Beet

Cultivated for food in Europe since the 3rd century, beets are a cool weather crop that can tolerate frosts and mild freezes. Both the leafy tops and roots are highly nutritious. Beets are perfect for home gardens and make a great addition to local fresh markets sales.

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Cultivated for food in Europe since the 3rd century, beets are a cool weather crop that can tolerate frosts and mild freezes. Both the leafy tops and roots are highly nutritious. Beets are perfect for home gardens and make a great addition to local fresh markets sales.

Fresh Market Grower Tips:
Beets have been a mainstay for roadside and farmers’ markets for many years, and this nutritious root crop is one of the first to be harvested in the spring. Growers’ offer them bunched or cut and bag the tops for greens. Varieties like our Kestrel, Merlin and Red Ace add that special fresh green top color for displays.

Culture:
Direct-seed from May through July in 50-85° F. soils for continuous production. Beets prefer a well-drained, sandy loam with a pH range of 6.4- 6.8. Add hydrated lime and boron to your fertilizer for quick growth and best quality. Very early plantings may bolt to seed if subjected to 2-3 weeks of temperatures below 50° F. and after developing several true leaves. Since there may be several viable embryos in every seed ball, care in spacing when planting can save many hours of thinning a month later. Beets germinate in 1-2 weeks, depending on conditions. The greatest single limiting factor in growing beets is moisture. Letting them dry out at various stages will result in either poor germination, slow growth or tough, woody roots at harvest. Fall harvested beets will remain firm and sweet for several months when topped and stored in a cool, moist, dark storage near 35° F. and 95% rel. humidity.

Growing Tips: For continuous production, sow seeds in well-drained, 50 to 85 degrees F. soil, from May thru July (see packet for sowing instructions). Beets should be thinned to 3 to 4 apart, and thinnings can be used for greens. Water is critical for proper growth, so don’t let them dry out while growing.

Storage: In the fall, dig beets carefully to prevent damage to the roots. Cut tops to 2 above roots, and store in sand or wood chips at 33 to 40 degrees F. Beets will store in plastic bags in the refrigerator for several weeks.



Average Seed Count: 450 per packet; 1500-2000/oz; 17,000-44,000/lb
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