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BEETS


  How To Grow Beets


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Beta vulgaris
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Well-drained, deep sandy loam
pH RANGE: 6.2 - 6.8
MOISTURE/WATERING: Average
MATURITY IN DAYS: 70 - 75
KNOWN PESTS: Spinach Leaf Miner
KNOWN DISEASES: Leaf Spots



OVERVIEW:

No garden seems complete without beets. Beets are dark red and vigorous, beets have been a popular vegetable amongst gardeners for many years. Gardeners should sow beets early in the spring, or, for a second crop, after the hot summer weather is over.

Use the young, tender beet tops for fresh greens. Beets can be grated in salads, pickled, or baked and then skinned and served with fresh dill. Beets can be preserved by canning or freezing and they retain their taste and texture very well. To retain the color and nutrients in beets, don't cut the tip of the root and leave at least an inch of the top stem intact - this will also keep beets from "bleeding."


PROPAGATION / SOWING:

Sow beet seeds thinly 1/2-1" deep in rows spaced 8-12" apart. Soil temperature should be 18-24 degrees C (65-75 degrees F) for optimal germination. Thin beet seedlings 1" apart for greens and 3" apart for summer use of roots. Plant beets every two weeks, starting as early as soil can be worked until late June.


COMPANION PLANTING FOR BEETS:

Bush bean, cabbage family, corn, leek, lettuce, onion, radish.


CARE & GROWING OF BEETS:

Choose a full sun location. Beets require a light, well-drained, cool soil with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8. Compost or well-rotted manure along with pure wood ashes, as a supply of additional potassium, should be mixed well into the soil prior to planting. Applying Boron after 4-6 weeks of growth will prevent internal browning, particularly in dry seasons. Keep beets well-watered as drought will result in tough or woody beets.


HARVESTING:

Young and tender beet leaves can be used as greens. Dig or pull beet roots when 2-3" in diameter or desired size.












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Beets are sensitive to soil acidity. A low soil pH results in stunted growth. They prefer a pH of 6.2 to 6.8 and will tolerate 6.0 to 7.5. Raised beds will help growth as well.






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