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When to Plant Beets

Beets at harvest

Beets are commonly grown in spring, summer, and autumn.

Beets may be seeded as early in spring as the ground can be worked. Make successive sowings at intervals of about 3 weeks in order to have a continuous supply of young, tender beets throughout the season.

Beets are well adapted to grow in many regions. Beets are fairly tolerant of heat and also resistant to cold. But beets will not withstand severe freezing weather.

Good beet quality depends on quick growth. Plant beets in humus-rich, well-drained soil. Apply lime to strongly acid soils if a soil test shows the need.

Midsummer heat and drought can interfere with seed germination. If sowing seeds in midsummer, keep the soil damp until the plants are up

Beet seed consists of small balls, each containing several seeds. Cover seeds to a depth of about an inch.

After plants are well-established, thin them to stand 2 to 3 inches (5-8cm) apart.

Beet seedlings
Beet seedlings

Planting dates for spring and summer harvest*

Average date of last frost/Planting dates
Jan. 30Jan. 1- Mar. 15
Feb. 8Jan. 10-Mar. 15
Feb. 18Jan. 20-Apr. 1
Feb. 28Feb. 1-Apr. 15
Mar. 10Feb. 15-June 1
Mar. 20Feb. 15-June 1
Mar. 30Mar. 1-June 1
Apr. 10Mar. 10-June 1
Apr. 20Mar. 20-June 1
Apr. 30Apr. 1-June 15
May 10Apr. 15-June 15
May 20Apr. 25-June 15
May 30May 1-June 15
June 10May 15-June 15
* These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere
Beet seeds
Beet seeds

Beet planting details

  • Sowing depth: ½ – 1 inch (1.25-2.5cm)
  • Space between plant after thinning: 2-4 inches (5-10cm)
  • Days to sprout: 10
  • Days to harvest: 55-65
  • Storage period: 2-3 weeks
  • Seeds for 100 row feet: 1 ounce (29 grams)
  • Yield per 100 row feet: 100 pounds (45 kilos)
  • Suggested Varieties: Early: Little Egypt, Crosby, Egyptian, Early Wonder. Maincrop: King Red, Ruby Queen, Detroit Dark Red
  • Notes: Use thinned plants for greens

Also of interest:

How to Grow Beets

Beets Seed Starting Tips

Best Beets to Grow in Your Garden

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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