Are you searching for a quick and easy to grow spring or autumn crop? Well then, consider beets to be your best friend! These unique ground crops not only produce tasty roots, but also a plethora of nutritious greens. The best part about beets though, is their ability to be grown densely in small spaces! This makes them highly attractive for container gardeners looking to make the most out of their season. Thriving in the cool weather of spring, beets will be harvested in time to replant your containers with summer crops! Increase the efficiency of your patio garden by learning how to grow beets in containers.
Growing Beets in Containers – The Basics
Belonging to the Amaranthaceae family, Beta vulgaris (beetroot) is a quick growing root crop that does exceptionally well in the cool weather of spring and autumn.
Bull’s Blood Beet Greens.
- Full Sun – Beets will thrive in areas where they receive at least six hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis. During the early part of the season (while the weather is still cool), allow beets to bask in as much sunlight as possible. As spring progressively turns to summer, the sun’s heat will become more intense during the afternoons. At this point, situate your beets in an area that will receive strong morning sunlight, but will be partly shaded during the afternoon hours.
- High Quality Potting Soil – An organic potting soil with plenty of compost and perlite should be used when growing beets. These qualities will meet the nutritional requirements and also provide proper soil drainage.
- Feed with Compost Tea – Boron is an essential trace element needed for proper growth in almost all garden crops, but it is especially needed when cultivating beets. To supply this much needed nutrient, feed beet plants with a seaweed amended compost tea. When brewing your compost tea, add two sheets of ground nori for every gallon brewed. This addition will supply ample amounts of boron as well as many other beneficial nutrients. Use once weekly as a soil drench and foliage spray when the plants have reached an age of three weeks old.
Beet & Carrot Planter.
- Deep Container – Beets can be grown in a variety of containers as long as they have a depth of 8-12 inches. At these depths, the long beet roots will have plenty of room to develop without the chance of becoming root bound. Deep containers will also lessen the chances of your soil drying out too quickly during the hotter parts of the season.
Planting Beets –
Container gardeners really have the upper hand when it comes to early planting. Due to the fact that most containers can be started indoors, patio gardeners will be able to plant their beets at least a couple weeks before those planting outdoors are able to. For gardeners on a tight schedule, this will allow them to free up containers quicker for planting summer crops.
Bull’s Blood Beet
- Four to five weeks before the average last frost in your area, begin planting your beet seeds. Germinate and care for the early seedlings indoors. Beets do not like to be transplanted, so if you can’t keep their final container indoors, start beet seeds outdoors 2-3 weeks before the average last frost.
- In your container’s soil, space one inch deep holes at least four inches from each other in all directions. Keep the planting holes at least one and a half inches from the rim of the container. In a standard 12 inch flower pot, you’ll be able to fit five beet plants.
- Add one beet seed per hole, cover up, and water the seeds in well. Keep the soil moist and the container in a warm area while you wait for the seeds to germinate.
- After 7-10 days, the beet seeds should begin to sprout. Once germinated, immediately move the seedlings to an area where they’ll receive full sunlight. A south facing windowsill or artificial lighting will suffice. Continue to keep the soil moist, but never soggy during this time.
- Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll notice that several beet seedlings may sprout from the same hole. This is perfectly normal, as beet seeds are actually several seeds fused together. Although many may sprout, only one plant is needed per hole. At two weeks of growth, trim back the weakest seedlings. Use scissors to cut back unwanted sprouts at the soil line.
- Around 2-3 weeks before the average last frost, begin acclimating the beet seedlings to the outdoor climate. Start by taking the beets outdoors for a few hours each day, and then gradually increase the time. By the end of a week acclimating, the beets should be able to stay outdoors permanently. Bring inside only if the nighttime temperatures will be expected to drop well below freezing.
For an autumn crop, follow the same basic guidelines above, but skip the step of starting your seeds indoors. Instead, plant beet seeds outdoors, approximately two months before the average first frost in fall. ___________________________________________________________
Watering & Fertilizing –
Once your beet plants have been thinned and acclimated to the outdoors, the rest is a downhill journey! Water your beets every other day, or once the top inch of soil has become dry. If beet plants require more frequent watering, they’ll let you know by drooping of the foliage. At about three weeks to one month from the date first sprouting, fertilize the beet plants with compost tea. Use both a soil drench and foliage spray to apply the tea on a weekly basis. This will be completed until the beets are ready to harvest.
