How to make beetroot seeds?

Please welcome Heidi from Barefoot and Paleo back to the blog! If you missed her last guest post, be sure to check out How to Reuse 13 Things You’d Normally Throw Away. Alright, here she is with 18 Foods you can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps!

I’m excited to be back at My Heart Beets today to expand on this post and talk about how you can regrow your own garden from food scraps you normally throw away.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 31 percent of the 430 billion pounds of food produced in the United States goes uneaten (source). In 2012, more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated and only 5 percent was diverted for composting (source). We can change the amount of waste produced dramatically – by regrowing our food scraps into edible plants. Not only is this practice environmentally friendly (keeping food waste out of landfills) but it is also makes economic sense for our wallets (serves as free food). It’s also a nice learning experience for kids. They get to learn about the process and watch their food grow.

For the best results, use organic fruits and vegetables along with organic compost soil. I would also suggest looking at a planting schedule for your area before starting your indoor or outdoor garden.

In addition to regrowing scraps, you can also save your vegetable seeds to grow your favorite vegetables. I’ll talk about this at the end of the post.

Celery, Bok Choy, Cabbage, & Romaine Lettuce

Step 1 – Cut the base off and put it bottom down in a bowl of shallow water (no more than 1/4 inch paste the base). You need to add enough water for the whole base to be covered but do not saturate otherwise it will become soggy. Replace the water every few days.

Step 2 – In 1 week you should see regrowth coming up through the center. Once this happens you will want to transfer the vegetable to a container or plant it in the ground for further growth. Be sure to plant with only the new growth above the soil and water regularly.

Step 3 – In about 5 months the plant will be full grown and ready to harvest.

Mushrooms

Step 1 – Remove the head/cap of the mushroom.

Step 2 – Plant the mushrooms stalks in soil with only the top surface of it exposed.

Step 3 – Harvest when fully grown.

Green Onions, Leeks, Lemongrass, Fennel, & Scallions

Step 1 – Save the last 2 inches of the bottom of the plant (roots intact). Place in a cup of water (mason jars work wonderfully) with the roots down, leaving 1/2 inch of the top exposed. Then place on a sunny windowsill. Replace the water every day.

Step 2 – In 3 to 5 days you will see regrowth. For green onions, leeks, scallions, fennel, and scallions you can leave them in the cup of water. For lemongrass, plant in soil.

Step 3 – Harvest when fully grown, only cutting what you need for cooking while leaving the roots in the water. Repeat the steps with the same root ends. Harvest lemongrass once it becomes a foot tall. Cut off what you need without uprooting the plant.

Garlic

Step 1 – Plant a large garlic clove in a small container root-end down and 2 inches below the soil. Each clove will produce 1 bulb of garlic.

Step 2 – Place the container in a sunny windowsill where there is plenty of direct sunlight and keep the soil very moist.

Step 3 – Once the garlic is establish, cut back the new shoots so the plant has energy to produce more bulbs. Harvest when fully grown, about 5 months.

Tip – I tried to plant it in the ground once it started to regrow and it died immediately. I would recommend keeping garlic in a container so you can keep the soil very moist.

Note from Ashley: I wrote a post on how to grow garlic scapes in a shot glass that you might want to read!

Basil, Rosemary & Cilantro

Step 1 – Cut about 2 to 3 inches of new growth from an established basil plant, just above two leaf nodes.

Step 2 – Remove the bottom leaves and place in a cup of water – making sure the bottom is fully submerged in water. Place in a sunny windowsill and replace the water regularly.

Step 3 – In about 2 months you should see roots forming. Let the roots grow to at least 1 inch long then transfer into a container or in the ground. Water regularly to see a full plant grow.

Ginger

Step 1 – Soak a fresh chunk of ginger overnight. Be sure the ginger has a few growing buds (little bumps on the end of the ginger).

Step 2 – Plant the ginger in a container with the growth buds pointing up in moist soil and water every day until shoots appear then water regularly.

Step 3 – Harvest in 1 year or until the buds have grown into usable pieces.

Sweet Potatoes & White Potatoes

Step 1 – Cut the potato in half and push 3 toothpicks midway around the potato. Place it cut side down in a glass of water, you want the potato to hang down in the water about 1/2 inch. Place on a sunny windowsill and replace water every few days.

