All about Beets and How to Plant Them
Having a vegetable garden can help you minimize expense on vegetables. Moreover, growing and harvesting vegetables are fun. There are many vegetables that you can grow in your garden. One of them is beets. They are not only good for your health. But, they also look attractive in your garden. Planting this particular vegetable is not too difficult if you know how to plant beets.
Learn more about how to plant grapes.
Get to Know More about Beets
Getting to know more about beets are very important before you start the steps of how to plant beets. If you want to have higher chance of success in growing these vegetables, you must have appropriate background knowledge. These are some facts about beets.
1. Origin and History of Beets
Beets are one of the varieties of Beta vulgaris. It is said that this particular vegetable is originated from Mediterranean coasts. Ancient civilizations had cultivated this vegetable thousands of years ago. Ancient Egyptian domesticated beets for their leaves. Later on, people started to use its roots for cooking and medicine.
2. Beet Characteristics in General
Beets are root vegetable plants. They are mostly planted for their taproot. These vegetables have green oval leaves with reddish midrib and petiole. The stem of the leaves can grow up to 40 cm in length. This kind of vegetable is in the same family with spinach. Therefore, it is no wonder that some people call it spinach beet.
These vegetable plants are pretty cold hardy. They can stand frost. Moreover, they are suitable to USDA hardiness zones 2 to10. Though beets are cold hardy, but they require full sun during the growing season. In addition, the vegetable plants are adaptable to a couple soil conditions, such as sandy and loamy.
However, the soil must have the right acidity level, between 6.2 and 6.8. In addition, it is essential to have well-drained, loose, and stay moist soil. One of the key successes of how to plant beets is even watering. Moreover, it must have adequate source of nutrients, especially phosphorus.
If you want to grow beets in your garden, you need to start it at the right time. Most gardeners recommend you to plant them in between March and April or 2 weeks after last frost. As an alternative, you can plant this plant 10 weeks before the frost. Beetroot can be harvested after about 70 days of planting.
If you plant beets for the beetroot, you must prevent the plants to bloom or bolt. Bolting boots are usually caused by two reasons. The first is planting in the wrong season. And the second is warmer temperature.
Bolting or flowering on beets must be avoided because it will affect the growth of the beetroots. It is because the energy of the plant will be directed to the flowers and the forming of the seeds. As a result, the beetroots will get hard and almost inedible.
However, if you plant this particular vegetable at the right time, you can avoid bolting in beets. In addition, they usually bloom in the second year. Therefore, you will not have early blooming beets unless the climate is too warm
4. Beetroots and Their Nutritional Value
Beetroots are edible roots. Their shape is similar to a ball. It has dark purplish red skin and flesh. However, there are beet varieties with white skin and orange skin with yellow flesh. When they are cut in halves, you will see that they seem to have zones of darker and lighter colored flesh.
This particular vegetable tastes sweet. But, it has earthy smell and taste. That’s why some people avoid beets. However, the right cooking method can minimize the earthy taste and smell.
Moreover, you can also minimize them by choosing firm beets that have dark green leafy tops. In addition, it is also important to clean them weal before cooking.
Beetroots are ready to harvest when the diameter is between 1 and 3 inches. Harvesting them when they are at this size will give you more tasty beets. Moreover, the smaller ones usually have less strong earthy flavor.
Beets are a good source of folic acid and dietary fiber. In addition, they contain various vitamins and minerals in a small amount. Beets mostly contain water.
However, they have excellent antioxidants, such as betalains and polyphenols. Therefore, this particular vegetable is good for your health.
Beets are mostly used for cooking. They can be roasted, boiled, or steamed. Then, they are eaten with meat dishes. Moreover, they can also be eaten raw and included in salads. Many people in countries love to have pickled beets.
Beetroots are not only for cooking. Its bold color is also used as food color. In the 19th century, there is a certain wine that is colored with beetroot juice. Moreover, beets are also cultivated to make sugar. In addition, beet leaves, which are called beet greens, are also used in cooking.
There are several beet varieties that you can plant. However, you need to know how to plant beets if you want to gain a success. These are some of the best beet cultivars.
This beet variety is perfect for you who never grow beets before. It has excellent resistance to diseases. Moreover, it has minimum risk of bolting. Therefore, you will not need to perform too complicated steps of how to plant beets.
Another great thing about `this variety of beet is that it matures in about 50 days. Kestrel produces baby beetroots. They are red and sweet.
This beet variety can be stored for longer time than other beets. It produces red beet with no zoning. In addition, it produces tender greens. Therefore, you can take advantage of both the leaves and the roots. Red Ace needs about 50 days to mature.
