How to Grow Garden Beets in Sun or Shade


Gardeners enjoy the taste of beet tops as greens and beet roots as vegetables. Beets grow best in porous soil with a pH range of 6.2 to 6.8, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Beets can grow in sun or shade conditions, but they need a minimum of four hours of daily sunlight for the highest growth rate. Less sunlight will yield smaller plants and fewer beet roots.

Step 1

Dig up or till the gardening area to plant the beet seeds or seedlings. Remove all debris, including large rocks, to leave plenty of room for the beet roots.

Step 2

Spread a 2-inch layer of organic compost over the gardening site and till into the soil.

Step 3

Apply 5-10-10 fertilizer to the location. Work into the soil with a garden hoe. Level the soil and make garden rows that are 1/2 inch deep and a foot apart.

Step 4

Plant the beet seeds or seedlings 6 inches apart in the rows. Water the ground until evenly moist.

Step 5

Water the beets frequently without saturating the soil, depending on the weather conditions.

Step 6

Reapply 5-10-10 fertilizer after the beets reach 2 to 3 inches in height, according to Ohio State University Extension.

Step 7

Apply a 1-inch layer of organic mulch to the base of each plant and between rows, advises Ohio State University Extension.

Step 8

Harvest beets between 50 and 70 days after starting in the garden.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid leaving beets in the ground too long. Larger beet roots lose their tender qualities, warns Ohio State University Extension.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden till or large garden shovel
  • Organic compost
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer
  • Garden hoe
  • Beet seeds or seedlings
  • Water
  • Organic mulch


  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Beets in the Home Garden
  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow: Beets

Who Can Help

  • Food Network: Cooking with Beets
Keywords: growing beets, beet gardening, beet growing

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.