When to plant: start three weeks before last Frost. Can be grown in Spring, Summer and Fall. Plant every three weeks for continuous harvest.
Spacing: 9 or 16 per square foot.
Beets are helped by bush beans, onions, kohlrabi, catnip, garlic, mint, lettuce and members of the cabbage family.
Avoid planting with: Pole beans, field mustard and charlock.
Good for adding minerals to the soil through composting leaves which have up to 25% magnesium.
Other predators: cutworms, slugs, snails and leaf miners.
Diseases: virtually disease-free.
Time to harvest: 8 weeks.
Watering: Beets need constant and even moisture.
How to harvest: Pull up those with the largest tops. You can dig around a little to test the size. They are most tender half-grown (ping pong ball size). Greens can be harvested at any time but no more than two per plant.
Storing: Beets can be stored in damp sand in a cool, humid place such as a root cellar for two to five months. To store roots, first remove beet tops, leaving about a half-inch of stem. Don’t cut root end. Store beets through most of the winter by snipping off the greens and laying them in layers of damp sand, sawdust, or peat moss in a plastic container with a tight lid like a garbage can. The tight lid is important to keep the moisture in the sand. Keep the beets and layering in a cool place such as an unheated attic or in an insulated but unheated garage. They will last for two to three months in this condition. Frozen beets are only fair in quality but will keep for about 8 months. Canned beets will keep for more than 12 months. Beets can be pickled as well.