Harvesting Beets –
Bull’s Blood Beets
harvested at a “baby beet”
stage. Another week or so,
and the beets would be full
Depending on the variety grown, beets will be ready for harvest on an average of 45-70 days after first germinating. To check the size of your beet roots, gently uncover the soil around the base of each plant. For beets that are ready to harvest, you should see a root about the size of a golf ball. If they are a little smaller than this, cover them back up and let them grow for a while longer. If you are satisfied with the size of the beets, gently pull them from the soil. This can be done by grasping the base of each plant and then pulling up. The beets should break free rather easily. After harvesting, immediately wash and separate the leaves from the roots. Store leaves in the refrigerator for up to a week, and roots for up to a couple months.
Growing quickly and with relative ease, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the diversity beets bring to your container garden! Spruce up your spring and autumn planting by growing some beets this season. Thanks for reading this guide on how to grow beets in containers. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions!
Can You Grow Beets in Containers?
Absolutely, growing beets in containers is possible. Almost anything that can be grown in the garden plot can be grown in a container given the proper nutrients and growing conditions.
- Container Grown Beets: Learn About The Care Of Potted Beets
- Can You Grow Beets in Containers?
- How to Grow Beets in a Container
- Care of Potted Beets
- How to Grow and Care for Beets in Containers
- How To Grow Beets In Containers The Garden Season Way
- How to grow Beets in Pots or Containers during the growing season.
- Planting and Growing Conditions
- Health Benefits
- Pests and Diseases
- Care and Maintenance
- What Can You Grow in an Indoor Garden?
- 13 Easy Vegetables to Grow Indoors
- How to Grow Edibles in an Indoor Garden
- Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden.
Choosing a pot
Make sure that your container is about 8 to 12 inches in depth. Having a deep container is essential as the beetroot will need this space to expand and grow. Also an added bonus is, that large, deep containers do not dry out as fast as smaller ones, which keeps the soil moist for a longer length of time resulting in less frequent waterings.
Beets are very picky when it comes to soil requirements. They are often prone to boron deficiencies and it is important that there is not too much nitrogen in the soil as this can encourage top growth (greens), but hardly any root growth. Choose a potting soil that is organic and without any added fertilizers. Mix 1 part potting soil, with 1 part manure or compost and 1 part perlite to have an excellent soil for your beets.
Beet seeds need full sun and cool temperatures to thrive. Beets are a cool season crop and planted in spring and fall. Full sun is considered to be 6 hours plus of UV light. This means even if it is cloudy, on a clear day that area of your garden would be in full sun for 6 or more hours.
If you don’t want hard and sinewy beetroots, water regularly and evenly. To keep the soil slightly moist all the time. Ensure you not let the soil dry out completely between the growing process and also avoid OVERWATERING.
Going with an organic fertilizer when growing food crops is most important. There are several different ones to pick from, however, it is important that the nitrogen level is low (N-P-K), which is the first number on the fertilizer bag and that the fertilizer is high in phosphorus, which is the second number in the sequence. Phosphorus is responsible for root growth in the plant’s nutrient needs. Bone meal and manure are great sources of phosphorus. Seaweed is a great source of boron, which many beet varieties become deficient in. Using compost tea with added drops of seaweed fertilizer is a great way to amend the soil on a weekly to bi-weekly basis.
When growing beets in pots, you don’t have to worry about pests and diseases much. You can avoid most of the problems by not overwatering and avoiding overhead watering. The common culprits are root rot and scab. Leaf miners and common pests like aphids can affect the foliage growth.
Most beets should be ready to harvest after 45 to 60 days. To make use of the entire plant, beet greens can be harvested at any time. If tops are picked, the root will continue to keep growing. Beet greens actually have more nutrition value than the roots. Do not let greens exceed 6 inches prior to harvesting. Beetroots should be pulled when the bulbs are 2 inches in size or larger
Container Grown Beets: Learn About The Care Of Potted Beets
Love beets, but devoid of garden space? Container grown beets just might be the answer.
Can You Grow Beets in Containers?
Absolutely, growing beets in containers is possible. Almost anything that can be grown in the garden plot can be grown in a container given the proper nutrients and growing conditions. Beets (Beta vulgaris) are cool season veggies that are delicious both for their tasty roots as well as for their nutrient packed leafy greens.
With their sometimes bright green to variegated foliage, often with red stems and veining, beets are a colorful vegetable to grow on the patio or lanai and the care of potted beets is simple. Beets can be planted in the spring or fall, or both for a double crop!
How to Grow Beets in a Container
First of all when growing beets in containers, pick your beet variety, of which there are a number of choices. Next, select a pot with at least 6 inches of depth.
