Beets (Beta vulgaris)
Germination Soil Temp:
Days to Germinate:
Date to sow Indoors:
Date to sow Outdoors
75 - 85 Degrees
5 weeks before frost
March 1 - March 10
6.0 - 6.5
60 - 65 Degrees
Greens 2 inches, Beets 3 inches
Moderate and even
6 - 8 hours of full sun
Moderate N, P, and K
Avoid following spinach and shard
Beets are members of the goosefoot family. Both the leaves and the roots are edible.
Should be well-drained and friable. Beets will tolerate clay. Beets grown in high organic soils have a better texture, they tend not to be as hard and crusty.
In the absence of a soil test, apply composted manures and compost teas or broadcast one cup of 10-10-10 per 10 foot row and mix into the top 4 inches of soil. Use a composted manure or green manure to add nutrients and texture to the soil.
Plant seed 1/2 inch deep in moist soil. Plant in rows about 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart. Spring sow in March, Fall sow in August.
Keep the plant bed weed free. Use a rake or hoe to prevent soil crusting, but do not cultivate more than 1 inch to prevent root damage. Water plants weekly when there is no rain. Thin plants when they become crowded in rows. Extent the crop harvest by shading with a trellis or vining the summer crop.
Bush beans, cabbage family, corn, leek, lettuce, lima bean, onion, radish. Catnip or mint will reduce beetle damage; avoid mustard and pole beans.
Bottoms: Chioggia, Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Gladiator, Ruby Queen, Formanova and Golden Beet
Greens: Avenger (green) , Bull's Blood (ornamental red tops)
Young beet tops are excellent as fresh salad greens. Harvest beets when roots are the size of a golf ball. Cut off tops for storage. Keep in plastic bags and refrigerate.
Beet root juice has been shown to lower blood pressure, benefit liver functions and reduce cholesterol. Potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, folic acid, niacin, and vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and K.
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Source: UT Extension, PB1578 - Tennessee Master Gardener Handbook