Beet Stat Summary
Plant Spacing: 2-4" (50-101 mm)
Row Spacing: 12-16" (304-406 mm)
Planting Depth: 1/2" (12 mm)
Plants Per Person: 10
Soil Temperature: 45 is ok, 55-70 is best°F (7-21°C)
Days to Emergence: 5-17
Recommended Soil PH: 6.5-7.0
Earliest Outdoor Planting: Before Last Frost
Can direct seed outdoors
Beets prefer rock-free well-drained sandy loam soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7; do not plant in soil with a pH less than 6.0. Prior to planting, prepare the soil by working in 2 to 3 inches of compost or well-rotted manure. Beets germinate in soil as cool as 45 degrees F, but the strongest plants emerge when the soil is between 55 to 70 F.
A beet "seed" usually contains 2 to 4 viable seeds, making eventual thinning a necessity. Plant 1 seed per inch at a depth of 1/2 inch in rows 12 to 16 inches apart. Cover the seeds with sifted compost, loose soil or vermiculite; water evenly. Beets tolerate less fertile soil, but require consistent moisture especially during root development.
The 3 to 4 inch seedlings should be hand thinned to 2 to 4 inches apart; the beets removed can be used as pot greens or in salads.
Place mulch between plants to help deter weeds; beet plants compete poorly against weeds.
Harvesting and Storing Beet
Beets are usually harvested when they reach their desired size for table or canning use. Pick smaller beets for salads and larger ones for canning; beets larger than 3 inches can be tough and fibrous. The root size is controlled primarily by spacing and variety rather than by maturity date.
Store beets by cutting off all but 1 inch of the tops of freshly harvested plants prior to placing in a cool root cellar or in a bag in the refrigerator; store the greens separately from the beet.
Beet Insect and Disease Information
Beets are susceptible to scab; it causes brown rough spots on the skin. This can be prevented my keeping the soil pH level near neutral (7.0) and the beets adequately watered. Since this disease also affects potatoes, allow 2 years between crop rotating with beets.
Beet Yield Information
For a continuous supply of fresh beets, sow additional seeds at 3 to 4 week intervals until mid to late summer.
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