How to Grow Beets

Planting advice for how to grow beets, recommended varieties and beet recipes.

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Beta vulgaris

No matter how you serve these sweet beauties—boiled, baked, pickled or in Russian borscht—you can't beat beets for flavor and nutrition. Don't waste the greens: Steam them, then top with lemon juice and butter.

Hardiness: Grown as an annual.

Planting advice: A beet "seed" is actually a dried fruit that holds a bunch of seeds. Plant them 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart, with rows 12 to 18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to one every 3 inches.

Harvest tips: Beets mature in about 49 to 56 days. Pull mature fruits when they're 1-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter.

For an extended beet harvest, go ahead and plant successive crops every three to four weeks through midsummer.

Recommendations: Little Ball (miniature), Green Top Bunching and Crosby Egyptian (for tasty greens).

Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"