Beets


Beets are usually thought of as round, red vegetables. However, they are available in a variety of shapes that range from oval to tapered lengths and colors that include orange, white, pink. There are even beets that have white stripes. Beets are best enjoyed when they are smaller than the ones you usually find in a grocery store; therefore growing your own is the best option.


Fact: Beets prefer to grow in neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.


Types of beets:
Standard Size:

These beets are grown farther apart than pickling beets.

Pickling:

These beets are smaller beets that are grown closer together and harvested when they are the size of a golf ball.

How to plant:
Beets can grow almost anywhere, but it is best to plant them in a sunny area in sandy soil. Make sure the soil is warmed to 45 degrees Fahrenheit before planting and plant standard size beets about four inches apart and pickling beets about two inches apart.

If you notice the leaves of your beet plants turning yellow, it is a sign of under watering. You should water your crops moderately unless the soil is very dry.


Common Problems:
Beets are fairly easy to grow and are usually not affected by many problems, other then the typical issues caused by birds and common insects.


Harvest Time:
If you plant your beets in batches you will be able to harvest them throughout the summer. Pickling beets should be harvested when they are the size of golf balls, this will also thin out the crop leaving room for the remaining beets to grow into standard size beets.

Be careful when harvesting your beets that you do not pierce the skin; this will cause the beets to bleed. Remove the leaves from your beets by twisting them off or by using a knife.



- Text Copyright ©Alan Buckingham 2008. DK Edition. Growing Vegetables.