The Important Details You Need To Know About Growing Beets


Growing beets to make pickles might be one of my favourite veggie garden activities. There's not many things in the vegetable patch that are nicer than harvesting smaller roots and taking them right to the kitchen for processing.

Sowing:


If you really like them, sow every two weeks from the earliest time you can sow seeds in your garden until the middle of July.

The seed does not rot as quickly as more tender seed and it does start to grow along with spinach, lettuce and peas (other early sown vegetables). It will not grow if the soil is colder than 40F but will sit until it warms up.

If you want to store or pickle them in the fall, count back 10 weeks from your harvest date and plant the crop then.

Sow seed approximately 1/2 inch deep.

beets

You can eat beet roots or leaves (great in salads)

How Much Seed to Sow:


One ounce (28 g) will grow 100 feet of row.

At 2-3 inch spacing, this translates to 400 plants in a 100 foot row.

If you are growing beets as tiny plants for pickling, shorten this interval to 1 inch apart.

Lengthen or shorten the row depending on the number of vegetables you're going to eat.

Notes:


If you want extra early crops, you can sow them in a cold frame and transplant to the garden but this is a lot of work and will only give you a week to two week advantage over soil-sown plants.

While this may have a commercial value, in the home garden it is a lot of work for very little return.

Similarly, it is far cheaper to purchase seeds than to purchase starter plants from a greenhouse. This plant is very easy to grow.

The seeds can be saved from year to year if you keep the seed dry and cool. Do not freeze the seed.

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When to Harvest:


Harvest (on average) when the tops are six inches tall. This will give you the most tender root. If you leave the crop to get really big, there is an increased risk of the root getting "woody" and not as sweet to eat.

If there are heavy rains after a long dry hot spell, you might find white rings in the beet. It is still edible although not cosmetically perfect.

You can store the roots in the refrigerator for several months without any loss of quality.



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Different varieties of beet seeds

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