Fill the pot with potting soil amended with organic matter like compost. While they are tolerant of low fertility, beets like well-draining soil with a pH of between 6.5 and 7.
Propagate by seed when temps are between 50-85 F. (10-29 C.), although germination will still occur if temperatures are as low as 40 F. (4 C.) and as high as 90 (32 C.). Plant the seeds ¾ of an inch deep and, if room in the pot or planter, in rows spaced about a foot apart.
Seedlings will emerge within five to eight days or if cooler up to two weeks. You will likely have to thin the seedlings when they are 4-5 inches tall. The beauty here is that you can eat the seedlings! Cut, don’t pull, the seedlings out, which can damage the roots of abutting plants.
Situate the growing beets in containers in full sun.
Care of Potted Beets
Your container grown beets are easy to care for if provided with water, aerated conditions and great drainage. They may be prone to boron deficiencies and too much nitrogen will encourage top growth at the expense of root development, so good soil is key. Provided adequate soil conditions are provided, beets are tolerant of low fertility and do not need additional fertilization.
These biennial plants are susceptible to root rot, cercospora leaf spot, and scab, all of which can be avoided by refraining from wetting the foliage and over watering. Water at the base of the plant and keep plants thinned to allow air circulation.
Beets may also be afflicted with leaf miners. The plants may need a light covering of fine netting or cheesecloth to protect them from the adult flies. Handpick and destroy and infested leaves to prevent the spread of the leaf miners.
How to Grow and Care for Beets in Containers
Intro: Along with being completely edible, beet plants have attractive foliage that help make a container garden beautiful. Beet plant care in urban kitchen gardens is easy. This plant does best in deep plant containers (more than 1 foot deep). Beet roots grow from about 1.5 to 3 inches in diameter, and leaves can be as tall and as wide as 1 foot. There are many beet plant varieties, including small varieties, those with red foliage, or yellow or white roots, and the best-tasting varieties (for leaves) are ‘Early Wonder’ and ‘Green Top Bunching.’ The best plant container varieties are ‘Mini Ball’ and ‘Baby Bal.’
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris var. vulgaris
Plant Type: Biennial vegetable
Light: Full sun
Water: Keep the beet plant’s potting soil constantly moist but not soggy. Never let the soil dry out.
Zone: 8 to 11. Grow in winter or spring, as beets grow in colder weather.
Fertilizer: For the best beet root taste, feed the plant every two weeks with fertilizer low in nitrogen. If you’re growing beets for the leaves, use a balanced fertilizer for the best taste.
Pests and Diseases: Leaf miners, aphids, beetles and more are pest insects that may affect your beets. Diseases can include leaf spot, beet mosaic, mildew and more.
Propagation: Propagate beet plants by seed. Plant two weeks before the last frost for spring growth. Plant one month before the first frost for fall growing. Plant seeds about an inch deep. If you are growing beet plants for their roots, keep the plants thinned out so they stay healthy and have good root growth (you can eat what you’ve thinned). If you are growing the beet plants for their leaves, don’t thin them out. If you want to harvest seeds, your beet will need to be grown as a biennial, and it will flower after their roots are matured.
Misc. Info: This crop grows quickly if you care for it – it reaches maturity just after 55 days. Harvest the leaves when they reach about 6 inches tall (young, tender leaves are best), and roots should be harvested when they are 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter.
SEE MORE PLANT FACT SHEETS>>
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If you want to know how to grow beets, then you’re in the right place! Growing beets are not only simple, it’s also ideal at this time. Beets are adaptable to the cool temperature of Spring and Fall. You can even overwinter this crop as it can tolerate light frost.
How To Grow Beets In Containers The Garden Season Way
Beets are a vegetable with tons of health benefits but their best trait for me is that they’re easy to grow. Even those who are lazy to grow a garden can do it in just a beat. Growing beets in containers is even easier. It eliminates weed problems, as well as pesky rabbits or deer that love beets.
Beets are such a treat since both the beet greens and the beetroots are edible. If you love beets and eat them a lot, why not grow them too? Think of the money you’ll be saving by growing your own food.
Three Elements For Growing Beets In Containers
There are three things you need when growing beets in containers. These are:
- Sunlight – full exposure to sunlight is required for beets to grow. Six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day would be ideal.
- Soil – rich, loose, well-draining, with no pests and weed seeds is great for growing vegetables.
- Containers – different sizes with drainage holes will do. The larger the container, the more beets you can grow.
Step 1. Poke Holes In The Soil
To start planting, poke holes in the soil. The holes should be an inch deep. Ensure there’s proper spacing with about three inches apart around the container.