Step 2 – In 2-3 weeks you will see potato plants (slips) growing out of the top. Once the splits reach 5-6 inches long, twist them off and put them in a cup of water to generate roots. Once the roots reach 1 inch long, plant them in loose, well-drained soil either in a container or in the ground. Water every day for a week then water regularly until harvested.

Step 3 – Harvest in 2 to 4 months or when the plant reaches 1 foot in height. A good indicator the potatoes are ready to harvest is when the tops of the plant die off or turn yellow. Carefully search the soil with your hands – don’t use anything sharp, it could puncture the potatoes.

Tip – Store sweet potatoes in a warm, dry place for 2 weeks. This is what gives them a sweet taste.

Carrot Plants

Step 1 – Place carrot tops bottom down on a plate.

Step 2 – Add water to the plate so there is 1/4 inch of water past the base. Set near a sunny windowsill.

Step 3 – Once the carrot has regrown greens, transfer to an indoor container and water regularly.

Tip – You can use the carrot greens in a salad if you like.

In addition to these 18 foods, you can also grow an Avocado Tree & a Pineapple Tree for decoration. While there’s a chance you may see fruit after a couple years using these methods, it really depends on your climate.

Pineapple Tree

Step 1 – Twist or cut the top off of a pineapple and remove the first few layers of leaves from the bottom.

Step 2 – Place the crown in a cup of water, bottom down, for 3 weeks or until you see roots.

Step 3 – Once roots form transfer it to a well draining house planter and keep moist.

Avocado Tree

Step 1 – Clean and dry your avocado nut.

Step 2 – Push 3 toothpicks in the nut around the top. Place the nut bottom down in a glass of water. Make sure there is at least a 1/2 inch of water covering the bottom. Place on a sunny windowsill.

Step 3 – In about 3 weeks you will see the nut crack and roots form. Once this happens transfer to a medium planter and keep moist.

Tip – To determine the top from bottom: look for a small circular shaped dark brown spot on the side that is more flat, this is the bottom. The top will have more of a cone look. We never had issues growing avocado trees (for decoration) from our compost pile but this may not work depending on your climate.

And finally, if you are growing your vegetables from seed, here’s how to plant them:

Vegetable Seeds

Step 1 – Save seeds from all your favorite vegetables, rinse with water, and set out to dry for a day or two.

Step 2 – Place each seed 1 inch below the soil and lightly cover with soil.

Step 3 – Once your seedlings are about 2 to 3 inches high transfer to larger containers or place in the ground. Water regularly.

Tip – Starting vegetable seedlings inside will give you the best results. Use small containers or paper egg cartons to start seedlings (you can put paper egg cartons right into the ground). I had success with bell pepper seeds, all types of squash, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

Have you tried to regrow food from kitchen scraps? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

Heidi Fiscus is an entrepreneur, primal enthusiast, barefooter, holistic health nut, real foodie, wife, and proud mama. In her spare time she enjoys being outside barefoot, experimenting in the kitchen, learning new things, and traveling to new places.

After suffering from many illnesses including chronic gall bladder disease, hypothyroidism, IBS, and liver toxicity, Heidi strives to inspire others to join the real food revolution and living a healthy life. You can follow her journey and read more about natural living over at Barefoot and Paleo.

Family Food Garden may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Table of Contents

I love beetroot and there are many colorful varieties of beet plants to grow!

Beets are delicious roasted, sauteed, boiled with butter, made into borscht. They are are excellent when grown for baby beets. raw in salads, or grated in veggie burgers.

Growing beetroots can pose some challenges, I will admit out beets were somehow harder for me to master than others.

This post will cover:

  • Beet varieties
  • Beets for the leaves
  • How to grow beets
  • The importance of thinning beets for success

Beet varieties

Most beets are round, but there are certain types like ‘Cylindra’ that are actually long and narrow. These are excellent if you’re growing them for canning purpose as they’re easy to process and slice into small circles.

Golden and white beet varieties don’t ‘bleed’ color like red colored beets making less of a mess during preparation.

