Growing your own beets is actually quite easy. I prefer to grow beets in a garden while others prefer containers. Many options to growing beets are available. By now everyone knows the nutritional value of making your own beetroot juice. Beets are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds.
Different types of beets can be grown. While one type will put it’s power into growing a larger root, another type will grow larger tops. The types that produce heavier tops are for making beet greens. Types with larger roots are for making pickled beets, beetroot juice or just cooking and eating.
I am going to be talking about growing the bigger roots mainly but the same techniques apply to both. Another type of beet is the sugar beet. Sugar beets are mainly a larger farm crop and grown to make sugar. They are edible but look more like a turnip than a beet. Around 20% of United States sugar comes from beets.
You can read my article on growing zucchini here.
Grow Beets In Garden From Seed
Beets need to be planted from seed as they will not transplant well. They can be planted every 3 weeks to create a steady supply of greens and roots.
Beets are a cool season vegetable. You can usually get 2 plantings per season and sometimes more. Any good vegetable food can be used to feed the beets as they are growing.
Select the type of beet seed that you want. You can find all types of beet seed on Ebay. Also your local home and garden shops will have them. Decide if you want the tops for greens or the roots.
Sow beet seed around 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in rows. According to the way you are going to keep them weeded rows can be 12 inches to 36 inches apart. Seeds are actually a group of seeds stuck together, they will need to be thinned after sprouting. When the plants are established you can thin them out to 2 or 3 inches apart.
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Keep Weeds And Grass Out Of The Planting
Beets will not compete well when weeds try to take them over. They also need plenty of water and nutrients to grow to a good size. Weeds will rob them of these nutrients and water. Beets should receive 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Either by rain or hand watering.
Keeping Bugs Out Of The Greens
If you are growing the greens type beets or even beetroot but you want the greens to sell or eat you will need to keep the bug damage down. You can use floating row covers for this purpose. Here is a type that I have used before and it worked good.
Agfabric Warm Worth Floating Row Cover & Plant Blanket, 0.55oz Fabric of 10x50ft for Frost Protection, Harsh Weather, insect Control
Harvesting The Beets And Greens
The greens can start being harvested when they are a couple of inches tall. This will also help with the thinning that needs to be done. Tender greens need to be picked by the time they are around 6 inches tall. The younger they are the more tender they will be.
Beets usually grow to around 2 to 3 inches across and are more tender if you don’t let them get bigger. Harvest the roots as soon as possible while they are tender, if left in the ground too long they can become woody and tough.
Beets need to have around 1 to 2 inches of stem left on them. This also prevents bleeding as it is called, and keeps them from drying out. Beets are able to be stored for 2 to 3 months at nearly freezing temperatures.
Beets can be pickled and canned for the winter months. They are good this way but I would rather have them cooked fresh.
Making Beetroot Juice
Beetroot juice is better made from raw beets. Cooking the beets destroys a lot of the vitamins and minerals found in the beets. One of the healthiest vegetables you can juice is beets. Run them through your blender or juicer. Adding some other type of fruit can help with the taste. Leaving the fiber in your juice is good for you.
Carrots, oranges or pineapple can help with the taste and also cut down on the acid in the beet juice. Beet juice is supposed to help raise your iron levels. (I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice).
That’s About It On How To Grow Beets In A Garden
That is about all I have for now. I will be adding content to my articles as I learn more. I have also tried to keep it short and sweet. Well at least short. 😎
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