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Best Ways to Plant Beets

by Jack Grover
man in black t-shirt holding green leaf plant
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If you’re looking for an attractive addition to your garden, beets are an excellent choice. They are incredibly nutritious and surprisingly easy to grow.

These versatile root vegetables not only come in a range of beautiful colors — from deep red to golden yellow — but they also offer a host of health benefits.

On top of that, beets are a delightful addition to any meal. They boast a unique, earthy flavor and a nutrient-packed profile.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these vegetables are sure to enhance your garden.

This article will guide you through the best ways to plant beets, ensuring a successful and bountiful harvest.

So, grab your gardening tools and get started on your journey into the wonderful world of beets.

Key Takeaways

  • When planting in a garden bed, make sure to choose an area that receives full sun and has well-drained soil.
  • To prepare the soil, till it and remove any weeds or stones.
  • If planting in containers, use a pot that has ample space for the roots to grow. Use a light, well-draining soil mix.
  • Plant the beets two inches deep and six inches apart.
  • As the beets grow, thin out the plants. It helps promote healthy development and allows the remaining plants to get enough light and nutrients.
  • When harvesting the beets, wait until they reach the desired size. If they get too large, they can become tough and fibrous.
  • With dozens of varieties of beets to choose from, you can experiment with different flavors and colors for your culinary creations.

Introducing Beets

Beets, also known as Beta vulgaris or beetroot, belong to the amaranth family.

These vegetables offer not only edible leaves but also a delicious taproot. They can be cooked in many ways, from roasting to boiling, or pickled and spiced for a canned option.

Beet leaves can be enjoyed fresh when picked young or cooked like spinach.

Benefits of Beets

Beets are also packed with health benefits that are good for your well-being.

They contain folate, also known as vitamin B9, which is essential for healthy cell growth and functioning. Folate protects the blood vessels from damage and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

On top of that, beets are a rich source of nitrates which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide helps relax the blood vessels, promoting healthy blood flow and maintaining normal blood pressure levels.

Eating beets regularly can help support your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.

Tips for Planting Beets

Before moving on with this task, prepare the soil. Beets prefer loamy soil that is well-fertilized and rich in organic matter.

If you have heavy clay or rocky soil, consider adding compost to create an ideal growing environment for the plants.

When choosing a spot for planting, ensure it receives plenty of sunshine. Beets thrive in cooler temperatures, but they can still do well in warmer climates like zones 9 or higher, where they can grow year-round.

Remember to ensure your beets have enough space and are planted in nutrient-rich soil.

Still, avoid over-fertilizing beets since they do not tolerate excessive nitrogen.

Use a garden trowel to sow the seeds about ½ inch deep and 1 foot apart in rows. Space the seeds about 2 inches apart within the row.

Once the seeds are sown, cover them with soil and lightly pack them down.

It’s essential to keep the soil moist during the germination process. You can achieve this by watering the planting area regularly.

If done correctly, your beets will flourish, and you will be rewarded with a delicious and healthy harvest.

person holding green leaf plant

Growing Beets in Containers

Growing beets in containers can be a rewarding experience. 

To ensure the success of your undertaking, select a container that is at least 12 inches deep, ideally between 16-18 inches. It gives the roots enough space to grow and develop properly.

When planting, follow the same spacing as you would in a field or raised bed. If you want more than 6 beets, you will need a larger container.

Beets grown in containers can dry out more easily than those grown in fields or raised beds. So, it’s important to check the moisture levels regularly and water accordingly. Keep the soil moist, not soggy.

Thinning Beets

When the seedlings reach around 3-4 inches tall, it’s time to thin them out.

Use hand pruning to remove the extra seedlings. Don’t pull them up by the roots, as this can disturb the neighboring plants you want to keep.

Instead, pinch off the unwanted seedlings at the base. This  way, you will avoid damaging other plants.

green and red chili peppers

Harvesting Beets

Harvesting beets is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

When your beets have reached their full size and the foliage is lush and healthy, it’s time to begin the process.

To start, use a garden fork or trowel to gently loosen the soil around the base of each beet. Take care not to damage the delicate roots as you do so.

Firmly grasp the beet greens near their base and pull upward. If the beet resists, use a trowel to carefully dig around it and loosen it further before giving the tug again.

Once the beet is out of the ground, promptly remove any excess soil clinging to it. Trim off the leafy tops, leaving about an inch of stem intact.

Your freshly harvested beets are now ready for cooking or storage!

Suggested Beet Varieties

Beets are a great addition to any garden, and there are many varieties to choose from. Each has its own unique characteristics, making it crucial to select the right one for your growing conditions and preferences.

  • Bulls Blood is a popular choice due to its deep red color and earthy flavor.
  • Chiogga stands out with its pink and white ringed flesh.
  • Detroit Dark Red is a classic beet variety. It’s known for its sweet taste and smooth texture.
  • Golden Heirloom brings a touch of sunshine with its bright yellow hue.
  • Boldor is prized for its sweet flavor.
  • Avalanche is the only white beet with its snowy white roots.

No matter what you choose, these suggestions are sure to add diversity and deliciousness to your garden.

Conclusion

Planting beets can indeed be a gratifying activity. Nevertheless, to ensure a successful harvest, it is crucial to follow the correct procedures. 

There is a wide range of beet varieties for you to explore. It allows you to play around with different tastes and colors to level-up your cooking game. With such variety, you can certainly add some excitement to your regular meals.

You also have the option to plant the beets either in a garden or in containers. Therefore, whether you have ample space or limited area, you can still cultivate your own delicious beets.

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