Chioggia, which is also called ‘Candy Cane’ beets has gorgeous rings of pink and white, although less intense earth beet flavor.

There’s even a gorgeous white variety called ‘Avalanche’ from West Coast Seeds

Some beet varieties:

  • Touchstone Gold, Golden Beets for pretty golden beets
  • Lutz Green Leaf (also called Winterkeeper)
  • Cylindra long shape instead the traditional rounded beets
  • Detroit dark red
  • Early Wonder (great for greens)
  • Rhonda
  • Avalanche (white)
  • Chioggia/Candy cane (stripped pink & white)

Chioggia beets from Baker Creek Seeds

Beetroot leaves

Beet leaves are very nutritious and they offer an excellent extra crop. Beets are what I consider crops that are ‘top & bottoms‘, meaning you eat two parts of the plant making a great use of garden space. Beet greens taste similar to swiss chard (& they’re in the same plant family, and depending on the beet variety, they will be different in color and taste. Certain beets like ‘Small Wonder Tall Top’ or ‘Bulls Blood’ beets are grown more for their greens more than the root.

–> Want to learn how to grow greens year-round? Check out my 60 page guide ‘Fresh Greens’

Below you can see ‘Chioggia’ beet leaves have less of a red stem compared to other beet greens offering a milder taste. Lutz green leaf is another variety that has green leaves without that larger dark red stems.

How to grow beets

Beets are a cool season crop that like well drained loose soil so that the roots can form well. They benefit from organic matter and are sensitive if the soil is too acidic. If your beets develop cankers they need more boron. Sow your seeds 1 inch a part and thin to 3 inches for baby beets or 6 inches for larger beets. Harvest times depends on the variety, some baby beets are ready in 60 days, others take 88 days to mature. If beets grow poorly try succession planting for fall crops instead of summer and double check soil ph and amendments.

The importance of thinning beet plants

When you grow beets the seeds are actually ‘clusters’ of tiny seeds. That means when you plant a beet ‘seed’ you’ll end up with more than one germinating in the same place. Because the plants will start fighting for space to grow, you need to thin out (which means remove) the beet seedling so one beet plant has the best chance to grow.

To thin out your beets, try to leave the largest one, which often indicated the best plant vigor, and gently pull the little beet seedling from the ground. Try not to disturb the good one that you want left to grow.

You can either:

  • compost the beet seedling
  • eat them as microgreens
  • transplant the beet seedling somewhere else

What is your favorite beet variety?

Do you struggle growing larger beets? What is your favorite way to eat beets?

My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.

Beet Seed Planting: Can You Grow Beets From Seeds

Beets are cool season veggies grown primarily for their roots, or occasionally for the nutritious beet tops. A fairly easy vegetable to grow, the question is how do you propagate beet root? Can you grow beets from seeds? Let’s find out.

Can You Grow Beets from Seeds?

Yes, the common method for propagation is via beet seed planting. Beetroot seed production is different in structure than other garden seeds.

Each seed is actually a group of flowers melded together by the petals, which create a multi-germ cluster. In other words, each “seed” contains two to five seeds; hence, beetroot seed production may engender multiple beet seedlings. Therefore, thinning a beet seedling row is crucial to a vigorous beet crop.

Most folks purchase beet seed from a nursery or greenhouse, but it’s possible to harvest your own seeds. First, wait until the beet tops have turned brown before attempting beet seed harvesting.

Next, cut 4 inches off the top of the beet plant and store these in a cool, dry area for two to three weeks to allow the seeds to ripen. The seed can then be stripped from the dried foliage by hand or placed in a bag and pounded. The chaff can be winnowed and the seeds plucked out.

Beet Seed Planting

Beet seed planting is usually direct seeded, but seeds can be started inside and transplanted later. Native to Europe, beets, or Beta vulgaris, are in the Chenopodiaceae family which includes chard and spinach, so crop rotation should be practiced, as they all use the same soil nutrients and to reduce the risk of passing potential disease down the line.

Prior to growing seeds of beets, amend the soil with 2-4 inches of well composted organic matter and work in 2-4 cups of an all purpose fertilizer (10-10-10- or 16-16-18) per 100 square feet. Work this all into the top 6 inches of soil.

