Beets are a versatile and colorful root vegetable that can be grown in any backyard garden. They are easy to grow and can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to soups to roasted vegetables.
If you’re new to gardening and want to learn how to grow beets, then you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about growing beets.
Why should you grow beets at home?
Nutritious – Beets are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron, and vitamin C. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health.
Versatile – Beets are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to roasted vegetables to soups. They are also a colorful addition to any meal, and can add a bright pop of color to your plate.
Easy to Grow – Beets are a relatively easy vegetable to grow, even for beginners. They can be grown in containers or directly in the ground, and do not require a lot of space. With a little bit of care and attention, you can have a successful beet harvest.
Varieties of Beets
There are two main types of beets: red beets and golden beets. Red beets are the most common variety and have a deep red color that can range from dark maroon to light pink. Golden beets, on the other hand, are a newer variety that have a bright yellow color. Both types of beets are easy to grow and can be planted in the same way.
How to grow beets
When to Plant
Beets are a cool weather crop that prefer to be planted in early spring or late summer. They can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring, usually around mid-March to early April. In the fall, beets can be planted around mid-August to early September.
Beets do not do well in hot weather, so it’s important to avoid planting them in the summer months. If you live in a warmer climate, you can plant beets in the fall for a winter harvest.
Beets prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, it’s important to prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure. This will help to improve the soil structure and provide the nutrients that beets need to grow.
Beets also prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.5. You can test the pH of your soil using a soil testing kit, which can be purchased at most garden centers.
Beets can be planted directly in the garden or in containers. If planting in the garden, it’s important to choose a sunny location that has good drainage. If your soil is heavy, you can plant in raised beds or mounds to improve drainage.
Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart. If planting in rows, space the rows 12-18 inches apart. If planting in containers, choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep and wide.
Beets need consistent moisture to grow, but they do not like to be waterlogged. Water deeply once a week, and more often during dry spells. Be sure to water at the base of the plant, and avoid getting the foliage wet, as this can lead to disease.
Beets do not require a lot of fertilizer, but they do benefit from a balanced fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. You can apply fertilizer when planting and again about 4-6 weeks after planting.
Once the beets have sprouted, it’s important to thin them to prevent overcrowding. Thin the plants to about 3-4 inches apart, and use the thinnings in salads or other dishes.
Beets are ready to harvest when they are about 1-3 inches in diameter, depending on the variety. To harvest, gently pull the beet from the ground, being careful not to damage the roots or other plants. Beets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Beets are relatively easy to grow, but they can be susceptible to a few common problems. The most common problem is leaf spot, which is a fungal disease that can cause brown or black spots on the leaves. To prevent leaf spot, avoid getting the foliage wet when watering, and make sure to plant in an area with good air circulation
Beets can also be affected by root rot, which is a fungal disease that can cause the plants to wilt and die. To prevent root rot, make sure to plant in well-drained soil, and avoid overwatering.
Finally, beets can be affected by pests, such as aphids and flea beetles. To prevent pests, keep the area around the plants free of weeds, which can attract pests. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control pests.
Growing beets is a great way to add color and nutrition to your garden and your diet. Beets are easy to grow, versatile, and can be used in a variety of dishes. By following these simple steps, you can grow your own beets and enjoy a bountiful harvest. Remember to choose the right variety for your needs, prepare the soil properly, provide consistent moisture, and thin the plants to prevent overcrowding. With a little patience and care, you’ll soon be enjoying the colorful and delicious beets from your own backyard.