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Common Name: Beets

Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris

Family: Chenopodiaceae

Type and Use: Cool-season biennial, grown as an annual with edible leaves and root

Location: Sun to partial shade

Planting Dates: For spring, 4 to 6 weeks before the last killing frost in the spring, usually February 10 - May 15. Initial planting can be following by successional plantings at 2-3 week intervals. Fall crop should be planted when the summer temperatures have moderated to an average of 80° during the day, usually August 1 - September 30.

Planting Method: Seeds ½-¾ inch deep, 1 inch apart




Seed Emergence: Germination in 3-14 days at 68-86°

Harvest Time: About 8 weeks after planting (50-80 days)

Height: 7 - 12 inches

Spread: 6 inches

Final Spacing: 3 - 5 ½ inches for the final spacing

Growth Habits: Rosette of tasty foliage out of a swollen root. Beets are cool season vegetables that are extremely easy to grow and are often used to teach kids how to grow plants.


Photo from Utah State U Extension


Culture: Need well-drained healthy soil. Prepare soil well and add organic fertilizer when plants are about 6 inches tall. Beets do best in raised flat-topped rows. The seed can be planted closely but should be thinned to 3 inches for the final spacing. Beet seed can be planted in single rows, multiple rows or broadcast on top of the beds or hills. Top of beds should be 16 - 20 inches wide. Plant seed ½ - 1 inch deep; 1 inch seed depth is too deep in heavy soils. Thin the seedling to 3 inches for best production.


Troubles and Solutions: Nematodes, wireworms, grubworms, cutworms, flea beetles, and leaf diseases. Boron deficiencies are common in non-organic gardens.


Harvest and Storage: Harvest the foliage for salads and to cook as greens or use in salads when it is young and tender. Harvest bulbs when they are 3 - 4 inches. Store 10 - 12 weeks at 32 - 40°


Notes: Beets don't like low pH soils. When thinning the young plants, the tops can be used as greens, cooked or raw, in salads.


Varieties: Lutz is the most often recommended variety. Other choices include Pacemaker II, Detroit Dark Red, Chiogga, and Red Ace.





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