How to Grow Beets

by on October 29, 2012


Beets may well be one of the most misunderstood vegetables in the garden. They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, folates, vitamin C and iron, and studies have shown that drinking beet juice can reduce hypertension.It also helps that beets are delicious when prepared well.


Temp Range: 50-70 degrees F
Seed to Plate: 45-65 days
Light Needs: 4-6 hours of sun (full or partial) per day
How Much to Grow: 5-10 beets per person
Average Space Needs: 16 / 1 Square Foot
Water Needs: moist, well drained soil
Soil pH: slightly acid, 6.0 –6.8

Like any root vegetable, beets need loose, well-worked soil that is free of stones and any other debris.

Sow your beets about two weeks before the last frost date in your zone. If you like, you can continue to plant successive rows of beets every 2-3 weeks until the temperatures reach the mid-seventies. They can also be planted in the fall when summer temperatures are waning, but beets will go to seed if exposed to extended freezing temperatures.

You will notice that beets are planted in tiny clusters that look like a pea. Each of these peas contains several seeds, so thinning will be necessary when the tiny shoots begin to emerge. Ideally in a square foot gardening environment you should space your beets so as to fit 16 plants in each square foot space.

One major plus for urban gardeners with regard to growing beets is that they are not prone to insect infestation or disease, so those will not be causes for concern.

Your beets will be ready to harvest when they are between 1 and 3 inches in diameter, generally 45-65 days from sowing. Check the seed packaging information for the estimated harvest time for your variety.

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