Like its cousin the red beet, the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) is a root vegetable. This crop grows primarily in the western United States; Purdue University notes that Texas is one of the leading sugar beet producers. Sugar beets are harvested then processed into sucrose or sugar. Sugar beet seeds require a warm soil with a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in order to germinate. Plant in eastern Texas after the last frost date (typically mid-March) once the soil temperature warms to ensure the best success at seed germination.
Test your soil pH with a home test kit. Most eastern Texas soils are fairly acidic, and sugar beets do best in soil with a pH of 5.8 to 7, according to the University of Nebraska. If your soil has a lower pH that 5.8 you'll need to raise it.
Raise the soil pH to the preferred range before planting sugar beet seeds. Add lime to raise the pH, following The Garden Helper's suggested amounts for your type of soil (see Resources).
Turn over the soil in your garden bed to prepare it for planting. Remove roots and rocks from the ground so the beet seeds can germinate and grow. Break apart clods of soil. Then smooth the soil out with a rake to even out the grade in your garden bed.
Dig a furrow 3/4 inch deep. Sow sugar beet seeds in the furrow, placing two seeds every 4 inches. Cover over the seeds with soil to finish planting them.
Water the newly planted beet seeds until the ground becomes moist but not saturated. Continue to keep the soil in your garden bed moist until the seeds germinate.