Growing instructions for Beets
Seedman Basic Info:
Beet seeds can be planted in early spring or midsummer. Soak seeds overnight in damp towel before planting for excellent germination. Plant beet seeds 1” apart and thin weakest seedlings to desired spacing. Keep soil evenly moist to prevent beet roots from getting woody. For longer harvest, stagger beet plantings every 2-3 weeks.
Outside: USDA Zones: 3 - 9
Spacing: Plant 1-1/2 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart, later thin plants to 3" apart.
Depth: 1/2 inch
Sun/Shade: Full sun.
Germination: 6-10 days
Spread: 4 inches
Height: 8-10 inches
Days to Maturity: 59 days
Yeild: A 100 ft. row will produce about 45 lbs.
Good companions for beets: bush beans, the cabbage family, corn, leeks, lettuce, lima beans, onions, and radishes. Bad companions: mustard and pole beans.
A soil pH above 5.5–6 is best, otherwise growth will be stunted. Beets are a good indicator of soil pH.
Till in aged manure before planting. Beets require especially good nutrition and a high phosphorus level to germinate. Go easy on nitrogen however, an excess will cause sprawling greens and tiny bulbs beneath the soil.
Wait until soil reaches 50 degrees before planting.
Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep and 1-2 inches apart.
Make sure soil remains moist for germination.
In zones with low moisture and rainfall, soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting.
Early crop can be planted in March/April, and late crop anytime from June to September. Successive plantings are also possible as long as the weather doesn't exceed 75 degrees F. Space plantings about 20 days apart.
Winter crops are a definite possibility in Zone 9 and above. Days to maturity tend to be between 50 and 70 for most varieties, although they can be harvested at any time you see fit. If you like larger bulbs, wait longer, but understand they will be tougher and woody.
Don't let greens grow above 6 inches before harvesting. Don’t forget about the tops! Beet greens have a delicious and distinctive flavor, and hold more nutrition than the roots.
Fresh beets can be stored in the refrigerator for 5–7 days. Clipping the tops off beets will keep them fresher for longer. Leave about one inch of stem on each beet, and store the greens separately.
For root cellar type storage, make sure you brush off any soil clinging to these crops, then store them in a cool, dry place. An unheated closet might do, or put them in a cooler in your basement.
Beets can be frozen, canned and pickled.
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