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Growing & Caring For Beets

Beets are a longer season crop, well-suited for a cooler environment they can even survive frost and almost freezing temperatures. These root veggies put on bulbs that are a deep red/purple color and bursting with flavor. Leafy, tall top beets matures early and is great for baby or full size beets and also puts on 16-18″ tops that are perfect for mixing with other greens or adding to a smoothie/juice recipe. Larger beets, such as the Detroit Reds, are known for their impressive size and tasty flavor and also put on 12-14″ tops that are perfect for mixing with other greens or adding to a smoothie/juice recipe.

How to Grow Beets:

Outdoors

  • Beets require a high level of phosphorus and really good nutrition to thrive so till in some compost and Azomite before planting.
  • If you live in a drier climate, try soaking the seeds for 24 hours before planting to give the germination process a head start.
  • Space 1-2″ apart in a warm, sunny area of your garden and plant at a depth of 4x the seed.

Harvest

  • Beets are super versatile in that you can harvest them anytime you want. If you’re wanting the larger bulbs, keep in mind that beets can become tough and woody as they get overly large.
  • Store fresh beets in the refrigerator for 5–7 days, leaving about one inch of stem on each beet, and store the greens separately. Clipping the tops off beets will keep them fresher for longer.
  • Beets can be frozen, canned and pickled.
  • If you plan to store the beets in a root cellar be sure to clean off all the soil and that the area will keep a consistent cooler temperature.

Growing Tips

  • Sometimes you get more than one seedling per seed so it’s important to thin out your beets once they get about 2 inches tall. Do this by pinching them out so you don’t disturb the growing root system.
  • Beet greens are actually more nutritious than the roots, so be sure not to let them go to waste.
  • Apply mulch around the tops of the plants to retain moisture and to protect the root. Covering it will help the entire root mature and avoid green top.

Pests to Watch For:

  • Flea Beetles
  • Leaf Hoppers
  • Mexican Bean Beetles

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