We grow several different kinds of beets for fresh use, plus a couple especially for storage. Each has it's special, best use, and we would be hard pressed to leave any of them out of our garden plan. To preserve the color of cooked beets you can leave the skin and half an inch of top on while boiling (skin them afterward) or simply bake the roots in a 350° oven until tender to the fork. Beets are a cool-season crop best grown in spring and again in fall. Fresh beets have a delicious sweetness and rich color and are fabulous roasted, pickled, steamed or baked. The tasty beet greens are an added bonus.
SOW in well-worked soil after danger of frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall. Sow thinly in rows 12" apart and cover with 1/2" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
How to Grow
Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days. Thin to stand about 3" apart when seedlings are 1-2" tall.
Pick the greens when they are 4-6" long and the roots are less than 2" in diameter. Store fall-harvested beets at 33-35°F at 95% humidity. Cook beet greens like spinach and can or pickle the roots. Beet roots can also be grilled, baked or broiled.
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