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How to Grow Beets

Beets, you either love 'em, or your hate 'em. For gardeners, who are beet lovers, here's some good news..... growing beets is easy! Requiring little garden space, you can harvest a big crop of these fast growing plants.

Most varieties of beets are a deep, rich red color. Most are round in shape. There is one white variety on the market. And, you can find a cylindrical beet, too.

Most gardeners grow beets for the edible root. The leaves are also edible.

Beets are commonly known to bleed, or leak, their deep red juices . This juice can cause stains. Be careful where your set them.

How to Grow Beets:

Beet plants like full sun and a rich, loose garden soil.  Sow beet seeds in mid spring after all danger of frost has past. Plant Beet seeds thinly, 1/2 inch deep.  After germination, thin to 2 to 3 inches apart. Rows should be spaced 1 1/2 feet apart. The roots do not form and grow well, if the plants are crowded.

Plan a second crop to mature just before the first fall frost.

For best results, apply a general purpose fertilizer while sowing, and again two to three weeks later. Keep plants weed free to maximize root growth.

Keep the soil lightly watered. Too little water results in a tough and leathery crop.

Days to Maturity: Most varieties are approximately 55 to 60 days.

Beets are sensitive to frost. The tops will succumb to frost. As a root crop, beets are still harvestable after a frost.


Harvest beet roots when they are at least two inches in diameter, thinning the row as you go. Beets are tender when young. A big round beet will look really impressive, but will certainly not taste impressive, as they will get tough quickly.

The edible leaves can be harvested as soon as they are big enough to pick. Young, tender leaves are the best for salads.

Insects, Pests, and Disease:

Aphids and beetles Can be a problem. Treatment with insecticide is effective.

Mice, squirrels, and a few other pests will sometimes nibble on your Beet crop.

Mildew and leaf spots are an occasional problem. Treat with fungicides as needed.

More Information:

Garden Recipes - Find Beet recipes and garden recipes galore!

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