Growing Beets

Growing beets ... the full meal deal.

Beetroot and beet greens ...  for the vegetable gardener's eating pleasure !

Beet tops raw in salads, cooked like spinach ...

... or how to cook beets the simple way ... boiled, buttered a little salt and pepper .. Yum !

Beetroot is a cool weather vegetable so growing beets reaps early rewards.

Beet greens first followed by small beets for cooking ... as early as mid April.

Some gardeners say beet seeds can not be started indoors for transplanting.

This has not been our gardener's experience ... although direct sowing beet seeds is his first choice ...

... He says they take up valuable space indoors.

In the past he has used  the starter bed for Planting beets indoors

...  using individual coconut coir pots

...  one seed cluster per pot

...  thinning to one beet plant per pot

...  carefully hardening off early March or so

...  transplanting the seedling outdoors with care

     beet seedling are very delicate.

... When to plant these guys outdoors, is when leaves have developed and prior to the root globe forming

    a small window of time

...  planting beets, pot included, in the garden soil 3 or 4 inches apart

     no further thinning is required with this plant spacing.

By direct sowing seeds at the same time as the transplanting happens ...

...  he creates a few more rows of growing beets

... This is our gardener's how to grow beets method of succession planting ...

... A favorite, early beet greens and baby beets.

Although he has been planting beets both ways ... some times he doubts any advantage ...

... winning some with two distinct beetroot crops ...

... other times the direct sow beet seeds catch up to the transplants ...

... It depends on sunshine, rain and temperature ... Mother Nature.

We vegetables noted that planting beets this year ... there were no transplants !

... overhearing himself saying direct sowing is less muss and fuss !

Growing Beets .... Direct Sowing

Planting beets
                             ... Beet Seed is not individual seeds but seed clusters

                             ... some folks gently crunch the clusters separating the seeds before planting

                             ... our gardener plants the clusters .. it is easier to handle and space

                             ... thinning is absolutely neccessary as multi seedlings will sprout from one cluster

                             ... direct sowing, once the growing beets develop some root, thinning to 3 or 4 inches apart is best

                                 or they push out of the ground too far or grow square from cramped quarters
                             ... The thinnings are good in salads or stir frys

When to plant beets is like the seed package says ...

... as soon as the garden soil can be worked in spring ...

... or late August early September for a late fall or winter beetroot harvest.

Selecting beet seed depends on spring or summer planting.

In our raised bed garden ...

... late February ... Kestrel a certified organic seed was planted

... mid September Winterkeeper for the winter garden

... The container vegetable garden selection this year was Merlin

He has planted Touchstone Gold beets and an heirloom seed for Chioggia Beet...

Like other cool weather vegetables growing beets in our area starts

... late February or in early March ...

... in well drained compost rich garden soil

... no dig garden guys say 3 or 4 inches of organic compost on top of clay like garden soil is adequate

... our gardener has been growing beets in his raised garden beds ... beet plants like this !

Growing beets ... Need Water ! On a regular basis and watered deeply ...

... mulching with compost or straw will prevent some evaporation.

Beets grow best in well built garden soil with lots of organic compost ...

... meaning additional garden fertilizer during the growing season should not be required.

Harvesting beets is twofold.

Beet Greens

... beet greens can be selectively picked when they are small ... good in salads

... when 5 inches or so beet leaves can be picked for steaming or sauteed like spinach.

... Picking beet greens this way does not harm the beet plants ... just don't strip them bare !


... When the beetroot is the desired size remove from the ground after loosning the garden soil.

...  Gently pull the beet plant from the ground by grasping itat the base of the greens.

... Twist the beet leaves off leaving about 2 inches of stalks on the globe.

... Leave the root intact.

... These beet greens may be too mature for eating.

... After carefully shaking excess soil off the beetroot is ready to store or cook

... Red Beets will bleed out if the root or globe is peeled or damaged ...

... so peeling happens after cooking ... the skin slips off easily.

... Golden beets do not bleed so can be peeled for roasting.

Our gardener says that How to Cook Beets ... Simple is best ...

... Boiled or roasted beetroot buttered with a little pepper and salt.

His favorite beet recipes are pickled beets and Harvard beets.

How to Grow Beetroot ... easy and rewarding.

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