Sugar beets, like all varieties of beets, are relatively simple to grow. They have few insect predators and are generally disease-free and require very little cultivation. As a root crop, they take up very little garden space and, once harvested, have a long shelf life. Beets are considered a southern crop but do equally well in any part of the country.
Prepare the garden space. Beets will grow in most any type of soil but prefer a well-drained sandy loam. The looser the dirt in the bed, the larger the sugar beet has room to grow. Add compost or seasoned manure to give the garden soil a nutrient-rich base.
Make rows in the bed approximately 1/2 inch deep and a foot apart. Plant the seeds every 3 to 4 inches. Cover with a half-inch of soil.
Thin the seedlings when they are 3 to 4 inches high. The greens can be cooked like spinach or chopped and tossed into salads.
Harvest the sugar beets when they reach the desired size. Sugar beets are the sweetest when harvested small at around 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Allow the beets to sit on top of the ground for a day to begin the curing process for winter storage. Store the sugar beets in a dark basement or root cellar. Beets will usually keep for 3 to 5 months after harvest.