This beetroot variety can be categorized as a classic variety. It produces sweeter red roots. They are great eaten fresh. Moreover, they are also great for canned beef. This beet variety also has delicious greens. Detroit Dark Red usually will be matured in about 60 days.
This particular beetroot variety is unique. It has similar taste to sweet potato. In addition, its roots are yellow. That’s why it is named Golden beet. It will mature in about 50 days. But its seeds have low germinating ability. Therefore you need to soak them in lukewarm water in an hour.
This very cold hardy plant has dark maroon-red leaves. Therefore, it will look beautiful in your garden. In addition, these tasty leaves will make your salads look yummy. Meanwhile, its roots are red and tasty. They are best harvested when their size is about 3 inches in diameter. Bull’s blood takes about 55 days to mature.
This particular variety is perfect for you who want to harvest big, sweet, and tender beetroots. It also has tasty greens. Lutz Green Leaf usually matures in 70 days. You can harvest the roots in the fall and store them in the winter.
Learn more about how to grow asparagus.
How to Plant Beets
Beets are planted from seeds. Therefore, before you start the process of how to plant beets, you must buy the seeds first. In buying them, you need to make sure that you choose the right beet variety. Moreover, you need to choose seeds that are resistant to diseases.
Beet seeds are better sowed directly to the ground. Sowing them in seedling tray or little pots will decrease your chance of success in how to plant beets. Therefore, it is better for you to plant them directly to the ground.
However, it is okay if you want to plant these vegetables in containers. But, you must plant the seeds directly in big containers. Therefore, you can minimize damage due to the transplanting process
In order to plant this vegetable, you can follow these steps of how to plant beets.
1. Preparing The Planting Site
Before you sow your beet seeds, you need to make sure that you have your planting site ready. It is important to choose a sunny spot to plant them. Moreover, beets prefer well prepared soil. Therefore, you need to prepare the soil in your planting site. These are some tips on preparing the planting site.
- It is essential to fertilize the soil on the planting site. In fertilizing it, you had better use compost.
- The soil to plant the seeds must be not only fertile. It needs to be moist, well-drained, and have the right acidity level.
- If you are going to plant beets in containers, you need to choose containers in the right size, about 12 inches deep.
- To plant beets in the containers, you must use a mix of compost and high quality potting mix. In addition, you must water the plants more often.
2. Preparing The Seeds
Certain beets variety has low germinating ability. As a result, you may need to apply certain treatment to increase their chance of sprouting roots. These are what you can do to increase this chance.
⦁ In order to increase your chance of success, you can wash the seeds before sowing them.
⦁ If you live in drier climate, you need to soak you seeds before planting. If you use lukewarm water for it, you only need to soak them in an hour. But, if you use room temperature water, you must soak them at least for a night.
To sow your beet seeds, you can follow these steps.
- Create tiny holes about a centimeter deep.
- The holes must have 3 inches space between them. And if you plant them in rows, you must give a foot space between rows.
- Place a seed in each hole. After that, cover each of the holes with the soil and tamp the soil down.
- Moist the soil properly and keep the soil moist until the seed germinates.
Your beet seeds usually need about a week to germinate. At that stage, you must start to take care of them properly. A proper care will allow you to have better chance of a big crop. These are what you must do to care for the plants.
There is a possibility that you get more than one seedlings in one holes. On the other hand, beets require enough space to grow. Therefore, thinning is needed. It is essential to do it properly so that the other plants are not disturbed. One of the ways to do it is by cutting the leaves of unwanted beet plants.
It is important for you to make sure that the soils stay moist. To keep it moist, you must add a layer of mulch around your beet plants. Moreover, you also need to water the plants regularly. A beet plant usually require an inch of water per week.
Mulching will also help you to manage weed. However, if you still find some weed around your beet plants, you must weed the soil carefully. If you are not careful in doing it, the roots of your beet plants will be damaged. Therefore, your harvest will be affected
Fighting Pests and Diseases.
Bacteria, fungus, viruses, and pests can affect your beet plants. Therefore, you need to know how to deal with them. If you see any signs of disease, you must discard the affected plants and clean the planting site. Meanwhile, to deal with pest you can spray natural insecticide around these plants.
Different beets require different amount of time to mature. A mature beet usually has deeper color. Moreover, you must be sure that the roots are old enough to be harvested. In harvesting the crop, you must do it properly so that the roots are not damaged. You can dig them using your hand or a hand rake.
Aside from harvesting the roots, you can also harvest the greens. In cutting the beet greens, you had better choose ones that are pretty young and tender. Therefore, you can cook it and it will taste more delicious.
Now that you know the steps of how to plant beets, you can start this process about properly. Beets are a unique vegetable. They can bring excellent health benefits to humans. In consequence, it is a good idea to plant this vegetable plant.
Learn more about how to plant spinach.