Germination temperature: 50 F to 85 F
- Will still germinate at temperatures as low as 40 F and as high as 90 F.
Days to emergence: 5 to 8
- May take two to three weeks in colder soils.
Seed can be saved 4 years.
Plant in early spring, as soon as you can work the soil, ¾ inch deep
and 1 inch apart in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. For
continuous harvest, make successive plantings every three weeks until
midsummer. For winter storage, sow crop about 10 weeks before heavy
wrinkled “seedball” usually contains two to four viable seeds, making
it necessary to thin to 3- to 4-inch spacings if you plan to harvest
young, small or cylindrical-shaped roots, or 6-inch spacings for larger
roots for winter storage.
Begin thinning when seedlings are
about 4 to 5 inches tall, and eat the thinnings. Cut rather than pull
plants when thinning to avoid disturbing roots of other plants.
Some “monogerm” varieties have only one seed per fruit. Some seed companies remove seeds from the seedball.
Unlike most root crops, beets can be started inside or in cold frames and transplanted into the garden.
Use floating row covers to discourage insects early in the season.
Keep well-weeded. Competition and uneven watering can make beets stringy and tough.
Beets are closely related to Swiss chard and spinach. Avoid following these crops in rotation.
Beets tolerate average to low fertility. Too much nitrogen will encourage top growth at the expense of root development.
color and flavor develop under cool conditions and bright sun. When
beets mature in warm weather, they are lighter colored, have less sugar
and have more pronounced color zoning in the roots. Fluctuating weather
conditions produce white zone rings in roots.
biennials. Normally, they produce an enlarged root during their first
season. Then after overwintering they produce a flower stalk. If they
experience two to three weeks of temperatures below 45 F after they
have formed several true leaves during their first season, a flower
stalk may grow prematurely. Many newer varieties are less sensitive to