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Growing Organic Beets

Updated on January 28, 2012

Organic Beets

Beets, what a great food: pickled beets are a personal favourite but I also enjoy them steamed and served with a pork chop and some fresh green beans.

Borscht is another favourite dish. I do not make it often, usually once a year when the local beets are available and I can pick up a 10 pound bag for very little money. 

In fact beets, in season, are often so cheap to buy that I will not include them in my garden, unless I have extra room. Over the years I have gardened on my balcony, in shared backyard gardens and community gardens. Beets can be grown in a small garden so don’t let my choices deter you from including them in your home vegetable garden.

In one shred garden we had considerable rooms and as all the gardeners loved beets we decided to grow them. We were all organic gardeners so the crop was organically grown and plentiful.

Growing Beets:

You can start your beets indoors, if the growing season is short or if you just want to get a jump on things. Beets can be set out about a month before the last frost; however, if you decide to do this be sure to cover them at night.

Beets can go woody in hot weather so by starting early you are improving the quality of the crop.

The beet itself is not the only crop but the young, tender beet leaves are also tasty and nutritious. You can grow for both the beetroot and the leaves and get a bigger return on your investment.

Buy varieties that are early bloomers. Beet- Bull’s Blood, for example produces dark red-purple tops that have a sweet flavour. The baby leaf tops appear in about 35 days and the beet root about 20 days later.

Beets like soil with a pH between 6.0 to 6.8, and some people say the best results are obtained when the seed is directly planted into the soil rather than starting them indoors. We planted direct into the soil, as soon as, it felt warm enough to the touch. However, if you plan to plant earlier be sure to have a row cover or something else to keep them warm at night, handy. Frost can affect production.

If planting seed, be sure to do so as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Sow the seeds 1/2-inch deep and in rows 12 to 18 inches or more apart depending on the method of cultivation.

The seeds need to be spaced one inch apart and in the rows.  It is time to thin the plants when the seedlings are one to two inches tall. There should be about one plant per inch. As they grow, thin to about three to four inches between plants.

Succession planting can be done at three week intervals throughout the season.

Beets are a fine addition to your home vegetable garden; you do not need a lot of room to grow them and they provide both greens and a root vegetable.

beets in sink

Bob Ewing photo
Bob Ewing photo


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Food can be a powerful memory stimulant, I have number of associations, especially about my grandmother. Thanks Enlydia, and happy gardening to both of you.

  • elayne001 profile image


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I have beets growing in my back yard right now. I love to eat the beet greens also. I have a square-foot garden and they do very well in it. My grandmother used to make pickled beets for us and so it brings back fond memories when I eat them. Aloha!

  • Enlydia Listener profile image

    Enlydia Listener 

    8 years ago from trailer in the country

    Beets are neat...I like all of your hubs...always good information.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    While beets can be grown in containers if space is limited they would not be my first choice. Happy Gardening

  • Lorraine Arams profile image

    Lorraine Arams 

    8 years ago

    Lucky guy, Bob! Planting - nurturing - and delicious results! AS a contained crop, is it worth it? How many beets could you get? I know it depends on the size of the container but on balconies, space is quite limited. Personally, I love beets and always buy organic beets - they're the best - delicious hot or cold!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Beets can be a good container crop, happy agrdening.

  • prayn4u profile image


    8 years ago

    I used to not like beets at all...but, when I juice them they are delicious and sweet....I thank you for sharing this information...I want to start a container garden...Maybe I will do one container of Beets!!! God bless!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Yet another use, thanks for dropping by.

  • Cedar Cove Farm profile image

    Cedar Cove Farm 

    8 years ago from Southern Missouri

    I have always loved beets. Cattle love the greens, too. Thanks for the info!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Will do, push, push, thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for a wonderful hub. Can you give the weather a bit a push I am dying to get out there.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you both for dropping by and Happy Gardening and eating.

  • katiem2 profile image


    8 years ago from I'm outta here

    Bob, I love beets and gardening, thanks for the great information I must add beets to my gardening list now that I know the ins and outs of growing organic beets. I do love organic as well! Peace:)

  • kowality profile image


    8 years ago from Everywhere

    Hi Bob. Borscht is a traditional dish for us Ukrainians. It wasn't long before I wanted to learn how to make it myself. Thanks for the nice hub


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