Step 2. Drop Seeds In The Holes
Once the holes are ready, pour a few seeds into your palm. Drop in two to three seeds in each hole. In this way, you’ll have more options to choose from after germination.
Step 3. Cover The Seeds
When your seeds are ready in their planting holes, gently cover them by brushing in some soil on the holes.
Step 4. Water The Seeds
Water the soil to let the soil and seeds settle. This is also to aid in the germination process.
Step 5. Pick A Seedling
Once the seeds have sprouted, check the seedling groups for the healthiest-looking seedling. Using a pair of scissors, snip the weaker looking seedlings to maximize the growth of the better group.
Your Own Homegrown Beets In No Time
Did you know beet juice is packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and energy-boosting compounds? Beets in itself is just as nutritious too. And this is what’s waiting for you come harvest season. Happy planting!
Watch the full tutorial in this video from Burpee Gardens:
Beets have this sweet and earthy flavorful roots packed with nutrients and all things nice. If you love spinach too, then beet greens are for you. This marvelous vegetable is even tastier when they’re organically homegrown. So learn how to grow beets at home now!
Ready to try this? Download this FREE printable and keep track of your plants easily.
Are you excited to start this garden project? I’m excited for you too and would like to hear about it in the comments section below!
Try growing onions too for your beet’s companion.
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How to grow Beets in Pots or Containers during the growing season.
Hi Gardening Friends
You didn’t think it was possible but you can grow Beets from seed in containers doing the Spring, Summer and Fall months of the year.
Common Name: Beets
Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris
Avg. seeds/lb. = 17,000-44,00.
Pkt = approx 450 seeds.
Nutritional Facts: Beets contain good amounts of antioxidants and are a good source for vitamin C and calium. The nutritious tops are richer in iron and minerals than spinach, and a good source for vitamin A,C, and calcium.
Culture Beets prefer a well-drained sandy loam with a pH range of 6,4 to 6,8 Add hydrated lime and boron to your fertilizer for quick growth and best quality.
Well if you want to start your plants early indoors you can I have started beets in containers or seed flats.
I have started Beets in my Greenhouse. By starting beets early in February sowing the seed in seed flats in germination mix and giving them bottom heat.. Here is how you do that by using as always a clean sterilized empty seed flat in starting seeds in the Greenhouse. Fill your flat half full with germination mix and soak the flat and let set on the propagating bench in the greenhouse and wait until the flat drains. Then take the flat and start to sow the beet seed by broadcasting the seed very evenly on the flat with the germination mixture in there. Don’t cover the seed then put the flat back on the propagation bench. After that take the water hose and mist the flat thoroughly. Keep the flat evenly moist until the beet seeds germinates in about 14 to 21 days. When the seedling get their true leaves that is leaves that look like regular beets leaves. You can then water the seedling flat completely and let drain.Then take and start to transplant the seedling into larger containers 1 to 2 inches tall. The size of the container 3 gallon and up depends on the number of plants you will plant in the container. In the pots you should plant them 3 to 4 inches apart. After you do that mist the pots and put them in a shady area until the beets have take whole. Then you can put the containers anywhere you would like to grow beets. Fertilize them every week with a liquid water soluble Fertilizer and keep them water during the entire growing season. Dont let them dry out. Keep evenly moist.
What you need to grow Beets in pots or containers? First of all what you need at lease a 3 gallon container or larger to grow the beets in. Also you need a good growing medium to start the beets in. Like Pro Mix or Metro Mix potting soil. Now you take your pot and fill them up to just below the rind of the container. Now you can sow the beets seeds. Make sure you sow the seeds evenly so that you don’t get them to thick.Because if the beets are sown to thick you will have to thin them out after they come up. After you sow the beets you can water the entire container with a misting system type hose. Water the pots completely and set the pots in the shade until they start to come up. Beets grow best in cool weather. Here are some of the beets that you can grow in pots.
OPEN POLLINATED BEETS.
Bull’s Blood Beets
Deep cabernet leaves even at the seedling stage make Bull’s Blood a striking, easy to grow addition to spring and fall salad mix. Plant extra for round red beets that delevop a pink and red striped zoned interior.
Detroit Dark Red Beets (medium top) 63 Days haves short tops. They are excellent all purpose beets. As the “Short Top” version of this popular beet is no longer available, so seed companies are now offering the medium version of this variety. Tops are strong and tinged with red, especially in cool weather. A good one for late sowing and winter storage.
