Growing your own beets is a fun and rewarding experience. They’re delicious and nutritious, and you can eat the leaves and the roots. So if you’re looking for a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to grow beetroots, look no further than this post. We will guide you through the process of raising beets, from planting the seeds to harvesting the roots.

What is Beets 

Beets are a biennial root vegetable that’s also known as beetroot. They grow on plants with leaves and produce sessile green flowers, which are also entirely edible with a taste similar to swiss chard. Beet is most famous for its red and sweet root head. They’re great for your health and can be used in various dishes, such as salads, casseroles, and stir-fries.

Beetroots are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in the world. They are easy to grow, and you can find them at almost any grocery store. The most common varieties of beet are red, white, and golden. They have a mild flavor and deep red color with sweet root also used as a dye. Beet greens are very nutritious and are high in vitamins and minerals, and you can use leaves to perfect salad green.

What is beetroot’s scientific name?

Beetroot’s scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Beets are a root vegetable part of the family known as the Chenopodiaceae. Beetroot is native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and it is considered a vegetable. In the United States are known as beets. The beetroot is also known as a red vegetable because of the color of the flesh.

The word beetroot comes from the Celtic origin word bete for “beet” and “root.” Beet’s origin is from Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, and the ancient Greeks first cultivated it.

Throughout history, beetroot has been used in many different ways. They were used for food and medicine, and beets were even used as an ingredient in beer!

beets beetroot

Why should you grow beets in your garden?

Beets are high in fiber and nutrients. They are also a great source of iron, vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants, which protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals can cause cancer, heart disease, and other problems. Beets are also a good source of folate, which helps the body make new cells. Folate also helps the body produce DNA. Beetroot can help improve your vision and may help prevent certain types of cancer. It is easy to grow and doesn’t require much effort to care for this superior vegetable.

How to Grow Beets?

Growing beets in your backyard is a great way to save money on healthy vegetables. You can grow this root vegetable in various ways, including containers, raised beds, or directly in the ground. One of the most common methods is to grow them in containers. 

They grow best in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It would be best to plant beets in full sun or partial shade. They do not like to be wet, so you should be careful not to overwater them cause it could lead to disease. Plants need to be fertilized once a month. You don’t have to give them plenty of space to grow, and they like companion plants.

When and how to plant?

Beets can be grown year-round, which you can plant from early spring through late fall. They do not like frost, so you will need to protect them with a tarp or other cover until or after the first frost. Seeds can be planted in the garden or in containers, pots, and even 5-gallon buckets.

The best time for planting is in early spring, when the ground becomes workable. For winter crop sow seeds about 10 weeks before first freeze in your area.

beetroot in garden

Sow seeds

Before planting seeds, remove the rocks, stones, and large sticks from the ground. Sow one seed 2 cm (0.5 in) deep, leaving 2.5 cm (1 in) between seeds and approximately 30 cm (12 in) apart rows. When the seedling’s height reaches 10 cm (4 in), thin them to a final spacing of 15 cm (6 in) between by snipping with scissors – this avoids stressing plant roots.

Soil and watering 

Beets grow best planted in sunny, well-drained, fertile soil and require a cool climate.

The ideal soil temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8.

Clay-based soil has high water content and tends to retain moisture well. Soil with high organic matter content and is enriched with nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen can also help produce a healthier crop of beets. Still, beets can also tolerate low fertility soil. Water the beets thoroughly early in the day.

Beets require consistent moisture and about 1 gallon of water per square yard every week. If you don’t get enough water, your beets will rot and turn brown.

Fertilizing

Beet plants are heavy feeders and will do well with a dose of fertilizer every couple of weeks. Use a well-balanced granular type fertilizer for best results. That will give the plants enough energy to get large enough to support full heads of beetroot. You can use an organic balanced granular type fertilizer. 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 blends work well. These three numbers indicate the amount of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, respectively, in that particular fertilizer. It is essential to check the package label for the manufacturer’s suggested application rate.

beets ready to harvest

When and how to harvest

 You can harvest baby beets when they are 1- 2 inches in size and the color is optimal. You can also let them grow for a few weeks more and then harvest them. For salads, beets should be harvested when they are small and firm. Most varieties mature in 45 to 60 days.

