How to Grow Garden Beets in Sun or Shade

Overview

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

References

  • 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.