Touchstone Gold 55 Days Touchstone Gold is an outstanding golden beet that produces uniformly round roots with smooth, bright orange skin and a vivid golden interior. The deep green tops are appealing for bunching, and the golden interior retains its color when cooked. Compared to other golden beets. Touchstone Gold offer better germ, more uniformly round roots,much smoother shoulders, and less zoning.
Chioggia Guardsmark Organic 60 Days Chioggia beets have become local market favorite for their distinctive candy-striped interiors zoning this refined strain produces beautiful, consistently round slighly flattened roots with the classic pink-and-white bullseye interior. The flesh is firm but not fibrous, and the glossy bright green leaves are very firmly attached. Improved unifornity means your harvest more marketable roots,
Long Season (Pink stem) 80 Days This strain of this very popular winter keeper type beet produces roots that are not quite as large as the Lutz strain. The glossy green tops have deep-pink veins and the stems are deep-pink striped with green. The delicious beets have a tender flesh that is very sweet and will store well for several months after harvest.
Long Season (Lutz) 80 Days
The original strain. Long Season beets grow very large, but no matter how big they get, they offer extraordinary tenderness and sweetness. Whether the beets are young or old, small or large, they remain tender all summer and fall and keep in fine condition all winter. too Long Season grows slowly and is rough on the surface but has an unmatched old time flavor.
Eagle F1 50 Days
This attractive hybrid beet is early to mature and offers very dark red root color. Its very smooth,uniformly round roots have small crowns and strongly attrached tops.Eagle’s interior gets high rating for outstanding flavor,very fine texture, and deep red color that is free of zoning.The dark green,red-veined tops grow approximately 14-16 inches tall and are attractive when bunched. Eagle has shown good heat tolerance.
Kestrel F1 53 Days
Harvest for baby and mature beets. Kestrel is a duel purpose variety that shapes up early into a smooth, globe shaped, dark red root that can be harvested early for baby beets or left in the field to mature to full sun. The roots have refined tap roots, small crowns and 12-13 inches semi-glossy, bright green tops. Use this variety for a early bunching variety. Intermediate resistance to downy mildew,powdery mildew bolting, cercospora and rhizoctonia.
Red Ace F1 54 Days
A hybrid version of Detroit Short Top, Red Ace resists zoning and bolting in the heat and has intermediate resistance to cercospora leaf spot. Red Ace offers the fine eating quality of Detriot, plus uniformnity from emergence to harvest and a 7-10 day shorter crop time. Smooth deep round roots have short, erect, bright green tops for supermarkets or farm market sales. Grow in place of Warrior, which is no longer available.
Merlin F1 55 Days
Exceptional sweetness. Merlin is a hybrid beet that has an exceptional eating quality and very attractive dark green. glossy tops. Its uniform, round roots have a refined top root and dark red interior color that tolerates zoning during drought and adverse weather. The tall 15-17 inches top hold their dark green color throughout thec season and lend themselves well to the fresh bunched beet market. Merlin receives high ratings for sugar content, and it also has intermediate resistance to downy mildew and cercospora.
Here is Seed Companies that carry Beets Seeds.
Stokes Seeds Inc.
P.O. Box 548
BUFFALO N.Y. 14240-0548
www.stokeseeds.com or email [email protected]
355 Paul Road
P.O. Box 24966
Rochester, NY 14624-0966
Johnny Selected Seeds
955 Benton Avenue
Winslow, ME 04901
Telephone No. (877) 564-6697
I hope you try all of these beets varieties before you grow any other ones. I would like you try to grow beets from seeds in pots or containers. Let me know if the above article helped you in being successful in growing beets in containers or pots? And I hope you let me know how you did in growing beets from seeds in containers.
With its abundance of health benefits, colorful foliage, and delicious vegetable, beet is one of the best indoor plants to grow at home. It has a bright color that is sure to brighten up an indoor space. The best thing about beets is perhaps its versatility, allowing you to use it in more ways than one. You can sauté, boil, pickle, or roast beets. It will complement different vegetables, especially when you add it to salads. Consider yourself lucky since even for a novice gardener, growing beets indoors and in containers is fairly easy.
One of the best things about beet is that you can eat all of its parts, from its bulbous root to its green top. This root crop is usually red, gold, or striped. It is from the same family as Swiss chard, which makes the two share similar characteristics, including their health benefits. As a biennial plant, they will not grow flowers until their roots reach maturity. To achieve this, they need cold temperature for at least a month.
Beet is One of the Best Indoor Plants to Grow at Home
Before planting beets, it is essential to learn some of the varieties that are available and what you can expect in each of them. One of the most popular is Bull’s Blood Beet, which has deep burgundy leaves, which will make a great addition to salads. Chioggia Beet, on the other hand, has roots that can develop candy stripes at least two months after planting. Meanwhile, Red Ace Beet and Red Sangria Beet will fully grow their roots and ready to be eaten within 55 days after seeding.
