Packed full of nutrients, beet plants are versatile and easy to grow. Learn how to plant beets to enjoy all season long with this simple step-by-step tutorial.
Beginner Gardening Series Overview
If you’d like to jump to a previous week, here is what we’ve covered (and will be covering):
Planning Your Backyard Garden
Supplies to Get for Making a Small Backyard Garden
Preparing the Backyard Garden for Planting
Planting Vegetable (Pepper) Seeds Indoors
Weeks 1-3: How to Plant Lettuce Seeds Outdoors
Weeks 1-3: How to Plant Onions
Weeks 2-4: Planting Beets Outdoors (we are here)
Garden Maintenance (coming soon)
Weeks 6-8: Planting Seedlings to the Garden (coming soon)
Troubleshooting (coming soon)
First Harvest! (coming soon)
Welcome back to our Beginner Gardening Series. Over the last few weeks we’ve gone through the process of making a 5’x7’ backyard vegetable garden, step-by-step. In the first week we covered the Where, What and Will it Grow of Backyard vegetable gardening. After that we prepared a checklist for preparing the backyard garden for planting as well as which gardening supplies are needed to start planting.
Why You Should Add Beets to Your Garden
Beet plants are one of those under-appreciated vegetables, with their versatility and somewhat acquiried taste. Beets can be eaten raw, shredded and used in salads, or cooked to a soft consistency and made in to a cooked salad side dish, similar to this non-creamy potato salad. For as long as I can remember, our mom has been growing beets and canning them in jars to enjoy all year long.
Additionally, young beet greens taste amazing in salads and are full of nutrients including protein and fiber, essential vitamins and minerals (phosphorus, zinc, vitamins A, C and B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese) and antioxidants. Beet greens have more iron than spinach and are generally more nutritious than the roots themselves! So, don’t throw out those greens: use them in salads or look for delicious recipes to use up the mature greens.
In our garden to day we have planted lettuce seeds outdoors; planted onion bulbs outdoors; and planted pepper seeds indoors as well as plenty of tomato plants. These plants are coming along nicely and soon we’ll be able to harvest our young lettuce seedlings to enjoy the first harvest easy spring mix salad. But don’t worry if you’re just getting started: the growing window is long. You can also wait until June to plant the seedlings instead.
f you’d like to keep track of what and when you planted, download our pretty vegetable garden journalling pages.
How to Plant Beets from Seeds
Planting beet seeds outdoors is a lot like planting lettuce seeds. So if you’ve already planted your lettuce seeds, you can use a similar method for the beets.
If you have a variety of beet seeds such as chioggia and dark you can mix them altogether for planting or keep them separated in your garden. We opted to mix and plant our beets, swiss chard and kale seeds all together.
Using a hoe, turn the soil in the area you plan to place your beet seeds.
Gather the seeds in one hand and sprinkle them over top of the turned soil.
Gently rake the soil just covering the beet seeds.
If the soil is already moist, leave the seeds and soil for a few days without watering. In a couple of days, lightly water the seeds with a gentle misting is possible.
If the soil appears dry, you can water the planted seeds right away.
If you keep the soil moist, within 7-10 days you will start to see seedlings popping out of the soil.
Got a Critter Problem?
If critters are a problem in your area, consider putting chicken wire two feet high around the garden as we’ve done here. Staple the wire to wooden posts in all four corners to secure in place.
In the coming weeks, we’ll discuss maintanence for your backyard garden. We’d love to see how your garden is coming along! Share a picture of your prepared garden in the Happy Homecooks and Gardeners Facebook Group for feedback and more ideas.
Happy gardening, friends!
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