How To Grow Beets: Healthy & Delicious!

Welcome to the world of beet cultivation! How to grow beets is relatively easy considering they are one of the root veggies.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of how to grow beets, providing you with expert advice and practical tips to ensure a successful harvest. From choosing the perfect varieties to caring for your plants throughout the growing season, this guide has got you covered.

Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner, growing beets in your own garden can be a rewarding and nutritious endeavor.

Let’s dive in and discover how to grow beets like a pro!

Benefits of Growing Beets

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of beet cultivation, let’s take a moment to appreciate the numerous benefits that come with growing this vibrant root vegetable. Beets are not only delicious but also highly nutritious. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, beets offer a range of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, enhanced brain function, and better digestion.

By growing beets in your own garden, you have complete control over the cultivation process, ensuring that you and your family enjoy fresh, organic produce right at your fingertips.

Selecting the Right Beet Varieties

One of the joys of growing beets is the variety of options available to choose from. When selecting beet varieties, consider factors such as taste, color, and growth habit. Here are a few popular beet varieties to consider:

1. Detroit Dark Red: Known for its classic deep red color and sweet flavor, Detroit Dark Red is a favorite among gardeners and a versatile choice for both cooking and pickling.

how to grow beets - detroit dark red

2. Chioggia: With its striking pink and white concentric rings, Chioggia is a visually stunning variety. Its mild and slightly sweet flavor makes it a great addition to salads and other fresh dishes.

Chioggia beets

3. Golden: If you’re looking to add a splash of color to your garden and meals, Golden beets are an excellent choice. Their vibrant yellow flesh is sweet and mellow, adding a delightful twist to your culinary creations.

4. Bull’s Blood: This variety is not only prized for its sweet roots but also for its edible deep purple foliage. It’s a great option if you’re looking to add a pop of color to your garden beds or containers.

how to grow beets - Bull's Blood

Experiment with different beet varieties to find the ones that best suit your taste preferences and culinary needs.

Soil Preparation and Planting

Beets thrive in well-drained, fertile soil. Start by preparing the soil in your garden bed or raised beds. Remove any weeds, rocks, or debris, and amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will enrich the soil, improve its structure, and enhance its moisture retention capacity.

Beet seeds can be sown directly in the garden or started indoors and transplanted. If sowing directly, create furrows about half an inch deep and 12 inches apart. Place the seeds about one inch apart in the furrows, and cover them with soil.

If starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots or trays filled with seed-starting mix. Sow the seeds and keep them in a warm, well-lit area until they develop a few true leaves. Then, transplant the seedlings into the garden, spacing them 3 to 4 inches apart.

Watering and Fertilizing

Beets require consistent moisture to develop their roots properly. Aim to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. Irrigate your beets regularly, providing them with about one inch of water per week.

Adjust watering frequency based on weather conditions, as well-drained soil may need more frequent watering during hot, dry spells.

1. Benefits of Mulch

Applying a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or shredded leaves, around your beet plants will help retain soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and maintain more stable soil temperatures. Mulch also acts as a natural fertilizer as it breaks down over time, enriching the soil with organic matter.

2. Adding Fertilizer

When it comes to fertilizing beets, a balanced organic fertilizer applied at planting time is usually sufficient to provide the necessary nutrients. However, if your soil is deficient in nutrients, you may need to supplement with additional fertilization during the growing season.

Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, following the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.

Pest and Disease Control

While beets are generally resilient, they can still face some common pests and diseases. Here are a few strategies to keep your beet plants healthy:

1. Pests

Aphids: These small, soft-bodied insects can cluster on the undersides of leaves, sucking sap and causing stunted growth. Use a strong blast of water or insecticidal soap to remove aphids from the plants. Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs can help control aphid populations.

Flea Beetles: These tiny beetles can create small holes in the leaves, leading to a shot-hole appearance. Protect your young seedlings from flea beetles by covering them with floating row covers until they establish themselves. You can also control flea beetles by applying organic insecticides or using diatomaceous earth as a barrier.

flea beetles

2. Diseases

Cercospora Leaf Spot: This fungal disease causes dark spots with concentric rings on beet leaves. To prevent its spread, water the plants at the soil level, avoid overhead watering, and space your plants adequately for proper airflow. If the disease persists, remove and destroy infected leaves to prevent further contamination.

Cercospora Leaf Spot

Root Rot: Root rot can occur in waterlogged or poorly drained soils, leading to yellowing leaves and rotting roots. Improve soil drainage by amending with organic matter, and avoid overwatering. Additionally, rotate your beet crops every year to minimize the risk of root rot.

beet root rot

Regularly monitor your beet plants for any signs of pest or disease infestation. Early detection is crucial for effective control and prevention.

