How To Grow Beets



 Beets are one of the most commonly grown vegetables in the home garden. It's also one of the vegetables in the V-8 juice combination.

Beets need loose soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7. Remove stones or any other obstructions.

Plant beet seeds after the last frost. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep. Keep moist until seeds germinate. For a continuous crop beets can be planted until the end of June. Don't allow soil to crust. Keep the soil loose until seedlings appear.

Each seed is actually a cluster of seeds and will sprout several seedlings. Thin them down to one plant every 2 to 3 inches apart. Allow 12 to 18 inches between rows.

Beets like full sun but will grow in part shade.

Water beets with one inch of water a week if there is no rain. Keep the beet plants moist. A dry soil will produce woody beets. Mulch to keep the plants uniformly moist.

Keep the beds weedfree. Pull weeds out when they are small. If using a hoe or other tool don't cultivate any deeper than 1 inch or the growing beets can be damaged.

All parts of the beet plant are edible. The beet tops can be eaten like spinach. Marble sized beets from plant thinnings can be added raw to salads.

Beets don't have many pest problems. Flea beetles, leaf miners and aphids are it's worst enemies and are easily controlled. Row covers help to prevent flea beetles an leaf miners. Lady beetles can help control aphids. But the covers must be removed when the temperatures get hot.

Harvest beets when they are about 2 inches in diameter.

The beets can be stored in a dry, cool area. Cut the tops off about one inch from the top of the beet.

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Author: Marilyn Pokorney
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