Tips for Growing beets?

srj19(4)April 20, 2009

I've tried growing beets for 3 years now, every year they come out just tiny after growing from May 15th until late summer.

I've heard that beets really hate rocky soil, maybe even prefering sandy soil. True? How do you guys handle having a special sandy soil area in the garden?

Other than that I try to keep them thined well after sprouting to give them room. I think I'll also try and get them in the ground in the next week to give them a headstart.

Thanks for all help,


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I make my own seed tapes for beets. I use some leftover drywall mudding tape, or strips of paper towels (my hubby cuts the whole role for me). I make them about 5 feet long.
To make them I lay out the strips on the kitchen table or counter top. Then dab a spot of elmer's school glue every 3 inches, then drop a seed on each glue dot.
When it's time to plant I roll it out in the garden and cover slightly with soil.
Even spacing every time :)

If your soil is rocky or very heavy, the beets may have a hard time growing in it (as would carrots). You could amend the soil with grass clippings or shredded leaves to help lighten it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:57PM
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Interesting, so no wasted seeds and no hunching over to thin out the seedlings and sow the seeds.

Any issues with the glueing of the seeds on germination?

I like the idea of something besides sand to lightnen up the soil like grass/leaves, that was you can just till it all together the following year.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 2:48PM
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The glue is water soluable, so no impact to germination that I have noticed.
Another alternative for school glue is to mix flour and water. That gets a little messy (in my opinion) and I have the little bottle of school glue handy.

The paper also degrades rather quickly once in the garden. By the time I am harvesting the beets, there is nothing left of it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:23AM
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Root vegetables grow better in "lighter" soil. For more useful info, see link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Carrots and Other Root Vegetables in the Garden

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 7:59AM
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I've always started mine in small clay pots early in like Feb/March and then transfer them to my growboxes once they sprout. I used just plain potting soil. There's nothing like homegrown produce! The taste is just AMAZING!


Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Patch

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 1:38PM
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qbush(6, NE MA)

dirtbert: Do you rhink this tape idea might work with parsnips???

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:59PM
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I still haven't tried the tape, I think any medium to large seed would work though. I'm assuming that once paper tape softens and the root strengthens it has no trouble pushing through into the soil.

I'm thinking about doing something similar with sheets of newspaper over the soil, applying a 1/2 inch or so of soil and carrot or beet seeds (not in any special rows but everywhere) I'm hoping this will do the same thing, and will retard weed growth from beneath for a long time and make for more production with less bent over weeding.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:44AM
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