Beets are nutritious vegetables. Being high in sucrose, they can replace plain sugar in the diet and are a healthy choice for diabetics.
Apart from blood sugar control, beets boost digestion because they provide fiber and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. So who wouldn’t want to grow beets?
Growing beets in raised beds are beneficial as opposed to planting them in the ground. For one, beets are roots that need space to swell as they grow.
Raised beds provide the opportunity for them to do so without encountering weed roots. In addition, the risk of soil compression and plant damage is eliminated since raised beds are away from foot traffic.
Growing beets in raised beds conserves gardening space and is a popular option among gardening enthusiasts with limited space.
The shapes of beet leaves are oval and they are arranged on the stem. Their length can be between 20 and 40 cm. This plant has green flowers and it can grow up to 1 to 2 cm.
Beet is an annual plant that can be harvested after one growing season and is a dual-purpose crop as you can eat not only its roots but the green leaves also.
Guidance will be provided in this article on everything you need to know about growing beets in raised beds. Let’s get started!
Can You Grow Beets In A Raised Bed?
If you grow beets but didn’t realize you can grow them in a raised bed, now you know. Yes, you can grow beets in a raised bed and it is in fact, a widely practiced method of cultivation.
Therefore, it is possible to manage whatever space you have and still enjoy the wonderful benefits that beets offer.
The best varieties of beets to grow in raised beds are Wodan, Pablo, Globe 2, and Solo. They all have excellent textures, tastes, and colors.
Here are 7 green thumb steps for growing beets in raised beds and getting the best crop:
1. Choose An Ideal Spot
When preparing to make a raised bed for beets, ensure you choose a good spot. An ideal spot for a raised bed should face eastward.
This way, the beets get enough direct sunlight in the morning and shade from intense afternoon rays.
If you plant beets in an area that does not receive 4 or 5 hours of full sun daily, your beets are not likely to turn out well. The beets will lack the normal fresh flavor.
However, shade tolerance can depend on what you want to use the beets for. If you want leafier beets for salads, they can take the shade.
If you want bigger roots, though, planting in full sun is your best bet.
2. Provide Ample Space
Beets can grow in very small spaces which is an advantage because you can plant many of them in a raised bed. The size of the raised bed to make depends on how many beets you want to grow.
You can also plant other crops alongside your beets in the same raised bed. For example, carrots, onions, and lettuce can share the same space as beets.
3. Plant Beets In Fertile Soil
Beets require a lot of nutrients to grow properly, therefore the type of soil they are planted in matters a lot. They must be planted in rich, fertile soil.
The soil should also be loose and not compressed or heavy so that it will drain water easily. Beets do not like to be planted in floods of water, which can spoil them.
To enrich the soil, you can add some organic compost made from manure, food waste, dead leaves etc. Perlite can also be incorporated into the soil to enhance its draining properties.
The best proportion of compost to the soil is 1: 2. Harvesting is easier when the soil is loose.
4. Planting Beet Seeds
Planting the beets is perhaps the most important step because without planting, you can’t harvest them. The seeds should be planted in rows, 5cm apart from each other.
Space should be given between the wall of the raised bed and the beets. To plant, place the seeds a centimeter below the soil surface and cover them.
Repeat this until the space is exhausted.
A 2 by 2 raised bed can contain up to 15 beet plants.
Sow a few seeds at a time from early April to early June. If you can provide some shade, planting can continue until early July.
Do not plant all the seeds at the same time or you will end up with too many and beets will not thrive.
5. Care For Young Beet Plants
If you planted the seeds correctly, you should begin to see sprouts about 10 days later. Each beet seed can sprout 2 or 3 baby plants.
Trim the ones sprouting at undesirable spots and you should end up with one sprout, every 10cm, on each row.
Remove the weaker plants and leave the stronger ones, if not they will all compete for the same resources. Shared resources mean that none of them will flourish.
6. Watering Beets
Beets do not need too much water to grow. Their water needs change based on the weather or season.
In hot weather, beets should be watered two or three times per week while in cold weather, they can do with one watering.
As winter turns to spring, increase the water you provide for your beets because the water tends to dry up quicker from the soil. To water beets, the top 2 and a half centimeters of the soil should be dampened but not soaked.
Before you decide to water beets, ensure that the top 7cm or so is dry. If it is, proceed to water them.
It is easy to overwater beets so be mindful that the water is not allowed to pool. Check the soil moisture with your finger or a moisture meter.
7. How To Harvest Beets
You have provided the right conditions for beets to grow successfully and now it’s time to harvest them. How do you go about it?
You can harvest beets when they are small or you can wait till they increase in size. Whatever floats your boat.
Take note, that if you wait for them to grow much bigger, they can develop a hard texture and you won’t be able to eat them
Do Beets Grow Well In Raised Beds?
Beets do extremely well in raised beds. You can plant many beets in a small raised bed.
There are many benefits of growing beets in raised beds such as being easy to maintain, no bending and kneeling, and reducing the bother of weeds and pests.
Asides from beets, you can grow many other vegetables in the same patch. You can harvest beets and other veggies multiple times every season.
How Deep Should A Raised Bed Be For Beets?
Beets grow by sending their roots very deep into the earth. This depth can reach 120cm.
Your raised bed can be as shallow or as deep as you want if you are not going to use a hard surface beneath the raised bed. A hard surface will prevent the roots from reaching the maximum depth and this can lead to stunted growth of the plant.
If you must use a hard surface beneath for any reason, make sure the raised bed is at least 120cm deep.
To conclude, growing beets in raised beds have several advantages as outlined above. Beets can tolerate cold but should not be planted in full shade.
At least 6 hours of morning sun is required and watering daily is not necessary. Growing beets in raised beds is a great idea because you can harvest so much from a very small space.
Get started and find out for yourself!