Planting and Growing Conditions
Beets do not grow well as transplants. With this, a better option is to grow them from seeds. You can buy seed packets from a reputable supplier. The problem with seeds is that they have a hard outer shell, which will make the germination slower. With this, before planting, soak them in water for at least a night.
Now that the seeds are ready, it is time to prepare the soil and the container. The depth of the container should be at least 16 inches, which will provide the roots with more than enough room to grow. Make sure that there are also holes at the bottom, which will be essential for drainage. Fill the pot with your choice of potting soil. It should be nutrient-rich. It will be good to add organic matter or compost to improve aeration and absorption of nutrients.
Poke a hole on the top of the soil and this is where you will plant the seeds. Make sure that the holes are at least three inches apart, which will prevent overcrowding. Add a thin layer of soil on the top, press firmly, and you are now done.
Add Organic Matter or Compost to Improve Aeration and Absorption of Nutrients
After planting the seeds, the next important thing to do is to choose the right location. The best position would be near the window where it will receive full sun, yet there is partial shade. The temperature should be anywhere from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. With the right conditions in the external environment, it will take about 40 to 80 days before beets will fully grow.
A versatile root crop, beets are not only delicious, but they are also teeming in terms of health benefits, including the following:
- Regulates Blood Pressure: For people who have hypertension, eating beets is good. It has nitrates, which, upon entering the body, will become nitric acid. In turn, this results in the dilation and relaxation of the blood vessels.
- Improves Eye Sight: Beet has beta-carotene, which is an essential compound for the prevention of macular degeneration, a common eyesight problem amongst the aging population. It also protects the eyes from damages that are due to free radicals.
- Improves Energy: The consumption of beets will provide you with the energy that you need to get through the day. This is important for those who are into sports and other physical activities. It provides energy without too many carbohydrates.
- Cleanses the Liver: Another good thing about eating beets is that it can help to flush out the fats in the liver. This is primarily because of betaine, a form of amino acid in beets. It also helps in lowering cholesterol.
- Helps in Weight Loss: If you are struggling to lose weight, eat more beets. It is a guilt-free food since one cup contains only 60 calories. As a rich source of fiber, it will also make you feel full easily and will reduce your cravings.
- Prevents Stroke: One of the reasons for stroke is the lack of potassium in the body. As a vasodilator, potassium will lessen the likelihood that there will be problems in the blood vessels and that you will suffer from a stroke.
Pests and Diseases
Without proper air circulation and absence of full sun, beets can be prone to a number of diseases, with leaf spot being one of the most common. Its edible leaves can be badly hurt by the disease, making it unattractive and inedible. Meanwhile, when it comes to pests, infestation in beets can be caused by leaf miners, aphids, and flea beetles.
Care and Maintenance
Here are some tips to make sure that your beets will grow successfully in containers and indoors:
- Moisture is important to maintain the health of the root crop. With this, one thing that you can do is to put damp newspapers at the bottom of the pot. Because there are holes, the soil will end up being moist but never soggy. They need consistent moisture to grow.
- It is also important to water regularly. Set up a schedule or perform a quick test on the soil. Poke it with your finger and if it is too dry, this is a sign that it needs water. At least an inch of water in a week will be best to prevent the roots from cracking and drying.
- Turn the container after every few days, especially if the plant is not able to receive full sun. Do this at least once after every couple of days. this will help to ensure the consistent growth of the plant.
- You should also know the right timing for harvest. While the root crop can grow to a size of a baseball, it is best to harvest once it grows to a size of a golf ball. This is the point where it is most flavorful. All that you have to do is to twist the foliage and pull the root out of the soil. Another indication that it is time to harvest is when the top reaches a height of at least four inches.
- When the plant grows bigger than the container before harvest, you can transplant it into a bigger pot. If the weather permits, you can also transfer it outdoors so that it will receive more sunlight, which can speed up its growth.
With nutrient rich soil, a sunny location, and proper care, it will be easy to grow beets. This is one of the best root crops to grow indoors not only because it adds a touch of color to your space, but also because all of its parts are edible.
Whether you are craving fresh harvests during the winter or live in an area without gardening space, you can grow edibles in your own indoor garden.
Winter always seems to sneak up on me. It’s not until the first snowfall that I consider the growing season over. Up until then, I am still clipping hearty herbs and fall greens. Once the snow falls, I am reminded that soon the ground will be frozen, and the garden covered with a heavy winter blanket.
