The tasty feel of beets is reason enough to grow them in your garden. Beets are staple in most gardens and come loaded with antioxidants. It’s one of the easiest vegetables to grow and is ranked among the ten best garden vegetables.
But how long do beets take to grow? The good news is that you won’t wait long to enjoy the tasty roots. The seeds germinate in 7-14 days. For most varieties, beets take 55 to 70 days to mature fully.
Looking to grow some beets? Join me as I discuss more about beets from planting, growing, and harvesting.
Before we get started, let’s learn a little about beets.
Beets are also known as beetroots. They are a warm-climate season crop that easily grows from seed.
Beets are colorful and survive frost and close to freezing temperatures. They are available in varieties of striped, yellow, white, and deep red colors.
Most varieties are usually ready to harvest, from the size of a golf ball to a tennis ball.
You can grow beets directly from seeds. A single seed features a cluster of 2-4 seeds. While you can get seedlings from a local nursery, it’s pretty easy to grow from seeds.
If you’re sowing early, consider the Boltardy variety. Golden and white varieties take a long to grow.
Choose a place with neutral moisture and pH in the range of 6.5 to 7. Space the seeds well. You can even grow beets in a pot. Sow seeds 2cm deep and 10-15 cm apart.
You can start planting the seeds in early spring. Make more plantings in 2-3 weeks. If you want to speed up germination, consider soaking the seeds.
With the seeds sown, it’s time you nurture them until they sprout. You’ll need to water them daily. Seeds need plenty of water during the germination process. That’s different from seedlings. Seedlings have roots that can take water from the soil.
Underwatering creates woody roots. But overwatering is also bad. It makes beets produce more leaves and fewer roots.
You can reduce watering once the seeds sprout to 10-14 days. Additionally, you need to fertilize your beets. A thin layer of compost or manure usually works. But you can also add some complete organic fertilizer.
Avoid adding fertilizer with too much nitrogen like 34-0-0 fertilizers with 34 percent nitrogen, it will lead to a lot of leafy growth. Too much leafy growth leads to little root development.
As part of nurturing, look for ways to take care of birds and weeds. You can devise ways like covering with a net to keep birds away. As for the weeds, manually pulling them out before they develop can help control their growth.
You also need to plan for harvesting. Beets are usually ready between 55 to 70 days from planting. You need to plan for harvest within two months of planting.
Roots should be harvested when they are the size of a golf ball or larger. When roots get pretty large, they become tough and woody.
When harvesting, start by loosening the soil around the beet. The beet greens should be harvested at intervals. Start the thinning process from the seedling stage.
You don’t have to harvest all the beets at once. Save some for next season by covering them with a lot of mulch.
In a single plant, take one or two leaves until the blades are six inches tall. You need a good balance between the number of leaves in a plant. However, remember the beets need the leaves to grow the leaves fully. Some make sure you retain a few leaves for proper root development.
After harvesting, you need proper storage of the beets. When storing beets, clip the top to help keep them fresh for longer. Leave about 1-inch of the stem. Also, consider storing the beets and the greens separately.
Fresh beets can be stored in a refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days. Roots can also be stored long-term in the cellar. When doing so, make sure you brush off any soil on the roots. You can then bury the roots in layers of dry sawdust or sand.
You can also store beets in a cool and dry place in your basement. If the beets sprout, then that’s an indication of poor storage. It can lead to root decay.
Beets can also be frozen and canned.
As you can see, beets don’t take that long to grow. You can plan harvesting two months after planting. Most beet varieties take 50-70 days to mature. They are among the easiest vegetables to grow.
What’s more, beets are rarely troubled by diseases and pests. You also don’t need to stalk or prune them. The fact that you can plant them directly from seeds is another good reason to plant seeds.