Growing beets is not that difficult. That is why this is one of the most popular plants to grow in any garden. As with all plants, there are some certain practices that you must follow; as well as some tips on how to grow the best beets.
The Best Fertilizer for Beets
Putting the best fertilizer will not matter much if you don’t follow some simple guidelines in beet crop-production. Let’s go through them one by one.
This is perhaps the most typical mistake that a novice beet-grower makes. Seed spacing is critical and should be followed almost perfectly (5-6 inches for the bigger roots and not closer than 3 inches for the baby roots).
However, you still need to thin the seedlings once they start to appear. The main reason for this is that the beet “packet” is actually a seed container that contains anywhere from 2 to 6 potentially usable seeds.
This is an uncommon characteristic among garden plants. Technically called a “perispermic” seed structure, this is a distinctive beet quality. That’s why many farmers and gardeners, even though they’ve been farming their whole life, fail to notice this and don’t thin the seedlings.
This is not good practice as the beets need space to grow. The beets will still produce and may have lots of green tops and leaves but the roots will definitely suffer as they are sharing the nutrients with multiple other seeds. It’s very possible that they will produce thin roots which would practically be useless.
The best method would be to let the seedlings grow to about 5 inches in height and then do the thinning. Also, instead of pulling out the unwanted seedlings, which would potentially endanger the “main” seedling, simply cut off the tops. This is a win-win. You get to remove the undesirable seeds plus you have some extra green leaves to consume.
The coasts of the Mediterranean are credited to have been the original birthplace of beets. The soil there is rich in boron due to its close proximity to the sea. This dependence on boron is still being used on modern cultivars; without enough boron, the roots might develop unwanted black spots and the overall quality will suffer.
One simple way to add boron to your crop is to get 6 quarts of water and liquefy 1 Tablespoon of Borax (yes, that pack of borax from Walmart) in it. Distribute it as uniformly as possible over 100 rows of crop. It is recommended to use it as a single application only, and preferably during the planting time.
A couple of important notes. You can also use this method on other plants that need boron for the best growth. The other important thing to remember is that more boron does not necessarily mean better plants. In fact, boron is a micronutrient and is needed in small amounts only. It is very easy to transition the boron from nutrient to poison, so be very careful.
Before applying boron, make extensive research on the type of soil that you will be farming or gardening on. Get the nutrients already in the soil, different compositions, various locations, and basically detailed data on the soil.
There may be a local government or private group that can offer to help you assess the soil. Some offer free testing while others give a huge discount. Either way, it is better to spend a little now, than regret it later.
If you find out that the soil is already drained of all nutrients and minerals, it might be good to build it up first before planting. Cultivate the soil through the effective use of organic fertilizers. Again, a detailed chart would be helpful to know what nutrients are more needed compared to others. Spend a little time to fix it now.
Most farmers and gardeners plant beets in the spring so they can harvest at the end of summer. While this is well and good, the best time to harvest is actually during the winter or end of the fall season.
Springtime can make the beets more vulnerable to damping because of the cool and wet atmosphere. And then the beets reach the critical maturity stage during the summertime which is not fatal but could result in the beets becoming flat in color, as well as flavor.
When planted during the end of summer when temperatures start to cool down, the beets basically create their own environment for the best growth as they love the cold weather. This gives them the best chance to grow their best as well as having more vivid colors and be more delectable.
Water the Soil
Seed germination can be a bit of a hassle during the summer season. the soil beds can become hard and may become too hard for the young seedlings to breakthrough.
You have to keep the seed wet and moist throughout the whole germination process, especially during the initial week of sowing. You must water the beds at least once every day.
There are instances where hard soil can still form quickly even when you water daily. Add some potting mix in there so the seedlings can easily get through the softer soil. This also makes it easier to see where weeds might sprout up.
Never forget to water as soon as the beets start growing. As much as possible, use the same amount of water measurements all the time to prevent inconsistency and cause the roots to be damaged. Be sure to note when the hot days are so you can add a little extra emergency water to get the best possible harvest.