In this series I’m compiling the quick and dirty info on growing specific vegetables. Just the basics. No fluff, no frills. When you’re sitting down in the late Winter, surrounded by seed catalogs, and your garden plan in front of you, you want a quick reference. How far apart can you plant? What pH do they need? How much water? What vegetables can you plant next to others? Which should you avoid?
This quick and dirty 30 second guide to Beets should help you answer all those questions quickly, without having to sort through article after article. I’ve always wanted a quick cheat sheet like this, so hopefully you’ll find it useful too!
I avoided beets for the longest time. They smelled gross! Like dirt! Why would I want to eat dirt?
Finally I had pickled beets and fell in love!
My step-daughter went through a phase where she started turning her nose up at everything. He offered her beets one day and this is how it went:
“What’s that?” He said
“Ew! I don’t like beets!”
“OO! I like candy!”
And she ate the entire bowl. I will fully admit they do have a distinct, earthy, full-bodied taste, but it’s so, so worth it. We always strive to add more color to our diet, and beets are a nutritious, colorful food.
Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betalains have been proven to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties. It’s also full of folate, manganese and potassium.
If you’re growing Beets this year, here’s what you need to know:
1-1.5 inches per week
Direct sow as soon as you can work the soil
Cabbage, Corn, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Radishes
Avoid Planting With
4 inches apart, in rows 12 inches apart
Low maintenance. Weed and water regularly.
Saving The Seeds
Beets and swiss chard will cross-pollinate, so avoid planting them in the same year if you want to harvest the seeds. They can cross-pollinate up to 5 miles of distance.
Beets will set seeds only after they’ve been planted, matured, and allowed to over-winter. The next Spring they will go to seed.
Allow the seed pods to mature and dry on the stalk before harvesting.