.Some may offer a counterpoint to this, describing their confidence and experience in watering their beets everyday, and I won’t argue with that.But many experienced gardeners will tell you that excessive watering of your beets will actually take away from full root development.An abundance of water can cause the plant to redirect energies to its leaves – which isn’t a bad thing either, since beet greens are definitely delicious.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 your choice, each variety needs the same basic conditions to grow – though forage or sugar beets will require a little more patience, thanks to their slower maturation rates.This is a classic heirloom variety that dates to 1892 and was originally called ‘Detroit Dark Red Turnip.’.The mild flavor is great for adding a crunch to salads and they are equally delicious when roasted, boiled, or used in soups or stews.‘Ruby Queen’ is an ideal variety to grow in poor soils, and it produces globe-like two to three-inch roots.Whether it’s pests or disease, you’ll want to watch out for and protect your crop against these top threats to your patch.If the leaves of your plants (especially when young) are covered with numerous tiny, almost pinprick-sized holes, this could indicate flea beetle damage.While this little guy tends to be more attracted to brassicas (like kale, cabbage, and broccoli), you may sometimes find them on your beets.An adorable green caterpillar, these chew large holes in the foliage, and can completely defoliate a plant.Floating row covers during the day can protect plants from butterflies that lay their eggs, and prevent the next generation of destructive cabbage loopers from munching away at your crop.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.Your best bet is removing them directly by hand and killing them, but wear gloves – these insects release a chemical that can cause blisters on the skin.This 100 percent organic insecticide is made of wheat bran coated with Nosema locustae spores.If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that rabbits love beet greens – more than carrots, lettuce, or any other veggie.Putting a fence around your garden is a good first resort, but if the bunny-raiding becomes a real problem, check out our full article on the best rabbit-repelling tips and tricks.Unfortunately, deer also tend to find beets (as well as chard and spinach) irresistible, and often make a beeline for these veggies.Plant diseases caused by a variety of different fungi, bacteria, water molds, and viruses can attack your crop.Certain insects can spread this virus through your crop, most notably the leafhopper, a tiny little cute grasshopper-like bug.Veins of leaves will darken, plant growth will be stunted, and leaf edges may also curl upward in the presence of this virus.There’s no treatment for this virus, if you see signs of infection, remove and dispose of all plant material (do not place it on the compost pile).Water in the middle of the day if conditions are hot and humid, and use of anti-fungal sprays may be effective – organic preferred.Here’s to hoping all that watering, weeding, and pest-battling yields you successful, happy, and mature plants – all to get you to that last and best step: harvest time!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.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.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.You can cut greens from your beetroots as you use them, and save your roots for later by keeping them in their plastic bag in storage.Beetroots will store well in a dry area in a root cellar as well, preferably in a food-grade wax cardboard box.Sometimes, the outside skin of beets will lose their supple quality over time, feeling a bit softer and mushier to the touch (kind of like a ripe avocado, though firmer).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.Kids and adults alike will love these nutritious wraps, perfect for a quick lunch.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.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! .
How Long Does it Take for Growing Red Beet Seeds to Germinate
Beet seeds are large and crinkled, easy to sow in cool garden soil.A biennial vegetable that is usually harvested only when a couple of months old with a plump, tender, sweet root, the beet (Beta vulgaris) is native to Europe.Soaking seeds for 30 minutes in water before planting hastens sprouting slightly.Sow beet seeds in a sunny location in the garden in crumbly, fertile soil enriched with organic matter.While cool temperatures are best for growing beets, so is proper seed planting depth.A common gardener's error with planting beets is sowing the wrong time of year. .
