Growing Beets In Garden
Growing beets in garden can be successful in cool climates like here in Park City, Utah. Beets are a cool season vegetable that prefer sunny locations and fertile, deep, well-drained soils. Incorporate plenty of organic compost and a complete fertilizer into the area before planting. Plant seeds 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep. Once they become seedlings thin them 3 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart. Plant the seeds 2-3 weeks before the last frost (which is typically June 1st to June 8th in Park City). Beets taste best when plants have been exposed to several weeks of cool frosty weather. Harvest beets when the roots reach full size.
Growing Beet / How To Guide
Beets prefer fertile, well-drained, deep, sandy soils rich in organic matter for best growth. Most light soils in Utah are well suited for beet production. Heavy soils nee to be amended with plenty of compost to allow good root development.
Before planting and growing beets in garden, incorporate up to 2-4 inches of well composted organic matter and apply all-purpose fertilizer (10-10-10) / manure. Work this into the top 6 inches of the soil.
Growing Beets From Seed
Growing beets from seed... Beets are always grown from seed. Beets can be sown after soils reach 40°F. Seeds germinate best at 55-75°F and require 7-14 days to emerge. Temperatures above 80°F reduce seed germination. Beets grow best when temperatures do not exceed 85°F. Many gardeners plant beets at 2-3 week intervals to maintain a steady supply throughout the year.
Planting and Spacing
Seeds should be planted 1/2 - 1 inch deep. Crusting soils will limit seedling emergence and affect plant stands. Maintain a uniform and moist soil surface to ensure good plant stands. Seeded beets should be spaced 3-4 inches between plants in the row with rows 12-18 inches apart.
Water beets regularly. Water requirements depend on soil type. Mulching around the plants helps to conserve soil moisture. Use drip irrigation if possible. Moisture fluctuations cause root cracking, slow leaf development, and contribute to low yields. after stress during the first weeks of growth often leads to premature flowering and low yields.
Apply nitrogen based fertilizer (21-0-0) 6 weeks after emergence to encourage rapid plant growth. Place the fertilizer to the side of the plants and irrigate it into the soil. Beets require adequate amounts of boron to develop properly. Black, sunken spots on or in the root generally indicate low boron levels in the soil.
Harvest And Storage
Beets can be harvested as soon as the roots begin to size. Generally roots are mature 60-80 days from seeding, depending on variety. As the roots get larger they tend to get more fibrous. Use a digging fork to loosen soil and pull up needed plants by the tops and trim off leaves. Wash and store at 32°F and 95% relative humidity for 2-4 months. Young leaves may be cooked and eaten as well. Harvest beet leaves when they are 4-6 inches tall. Beets should be harvested before heavy frosts or freezes.