Beets are one of the easier nutritious plants to grow in your garden. Although most people stick to the beet root you can also eat the greens in salads or cook them like you would turnips.
Starting them in early spring they like the bright cooler days of 60F – 70F to promote good growth.
Your soil should be well tilled to allow easy growth of the root bulb. If you have clay soil you will want to add organic material to reduce crusting over and allow easy growth.
Raised beds are an excellent choice as they will reduce the likely hood of soil compaction due to walking in the planting area.
Soil PH level should be between a 6.2 to 6.8 and will tolerate 6.0 to 7.5 which is a pretty wide range for most gardens.
A 10-10-10 rated fertilizer can be applied when preparing the soil for planting. Later when the plants reach about 3 inches tall another application can be applied to promote growth.
Seeds can be planted spaced about 4 inches apart in rows that are 1 foot wide. If you are planting in a raised bed then you can thin the crop as the plants start to grow.
After the plants have established themselves you can apply mulch at the base of the plant to reduce water evaporation and reduce weed growth.
In order to get the best crop you must promote constant growth of the plant until it matures. This means proper watering and fertilization throughout the growth cycle.
Preventing pests is also very important beatles, aphids and other pests enjoy eating the leafs of the plant which will reduce production of the root. It is important to inspect your plants often and take steps as necessary to protect them.
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