How To Grow Beets? What do Beets Need to Grow Well?
Recent research has discovered that more people than ever before are eating vegetables in greater amounts. The reasons are no certain, but it seems as though the many campaigns about healthy eating and a desire to stay fit and healthy are behind the boom in eating greens and fruit. A good proportion of the population are vegans or vegetarians, and the world of vegan cooking is expanding fast.
Foreign cuisine has also had an effect on what we eat, and eastern dishes are becoming more popular as are those with a Mediterranean influence. Both of these regions include vegetables in their staple dishes and provide inspiration for new meals. Furthermore, many people are growing their own vegetables.
It only takes a small area of the yard to set aside and use for growing, and it is fun, rewarding and also beneficial to mental health. In this article we’re talking about how to grow beets, a versatile and delicious vegetable available in many varieties, and one that adds a special something to any meal.
How to Grow Beets
Beets are not difficult to grow, but as with all vegetables they do need a certain amount of nurturing during the growth period. There are many benefits to this vegetable as a home-grown choice. First, you can store beets for a surprisingly long time so you need not worry about growing too many. Simply follow the simple instructions for storage and you’ll have a supply for many months. Many root vegetables also store well – carrots, potatoes and turnips for example – so it is worth checking them out.
So, how do you make sure your beets will grow well? We’ll go through a few of the steps one by one to ensure you get the full information, so let’s start at the very beginning with an imaginary packet of beet seeds.
First, be aware that beets are quite hardy. Unlike many vegetables they are rarely troubled by pests or disease, so a healthy crop is a likely outcome. Now for the fun part – sowing your beet seeds.
When you look at a beet seed, you’ll see it’s actually a few seeds – usually two to four – joined together with quite a hard outer shell. The best way to sow beet seeds is to put them straight into the soil bed where you want them to grow. Choose a patch that gets plenty of sun – this is good advice for most vegetables – and also one you can reach easily with a hose or watering can.
Sowing Beet Seeds
When should you sow beet seeds? The choice is yours, but the best time is to do so in early spring, a few weeks before the last frost. They are resilient to cold, so you do not need to worry there. Sow the seeds a little way apart from each other and water regularly in the first week. Once you start to see definite shoots you might want to thin out the plants; look to have no more than 9 within a square foot, which actually means you can grow a lot of plants in a small area. Further advice is to perhaps cover the area during the germination period.
Once you have your beets where they are to stay and they are growing nicely, all you need to do is keep them watered, ensure they get the sun, and keep an eye out for weeds or intruders such as slugs and snails. Your beets will pretty much look after themselves from now on!
Another benefit of growing beets is that like many vegetables, and more so than some, beets are good for you as they not only contain a plentiful supply of vitamin C but a host of further nutrients. Also, the leaves are as tasty as the root, a fact that many people overlook. They make a fine addition to any salad and there are many great recipes using beets plus they add a touch of colour to a green salad that gives it more appeal. When should you harvest beets? That’s up to you as they can be eaten at any age.
Baby beets have a tender and sweet flavour that is appealing to many, while most people like to leave their beets until they reach a size of several inches in diameter. Bear in mind that they do tend to become less flavoursome with greater size and while tasty at their biggest, are by far best at around 4 to five centimetres or around two inches across.
Easy to grow and lovely to eat, beets make a great choice for children to grow too, so you can get all the family out into the garden with their own little space and enjoy watching their beets grow into delicious little root vegetables ready to boil, bake, roast or pickle, or simply add raw to a salad.