Growing Beets from Seed
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
How to Plant Beets.When to Plant.Beets are easy to grow from seed in the ground or in containers.They need a sunny spot with good soil drainage.The seeds should only be about 1/2 inch deep.When seedlings reach 3 to 4 inches tall, thin them to around 4 inches apart.Soil.Provide at least 1 inch of water every week.Any good vegetable fertilizer will do, following label instructions.As most gardeners grow beets as annuals, not biennials, pollination is not a factor.'Detroit Dark Red' is great for fresh eating or canning and pickling.While both are round and typically red or purple in color, beets are generally much larger than radishes.You can start harvesting beet greens once the plants reach around 3 to 4 inches tall.Be sure to leave some leaves on the plants, as they’re necessary for root development.How to Grow Beets in Pots.And container growth is a good option if you don't have the garden space or the right soil conditions to successfully grow beets.The pot should be at least 12 inches deep and 12 to 24 inches wide across the top.Pruning isn't necessary for beet plants beyond thinning seedlings and trimming off leaves as needed to eat.Remove the leaves from the beet, and use them for cooking.The beet will keep growing leaves for several weeks.How to Grow Beets From Seed.Germination will take about a week in soil above 50 degrees Fahrenheit or up to three weeks in cooler soil.It's best to pot beets in a container that will accommodate their mature size to avoid having to repot.: A variety of soil bacteria can cause discolored spots on leaves, which can gradually infect the roots.Viral infections: Various viruses, often transmitted by leafhopper insects, can cause twisted, distorted leaves.Root rot: Usually caused by the Fusarium fungus, root rot causes the above-ground foliate to wilt, as though in need of water, while the underground roots begin to rot away.Root rot tends to appear in cycles; two or three disease-free years might be followed by a bad season where many plants are affected.Root rot tends to appear in cycles; two or three disease-free years might be followed by a bad season where many plants are affected.Although beets are technically biennials, completing their life cycle in two growing seasons, most gardeners grow them as annuals and harvest them in the same growing season. .
How to Grow Beets This Fall for a Hearty Autumn Harvest
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.They thrive when the days are warm (60 to 70 degrees) and nights cool (50 to 60 degrees).Planting.Beets aren't fond of crowds, so when sowing the seeds, plant them about 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart, or sow them closer together and use the thinnings later for salad fixings."Beets are a natural for containers," he says, adding, "just make sure the containers are watered more than an in-the-ground garden.".Spring Harvest.For a spring crop, plant beets as soon as the soil dries out and you can work it, typically from March to mid-May.Beet Growing Problems.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.Harvesting Beets and Beet Greens.For a fall harvest, pull up your beet crop after a hard frost.Heirloom Favorite: Detroit Dark Red, a classic dating to 1892, is still one of the best for sweet roots and tasty greens.Great for Storage: Red Ace produces tender greens perfect for salads and rich red roots that resist "zoning" (alternating red and white rings caused by excessive heat).Sow extra-thick, since it doesn't produce as well as the red varieties.Matures in 35 to 40 days for greens; 55 to 60 days for roots.Great for Greens: Lutz Green Leaf (sometimes sold as Winterkeeper) is an heirloom for fall harvest and winter storage.It grows large, with great-tasting green leaves. .
Beets for Beginners
What’s more, you can harvest two different, delicious crops from the same plant, making it a really worthwhile vegetable to make space for in your garden.Preparing Soil for Beets.Sowing Beet Seeds.A few beet varieties are available which produce just one seed per capsule, thereby avoiding the need for thinning.Growing Beets On.Beets shouldn’t need any additional watering unless the soil looks like it will dry out completely.Beets can be harvested two ways: for leaves and for roots.Don’t cut the leaves off or trim the roots, or they will ‘bleed’ and make a terrible mess!Roasting beetroot is a trendy way to prepare it, but I find that boiling preserves a sweeter flavor – try both methods though, as your preference may differ to mine. .
Give Beets a Chance: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Beets
Beets, the word alone makes a lot of people shudder with disgust.According to a survey from Eating Well, beets are listed as one of the most hated vegetable along with Brussel sprouts, okra, and lima beans.Before you begin planting you also want to add compost to your garden, to ensure your soil has the proper nutrition.Make sure you keep the soil moist and add mulch around the plants to help maintain moisture; beets use a lot of water when they’re forming.When the diameter of the roots reach 1-3 inches, you know your beets are ready to be picked.Beets can be steamed, pickled, juiced, or used in dessert recipes for an added sweetness! .