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Beets are an excellent vegetable to add to your spring garden. They are really easy to grow and you can eat both the roots and the greens.
If you’re thinking about planting beets this year and want to know the best tips to get a good harvest, then continue reading for my tips on how to grow beets in your edible garden.
How to Grow Beets
Plant Beets from Seeds
You can plant beets from seeds directly into your edible garden. They don’t need to be started in the house under lights.
Plant your beet seeds as soon as you can get into your garden. You can also grow beets in any large container; just drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
Beet greens are very pretty, so tuck a few beet plants in among your flower beds.
You’ll notice that each beet seed is actually a cluster of 2-4 seeds. During the time it takes for the seed clusters to germinate in the soil, you’ll want to keep the soil moist in your edible garden.
You can plant all your Beet seed at the same time or do succession planting. Planting some seed every 2 weeks will ensure you always have nice sized beets for meals.
Succession planting works great for those who have small garden areas and a longer growing season.
Use it for vegetables such as any kind of lettuces or greens, radishes and other quick growing vegetables.
Why You Need to Thin Beet Plants
Since beet seeds come in clusters, you’ll have this extra step of thinning out once the clusters have germinated.
As soon as you seed your beet seeds starting to germinate and grow, you’ll need to thin out your beets in your edible garden.
The best recommendation is to have 9 plans per square foot, although I personally like to have them closer together. I replant all of the beet plants I thin out.
Appropriate Spacing to Grow Beets
As you work to thin out your beets, remember that beets aren’t particularly fond of crowding.
You’ll want the seeds to be planted about one inch deep with 3-4 inches in between each plant.
You can sow beets closer together if you plan to use the greens for a salad, but it’s not recommended if you want to grow larger beets.
As the beets grow, I keep thinning out the plants that need the extra space.
I always make home made Pickled Beets, so we use all the thinned plants with small roots for this.
Sun and Water Requirements for Growing Beets
Beets enjoy full sun and like to receive about one inch of water every week.
Remember that beets are cold tolerant so you can plant the seedlings in early spring.
This means your beets can be prepared about 6-7 weeks before your last frost date, as long as you’ve selected a full-sun location in your edible garden.
Preparing the Soil for Growing Beets
Beets grow best in loamy, acid type soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5.
If your edible garden soil is too rocky or alkaline-rich you may prepare the soil with compost to achieve the right pH level for a maximum harvest of your beets.
Pick a Time for Harvest
This easy to grow vegetable has more leniency with harvest planning. If you want to harvest beets in the spring season, then plant your seedlings between March to mid-May.
If you’re looking for a fall harvest to have fresh beets during the holiday season you’ll want to plan your seeds 8-10 before the first expected frost date.
Those beets in the photo are destined for turning into Pickled Beets. That’s a Rutabaga in the harvest bucket with the small beets.
The beet greens have been cut and will be blanched and frozen to eat during winter.
Beets can be harvested at any time, so as long as the roots are around 1-2 inches in diameter.
These small roots are called baby beets, and they make an excellent treat because you can eat both the beets and beet leaves.
If you want to wait, you can wait until the roots are about 7 inches in diameter for larger beets.
Beets are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. You’ll find that beets are rarely bothered by pests that can sneak into your edible garden.
Beets are also super easy to tend to, just sow the seeds and wait 6-8 weeks to harvest midsummer to late fall.
I hope that these tips to grow beets will encourage you to grow some beets in your edible garden this year.
Using Beet Greens
Beet greens are delicious and are a wonderful addition to leafy salads. You can eat the leaves when they are small or large, they are always tasty.
You can preserve beet greens by blanching and then freezing them. Here is how you can freeze leafy greens – serve them warm as a side vegetable.
You can also use them in smoothies – beet greens are highly nutritious.