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Beets Planting Guide

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:19am

beet_rootsR.jpg Beets roots can be eaten raw or cooked and added to salads and soups. Beet greens and thinnings can be eaten raw in salads or cooked much like spinach. ( Tips on cooking and serving beets click here.)


Planting Calendar. Beets grow best in cool weather, in early spring or autumn. Beets grown in cool weather will be sweet and crisp. The temperature during the 55 to 90 days it takes to grow beets should remain below 65ºF (18ºC).


• Spring crop. Sow beet seeds as soon as the soil can be worked in spring, 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost. Beets will germinate in soil as cool as 45ºF (7ºC) but will grow best in soil about 50ºF (10ºC). For successive crops, plant beets every 10 days. Young beet plants can tolerate frost but they will go to seed without making roots if the weather is too cold.


• Autumn and winter crop. Beets can be planted in late summer for an autumn or winter crop. Depending upon variety allow 50 to 90 days for beets to mature before the first freeze. (Look on the seed packet for days to maturity and then count backwards from the estimated first frost date in your area.) Where there is no freeze, plant beets in winter. Once autumn beets have matured, they can be left in the ground for winter harvest as long as the ground does not freeze. Beets can be grown in a cold frame or protected by a plastic tunnel. ( More tips on growing cool-season vegetables click here.)


Place. Beets will grow in full sun or light shade.

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