When the beets are ready to harvest, they should be firm to the touch. You can tell when they are ready because the tops will be tight, and the stems will be dry, pull the leaves off and then cut the tops from the beets. Watering the soil before harvesting will make pulling the plant from the ground easier. Beet greens can be picked at any time, but they are best harvested when the leaves are still young and tender. You can use the leaves, roots, or both when you harvest the beets. The roots can be boiled, roasted, or steamed. The green leaves can be sautéed or used in salads.

Storing beets

The best way to store beets is to keep them in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or basement, but you can store them in a refrigerator if you don’t have one. Beets can be stored this way for up to six months. If they start to rot, you can still eat them. The best way to prepare them is to wash them and then boil them in water. You should peel off the skin before you cook them. You can eat them raw, cooked, or pickled. If you decide to pickle them, you should use vinegar, sugar, and salt. For better taste, add spices like mustard and horseradish.

harvesting beets

Companion plants

Beetroot likes to grow near its own kind, so planting it near cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower helps improve overall plant quality. Beetroot will also tolerate being planted with lettuce, beans, carrots, and radishes. Some gardeners say that planting beetroot with marigold, mint, and onion helps ward off pests. You can also plant beets next to kale, kohlrabi, and brussel sprouts to improve their flavor and quality. 

Avoid planting any of the following alongside beets: pole beans, mustard, squash, and fennel. Planting these together with beetroot can result in poor quality for both plants.

Common problems 

Beet curly top disease

Beetroots are susceptible to the beet curly top virus, which causes curly tops. Symptoms include stunted growth, small leaves, and white streaks along the stem. The virus is transmitted by Circulifer tenellus, a beet leafhopper insect. Once the beet leafhopper has eaten from an infected plant, it lays eggs in the soil near the plant, where the eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the plant’s roots.

Beet western yellows virus

The Beet western yellows virus is a small, spherical virus transmitted by aphids (black bean aphids and green peach aphids). It is found throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

Beet western yellows is a viral disease that can cause leaves to turn yellow and develop into galls. The condition can affect different types of vegetables, including beets. Once you see the symptoms, it is crucial to identify and isolate the infected plants. The best way to do this is to cut off and destroy the infected parts. It would help if you also destroyed any other crops in the same field to prevent the spread of the virus.

Damping off Rhizoctonia solani

Damping off is the root rot disease that starts to develop in seedlings just before they are ready to be transplanted into the garden or a new plant pot. It is caused by a soil-dwelling fungus called Rhizoctonia solani. Damping off disease occurs most often in the spring but can occur throughout the year.

Conclusion

In conclusion, beets are an excellent source of nutrition and have many health benefits. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, iron, folate, and potassium. They’re also a good source of carbohydrates and protein. If you’re looking for a way to add more beets to your diet, consider growing them in your garden.

beets salad

Frequently asked questions

Can beets be eaten raw?

Yes, beets can be eaten raw. However, they should be thoroughly scrubbed first. A few people are allergic to beets, but this is rare, be careful as the texture of the beet can cause a mild stomach upset.

How long can beets stay in the ground?

Beets can survive in the ground for a few months or even up to a year. Once they begin to sprout, they can be harvested at any time, but you will get better yields if you gather them as soon as they are ready to eat.

Do beet seeds need to be soaked before planting?

Most beet seeds require no soaking before planting. However, seeds will germinate faster if you soak them in water for 12 to 24 hours.

Is beets a fruit?

Beets are technically classified as vegetables because they contain no seeds. However, they have a large amount of sugar, similar to fruits.