Learn how to care for beets along with its history and classification details.
Hardiness Zone: 2-11
Soil Type: Slightly acidic to neutral
Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
Annual or Perennial: Annual
History: Beets are believed to originate along the coasts of the Mediterranean (sea beets) and were first cultivated for their edible leaves. The Greeks, like the Romans, cultivated beets for their leaves, but ate them as food and called them teutlon or teutlion, because the foliage resembled squid tentacles
How to Care for Beets
How do I plant beets?
Sow seeds ½-inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart in rows that are about 12 to 18 inches apart. After sowing, cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Make sure soil remains moist for optimal germination.
When is the best time to plant beets?
In early spring, as soon as the soil is workable. Make successive plantings every 2 to 3 weeks until mid-summer.
Successive plantings are possible through summer as long as daytime temperatures don’t exceed 75°F (24°C). For a fall harvest, sow beet seeds from mid-summer through early fall, starting about 4 to 6 weeks before your first fall frost.
Winter crops are a definite possibility in Zone 9 and warmer. Plant beets in early to late fall for a winter harvest.
How do I propagate beets?
You will need a shallow dish with a little bit of lip. Put just enough water in the dish to cover the cut end of the beet top. Wait a couple of days and you will see new leaves begin to form. To prevent rot, change your water frequently
Can I grow beets in a pot?
Yes, you could grow beets in a pot, so long as it’s a fairly wide pot.
How much should I water beets?
Beets require 1 in of water per square foot once a week.
Do I need to fertilize beets?
You can fertilize beets frequently.
When do beets bloom?
Beet plants will bloom in 30-35 days for greens, and 50-65 days for roots.
How do I know when beets are ripe?
The roots are ready to harvest when they are a few inches in diameter, somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball size.
When do I harvest beets?
Expect to harvest your crop around 50-70 days after planting.
What is the best way to store beets?
Cut. Cut the greens off the tops of fresh beets, leaving 2 inches of stem.
Is a beet a fruit or a vegetable?
Beets are categorized as vegetables.
Should I plant any companion plants?
Beets grow well with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bush beans, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kohlrabi, and lettuce.
What are the health benefits of beets?
Beets are rich in folate (vitamin B9) which helps cells grow and function. Folate plays a key role in controlling damage to blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Beets are naturally high in nitrates, which are turned into nitric oxide in the body
Roasted Beet Pesto
One thing beets are great for in recipes is color. This is a colorful vegetarian dish, based on the classic basil pesto.
Breathe properly. Stay curious. And eat your beets.