Beets (Beta vulgaris)

When to Plant

Sow outdoors in early spring as soon as soil can be worked. Successive plantings of the same or different varieties will provide a wonderful harvest of young beets, beet greens and mature beets for an extended period of time.

Location/Soil

Plant in full sun. Work soil well prior to planting to remove clumps and stones that can inhibit root formation.

Planting & Growing Information

Sow seeds 13 mm (1/2″) deep and 2.5 cm (1″) apart. Rows should be spaced 30 cm (12″) apart. When seedlings are approximately 5 cm (2”) tall, thin the seedlings to 8 cm (3″) apart to grow uniformly sized beets. Crowding keeps roots small.

Seeds germinate in approximately 10-12 days.

Days to Maturity

From date directly sown in garden.

Other Information

Harvesting young beet greens is an excellent way to thin throughout the row. Pick the entire plant when leaves are 10-15 cm (4-6”) tall and as you work your way through the row you will thin the plants and also enjoy a wonderful harvest of young greens and superb tasting baby beets!

Beet greens make for a very healthy and tasty dish! Enjoy them in a salad or steam the greens and serve with butter.

Baby beets cooked with butter wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked on the barbeque tastes superb.

Harvesting & Storage

Beets can be harvested at any size.

Beet greens stay fresh for 5-6 days in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

To store beets, trim the leaves 2 inches from the root. Do not trim the tail. The root bulbs should also be bagged and can be stored in the refrigerator crisper drawer.

Most commonly, beets are cooked and frozen to be used throughout the winter months.

Companion Planting

Likes: Celery, chamomile, dill, rosemary, lettuce, onion and the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage etc.)

Freezing Beets

  1. Remove the beet greens from the root bulb and wash the beets to remove any remaining soil.
    2. Bring a large pot approximately half full of water to boil
  2. Gently place beets into boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Additional time may be necessary if beets are larger
  3. Fill sink with cold water and after 15 minutes of boiling remove one of the beets with a slatted spoon and place in the cold water and test the skin. The beets are done if the skin slides right off the beet. If this happens remove the rest of the beets and add them to the cold water. If not allow to boil for an additional five minuets.
  4. Remove from the cooling water and peel and chop or shred. Place in freezer bags, remove excess air and freeze to enjoy throughout the cold winter months.