I start to miss freshly harvested greens quickly. Most years, I have a good supply of fall greens such as lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, pak choi, and other leafy greens to fill the refrigerator before the hard freeze. Some years, I lose my fall greens to the hungry deer as they prepare for winter too.
Since I can’t garden outside during winter, I began experimenting with growing food indoors. I started with herbs, and then progressed to salad greens and more.
What Can You Grow in an Indoor Garden?
Over the years, I have tried growing edibles indoors in winter using these DIY Grow Light Shelves. It is amazing what you can grow with just a little effort. Harvesting fresh vegetables and herbs adds lots of flavor to winter comfort foods.
For the best results, choose plants that will grow under artificial light, mature quickly, and stay compact enough to grow in containers without outgrowing their space.
13 Easy Vegetables to Grow Indoors
Most leafy greens, herbs, and some root vegetables will grow very well inside under lights. Here are some of the things I have grown successfully inside during the winter months in a cool basement:
Choose plants that will grow under artificial light, mature quickly, and stay compact enough to grow in containers without outgrowing their space. Most leafy greens, herbs, and a few root vegetables will grow very well inside under lights. Here are some of the things I have grown successfully inside during the winter months in a cool basement:
Growing beets indoors will provide you with delicious beet greens and delicate baby beets. Beet roots will need deep pots, at least 6-inches high. Harvest: Ready to harvest as baby beet greens in about 6-weeks. Harvest whole plant by cutting at the soil surface, or clip a few greens from outer edge of each plant and allow the plant to continue growing. Harvest young baby beets in about 30 days depending on the variety. Varieties to Consider: Detroit Dark Red Beets, Golden Boy Beets, Chioggia Beets, or this Gourmet Beet Blend for variety.
Bok Choy and Pac Choi
These Asian cabbage greens grow quickly and need lots of water, so they will benefit from a larger container with more soil to hold moisture. Bok Choy or Pac Choi is a delicious addition to soups, stir-fries, and salads. Harvest: Ready to harvest whole in 4-weeks at baby stage. They tend to bolt quickly, so go ahead and harvest them small and sow more seeds, or snip the outer leaves and let the plants continue growing. Varieties to Consider: Bok Choy Tatsoi Rosette, and Bok Choy Toy Choy.
- Try adding to this Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
Short and round carrot varieties grow very well in 6-inch deep pots. Choose a deeper pot for longer varieties. Harvest: Baby carrots are ready to harvest in 6-8 weeks. Pull gently from the soil as needed for baby carrots, or allow them to develop further. Varieties to Consider: Parisian, Little Finger, and Thumbelina.
If you can grow houseplants, you can grow herbs inside on a sunny windowsill. Adding artificial lighting increases the selection of herbs you can grow inside. Harvest: Keep plants compact by trimming and harvesting frequently. Varieties to Consider: Cilantro, Genovese Basil, Italian Parsley, Oregano, Chives, Thyme, and Sage.
- 5 Herbs That Thrive Inside All Winter to learn more.
- 7 Herbs to Start from Seed
Young kale has a milder and sweeter flavor than mature kale. Harvest: Ready to harvest at baby stage in about 4-weeks. Snip outer leaves allowing the plants to continue to produce. Varieties to Consider: Red Winter Kale, Dwarf Blue Curled Kale, and Italian Nero Toscana Kale.
Leaf lettuce varieties mature quickly for salads and sandwich toppings. There are so many varieties with various colors, leaf shapes, and flavors. Harvest: Snip outer leaves allowing the center of the plants to continue to produce. Varieties to Consider: Black Seeded Simpson, Tom Thumb, and Mesclun Mix.
- This Homemade Italian Salad Dressing is perfect for winter salads.
Young edible vegetables and herbs harvested within weeks of sprouting. The tender sprouts are very flavorful and nutrient dense. Harvest: Ready to harvest when the first true leaves unfurl in 7-14 days. Snip the right above the soil line. Varieties to Consider: Pea Shoots, Cress, Kale, and any Mesclun Mix or Microgreen Mix.
- How to Grow Microgreens Indoors
Mushroom kits have made it so easy to grow mushrooms indoors. They come in a complete package with full instructions. Enjoy your homegrown mushrooms in soups, sauces, and sauté with other veggies and meats. Harvest: Ready to harvest in just 2-weeks. Kit Varieties to Consider: Brown Oyster Mushrooms, Pink Oyster Mushrooms, or Shiitake Mushrooms.
