Will try growing beets this spring. I have raised beds and good soil. Any advice, tricks or tips about growing beets would be appreciated. I've never tried them before.
An ounce of seeds will plant about 50 feet. Distance between rows is 1.5 - 2 feet and distance between plants is 2-4 inches. Plant about 1/2 inch deep. They will reach maturity in about 2 months and you can harvest them fpr about a month before they begin to get hard and pithy. an ounce of seeds will yield about 50-75 pounds. We like pickled beets made with cooked beets, vinegar, water, salt, and onions. If you like you can add dill or fennel seeds to each jar. Some folks add sugar to make a sweet pickled beet, especially with the fennel seeds. Aren't they the ugliest seeds you've ever seen?
Thanks for the advice. What about fertilize? How much would you use for a 10 ft. row? How do you tell when the root is ready to pull? Are they like turnips? You can see the top of a turnip root and tell when it's ready. Also, I like pickled beets too and will try to find a recipe for that.
Open the row for planting. Add about 3-4 cups of 8-8-8 fertilizer in a 50 foot row. If you can get a fertlizer with a higher middle number or a root stimulator, that is better. Use a cultivating fork to work in the fertilizer. Make you furrow again and drop your seeds. If you drop two seeds side by side, that is ok. You can pull out the ones growing too close and transplant them if you have any skips.
I have done beets in my raised beds for the last 3 or 4 years. With the exception of last year, we have been very happy with our beets, happy enough to increase our planting each year. Last year we had some small black beetle attack the leaves of our beets and chard. The damage was enough to slow growth enough to where we harvested no beets. They were all too tough.
If I lived on old cotton land (which I do), I would be careful about adding more phosphorus (the middle number of the 3 in fertilizer numbers). Alabama cotton farmers added balanced fertilizers to their land for decades. Cotton does not use nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium equally and phosphorus stays in the soil. There are places, like my area, where the phosphorus levels are at "very high" levels. According to Alabama County Extension System, I have about 40 years worth of phosphorus in my soil without adding any more. I would get a soil test (especially if living on old cotton land) before adding extra phosphorus).