A vegetable garden won’t be complete without growing beets. Here are the basic facts that you need to know to raise these plants.
Where to Plant Beets
Beets need a lot of sunlight. Pick a spot in your garden that will allow the plants to get direct sunshine for at least six hours. The soil also needs to have good drainage. Make sure it is at least eight inches deep. If the surface is ragged, dig it up and add some compost. This will provide the plants with the right nutrients.
When to Plant
If it’s spring, wait for the soil to reach a temperature of 50 degrees F (or 10 degrees C). After growing beets, you can plant them every three weeks. If you’ll be planting in the fall, start when the nightly temperatures start going down. When watering the plants, the objective is to keep the soil moist, not drenched.
Planting the Seeds
Plant them into the soil. Allocate a space of 12 inches per row. After the seedlings come up, thin the beets. The distance should be six inches (or whatever your packet suggests). The plants will take a couple of months to grow. One way to check is to remove a bit of the soil. If the beets are as big as (or bigger than) golf balls, it’s ready to be harvested. You can take out the beets by tugging.
Planting in a Container
Growing beets is also quite straightforward. Pour high quality soil in the container. Ensure that the soil has good drainage. Add compost and old manure to provide the beets more nutrients.
Get the beet seeds and immerse them in water for 24 hours. Sow the seeds ½ inch deep.
They should be an inch apart. Don’t put too many seeds in the container. The plants will fight for the nutrients and affect their growth. Water the soil. Make sure the entire surface is watered, but it should not be saturated.
Put some fertilizer as you sow (the all purpose type will be sufficient). Repeat this every two weeks. A little bit of water is all that’s needed. A mister helps ensure the right amount of water is used.
Other Tips for Growing Beets
The maturity date for beets is 55 to 60 days from planting. Beets that are a couple of inches in diameter are ripe for harvesting. The younger ones are the edible types. The mature ones are a little bit too hard. If you’re going to use them for cooking, leave an inch of the leaves. This will keep the beets from bleeding when cooked.
Beets can be stored for 3 to 4 months at freezing temperatures. You can also put them in cans. To help with germination, cover the beet seeds with some peat moss. You can also use vermiculite. This helps in the germination process greatly. You can use this if the garden soil is poor.
Growing beets is easy as maintenance is quite low. Within a short time, you’ll be able to produce several of these crops.