Harvesting and Storage

The time to harvest beets will depend on the variety and your desired size preference. Here are some guidelines for harvesting beets:

Baby Beets: For tender, small-sized beets, you can harvest them when they reach about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Gently pull them out of the soil, being careful not to damage the neighboring plants.

Mature Beets: If you prefer larger beets, allow them to grow to their full size, usually around 2 to 3 inches in diameter. To harvest mature beets, loosen the soil around the roots using a garden fork or trowel. Lift the beets out of the ground, keeping the greens intact. Trim the tops, leaving about an inch of stem attached to prevent bleeding.

After harvesting, remove any excess soil from the beets, but avoid washing them as moisture can lead to rot. Cut off the beet greens, leaving about an inch of stem. Beet greens are edible and can be cooked or used in salads, so don’t discard them!

Store the beets in a cool, dark place with high humidity, such as a root cellar or refrigerator. They can typically be stored for several weeks to a few months.

Creative Ways to Enjoy Beets

Beets offer a wide range of culinary possibilities. Here are some creative ways to incorporate them into your meals:

1. Roasted Beets with Herbs: Toss beets in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs (such as rosemary or thyme), then roast them in the oven until tender. This simple and flavorful dish can be served as a side or added to salads and grain bowls.

2. Beet and Goat Cheese Salad: Combine roasted beets with crumbled goat cheese, toasted nuts, and mixed greens for a refreshing salad. Drizzle with a tangy vinaigrette for added flavor.

3. Beet Smoothie: Blend cooked beets with fruits like berries, bananas, or oranges, along with a liquid of your choice (such as almond milk or coconut water), for a nutritious and vibrant smoothie. Add a touch of honey or maple syrup for sweetness.

4. Beet Chips: Slice beets thinly using a mandoline or a sharp knife, toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and your preferred spices, and bake them in the oven until crispy. These homemade beet chips make a nutritious and addictive snack.

5. Pickled Beets: Preserve your beet harvest by pickling them. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and spices in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then pour the mixture over cooked and peeled beets. Allow the beets to marinate in the refrigerator for a few days before enjoying their tangy flavor.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to grow beets successfully in your garden. By following the expert tips and step-by-step guidance provided in this comprehensive guide, you can cultivate delicious and nutritious beets in your own backyard.

From selecting the right varieties to preparing the soil, watering, fertilizing, and pest control, each step plays a vital role in ensuring a bountiful harvest. Get ready to enjoy the vibrant colors, earthy flavors, and numerous health benefits that beets have to offer.

So, roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening tools, and embark on a beet-growing adventure. Happy gardening!

how to grow beets

FAQs – How To Grow Beets: Healthy & Delicious

Q1. Can beets be grown in containers?

Absolutely! Beets can be successfully grown in containers. Choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep to accommodate proper root development. Fill the container with well-draining potting mix and provide adequate sunlight and regular watering.

Q2. How long does it take for beets to grow from seed?

The time it takes for beets to grow from seed to harvest can vary, but on average, it ranges from 55 to 70 days. However, baby beets can be harvested as early as 30 days after sowing.

Q3. Can I eat beet greens?

Yes, beet greens are not only edible but also highly nutritious. They can be cooked like spinach or used raw in salads.

Q4. Can beets tolerate cold weather?

Beets are cool-season vegetables and can tolerate cold weather. In fact, cooler temperatures enhance their flavor and sweetness. However, prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can damage the roots.

Q5. Can beets be grown year-round?

Beets prefer cooler weather and are typically grown in spring and fall. In regions with mild winters, you can also extend the growing season by providing protection from freezing temperatures.

Q6. How should I store harvested beets?

After harvesting, remove the greens, leaving an inch of stem attached. Store beets in a cool, dark place with high humidity, such as a root cellar or refrigerator. Properly stored beets can last for several weeks to a few months.

Q7. Can I save beet seeds for future planting?

Yes, you can save beet seeds for future planting. Allow some of your beets to bolt and produce seed heads. Harvest the seed heads when they turn brown, dry them, and store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

Q8. Do beets require a lot of sunlight?

While beets can tolerate partial shade, they prefer full sun exposure for optimal growth and root development. Aim for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Q9. How often should I water my beets?

Beets require consistent moisture to develop properly. Water them regularly, aiming to keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to rot or disease.

Q10. Can I grow beets in raised beds?

Yes, beets can be grown in raised beds. Ensure the raised bed is deep enough to accommodate proper root development and use well-draining soil.

how to grow beets

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclaimer to learn more.

Avatar photo

Molly Rankin

My love of vegetable gardening began as a hobby when our children were younger and I was at home a lot. I built this website so I can share my knowledge with as many people as possible about how to grow abundant, healthy, fresh vegetables.

More to Explore