• Krista Green

9 Tips for Growing Beets

Updated: 3 days ago

I list beets as one of the 11 easiest vegetables to grow in Canada. Beets are a perfect addition for those of us gardening in the zone 3 growing climate as they prefer cold weather to hot. Beets are rarely bothered by pests or diseases and need little care besides thinning and regular watering. Let's look at some easy tips for growing beets from seed in in ground gardens, raised beds or in containers.

Tip #1. Direct Seed Beet Seeds

My first tip for growing beets from seed is to direct sow your seeds into your garden. They do not transplant well and tolerate frost and cold weather well. Plant your beet seeds directly into your garden or container soil up to a month before your last expected spring frost.

Tip #2. Plant Beet Seeds in Rich, Loose, Well Drained Soil

Add compost to your soil prior to planting your beet seeds. Beets grow quickly in rich, loose soil. Do not fertilize once planted. Adding nitrogen once beet plants are growing will cause tops to grow large while the bottoms remain small.

Tip #3. Plant Beet Seeds Where They Will Get 6 Hours of Sunlight or More

Although beets like cooler temperatures and thrive in 10 - 18 degree C (50 - 65F) temperatures they do not do well with less then 6 hours of sunlight. Plant your beets in an area where they will get 6 or more hours of sunlight each day.

Tip #4. How to Plant Beet Seeds

Plant beet seeds about one inch apart and one inch deep in rows 10 inches apart near the end of April. If you are planting later than mid May, seeds can be soaked for 24 hours for faster germination.

My favourite variety of beets to grow are the classic Detroit Dark Red beets.

Tip #5. Water Consistently

Water beets as needed. To check on soil moisture dig down with your finger. When soil is dry past your middle knuckle (or more than 1 to 2 inches down) it is time to water. Mulch can be placed around plants after thinning to help conserve moisture.

Tip #6. Thin Your Beets

Thin beets when they are 2 to 3 inches high, leaving a plant every 4 to 6 inches. Pulling out tiny plants can seem so hard but trust me, it will greatly improve the health and size of the remaining plants.