- Try this Garlic and Cheddar Stuffed Mushroom recipe
Young mustard greens are mild-flavored and add a peppery dijon-ish flavor to salads. Older leaves taste better steamed, boiled or braised. They add a tasty mustard flavor to soups and stir-fries. Harvest: Ready to harvest as baby greens in about 4 weeks once the leaves are 3-4-inches tall. Snip the outer leaves and let the plant continue to produce new growth. Varieties to Consider: Florida Broadleaf Mustard, Tendergreen Mustard Spinach, or a mix of varieties in this Must Have Mustards Baby Greens Seeds collection.
Very fast-growing and their peppery flavor adds a kick to soups and salads. Harvest: Ready for harvest in about 4-weeks or when the radish is approximately 1-inch diameter. The greens are edible too. Varieties to Consider: Cherry Belle, French Breakfast, and Easter Egg Blend.
Scallions or green onions are grown mostly for their greens, which have a mild onion flavor. Enjoy snipped greens in stir-frys, salads, in sandwiches, or in any recipe that you would use normally use onions. Harvest: Ready to harvest greens in about 30 days depending on the variety. Begin trimming foliage when the scallions reach 4-inches tall as needed for meals. Greens will continue to grow and scallions will get larger over time. Varieties to Consider: Evergreen Bunching Onion, Italian Red Bunching Onions, and Tokyo Long White Bunching Onions.
- Check out How to Grow Onions from Seed for more detailed information.
Enjoy scallions in these recipes:
- Ginger Garlic Pork Fried Rice Recipe
- Cheddar Bacon Potato Skins Recipe
- Orange Pineapple Sweet and Sour Meatballs
A shortcut to harvesting scallion greens quicker is to regrow from supermarket scallions. Use the greens for cooking and plant the bulb. Leave about 2-inches with roots attached. Plant about 1-inch deep in potting soil. Green shoots will emerge from the tops of the bulbs in only a few days.
The vitamin-rich and tasty dark-green leaves are excellent for salads and winter soups. Harvest: Ready to harvest in a little over a month as baby spinach. Snip outer leaves allowing the plants to continue to produce. Varieties to Consider: Lavewa, Bloomsdale, Space, and Tyee.
Swiss chard leaves are tender and taste similar to beet greens and spinach. The crunchy stems are slightly sweet and have a similar taste and texture with celery and can be used in soups and stews. Swiss Chards grow upright foliage. Transplant chard seedlings to larger containers to prevent the plant from becoming top heavy. Harvest: Ready to harvest in about 4 weeks as baby greens. Cut outer leaves at the base of the plant. New leaves grow from the center of the plant. Varieties to Consider: Bright Lights Chard, Fordhook Chard, or a colorful mix of baby green in this Apple Blossom Swiss Chard Blend.
How to Grow Edibles in an Indoor Garden
- Grow Lights: See how to Build a Grow Light System here.
- Growing Containers: Gather up pots or containers to grow your indoor garden. Pots or containers that are 4-inches deep work well for most greens while carrots need at least 6 inches. Consider using window boxes, or recycled bakery or produce containers. Use plastic trays beneath containers to prevent water from dripping.
- Soil: Select an organic, all-purpose potting mix for your indoor garden. Fertilize plants with a weak solution of Fish Emulsion when leaves show signs of stress.
- Seeds or Purchased Seedlings: Buy seeds or purchase plants. Herbs mature slowly, so grow from established purchased plants for a fast harvest.
- Build or assemble your grow light system and locate in a cool area such as a basement or spare room. Try to keep it away from wood stoves and other heat sources because warm temperatures will cause the plants to bolt, or go to seed prematurely instead of producing a continuous harvest.
- If growing from seed, follow sowing instructions on the back of the seed package and keep soil evenly moist until the seeds germinate. Also see 10 steps to starting seedlings indoors. Purchased herb seedlings may need repotting if roots are showing through the drain holes.
- Keep the lights about 2-inches above the plants. Adjust the lights as the plants grow. Plants grown under artificial light need at least 12-16 hours of light each day. I set my Power Strip Timer for 16 hours on, then 8 hours off.
- Water twice a week or when the soil surface feels dry.
- Harvest and enjoy fresh, nutritious edibles throughout the cold, winter months.
Whether you are craving freshly grown harvests during the winter or live in an area without gardening space, I hope this gives you some encouragement to start growing edibles in your own indoor garden.
This article was originally published on November 22, 2014. It has been updated with additional information, photos, and video.
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- How to Divide and Pot Up Chives
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- 5 Herbs that Thrive Inside All Winter
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden.
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.