Seeds can be planted after soil temps reach 40 degrees F. (4 C.) or over. Germination occurs within seven to 14 days, provided temperatures are between 55-75 F. (12-23 C.). Plant seed ½-1 inch deep and spaced 3-4 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart. Cover the seed lightly with soil and water gently.

Care of Beet Seedlings

Water the beet seedling regularly in the amount of about 1 inch of water per week, depending upon temps. Mulch around the plants to retain moisture; water stress within the first six weeks of growth will lead to premature flowering and low yields.

Fertilize with ¼ cup per 10 foot row with a nitrogen based food (21-0-0) six weeks after beet seedling emergence. Sprinkle the food along the side of the plants and water it in.

Thin the beets in stages, with the first thinning once the seedling is 1-2 inches tall. Remove any weak seedlings, cut rather than pull the seedlings, which will disturb the roots of abutting plants. You can use the thinned plants as greens or compost them.

Beet seedlings can be started inside prior to the last frost, which will reduce their harvest time by two to three weeks. Transplants do very well, so plant into the garden at the desired final spacing.

Beets Growing and Seed Saving Tips

Growing Tips

Begin planting seeds a month before last spring frost. Beet seeds do best in soil temperatures above 50 degrees F, but can germinate in cooler soil. Plant fall beets 10-12 weeks before you expect the fall frost. Beets grow best in nutritious soil with a pH between 6.2-7.0.
Beets are wind pollinated, so growers interested in saving seed need to be conscious of isolation distances in order to preserve seed integrity. A half mile of isolation between varieties is necessary (beets and chard are the same species and will cross readily if not separated). If sufficient space is not available beets can be bagged to prevent cross-pollination. Beets will not self-pollinate, so if bagging beets, make sure that at least 10 plants are housed under the same bag, to ensure that they are able to pollinate each other. Bags need to be wind-proof to avoid pollination from outside. Shake plants together within bag frequently to insure pollination.
Beets are biennial, so only produce seed in the second year after sowing. This poses a challenge for seed savers in cold climates. Beets should be able to survive the winter in climates with average annual minimum temperatures of -10 degrees F or warmer. If you live in a colder climate, we recommend storing the beets through the winter and replanting in the spring.

Beetroot Seeds

Beetroot Seeds

Transparent

Yes

Luminance Blast resistance Tool

Any tool

Renewable

Yes

Stackable

Yes (64)

Flammable

No

Catches fire from lava

No

Drops

Beetroot
0–3 Beetroot Seeds

Data values

See § Data values

Namespaced ID

See § Data values

This article is about beetroot seeds. For other things called seeds, see Seeds (disambiguation).

Beetroot seeds are items that can be used to plant beetroot crops.

Obtaining

Natural generation

Beetroot seeds can be found in 18.5% of dungeon chests, 31.6% of chest minecarts in Mineshafts, and 18.5% of woodland mansion chests, all in stacks of 2–4; in 21.2% of End city chests in stacks of 1–10; and in 66.3% of snowy village house chests in stacks of 1–5.

In Bedrock Edition, they can be found in 33.3% of bonus chests in stacks of 1–2.

Village farm plots have a 10% chance of being beetroot.

Farming

Harvesting fully-grown beetroot yields from 0 to 3 seeds per crop harvested (2 seeds per crop harvested on average). The Fortune enchantment can be used to improve the drop rate.

Trading

Beetroot seeds are sold by wandering traders for one emerald.

Usage

Beetroot seeds can be placed on farmland. After being placed, it will undergo four states of growth. When fully grown it can be broken to produce beetroot seeds and beetroots.

While beetroot crops have only four growth stages compared to eight for wheat, carrots, and potatoes, each growth tick has a 1⁄3 chance of not advancing the growth stage and therefore beetroot grows only slightly faster than other crops.

One application of bonemeal has a 75% chance of advancing growth by one stage. This is less effective than for other crops: an average of 5 1⁄3 are needed to fully grow beetroot compared to 2 2⁄7 for other crops.

Breeding

Like other seeds, beetroot seeds can be used to breed chickens, lead chickens around, and make baby chickens grow up faster by 10% of the remaining time.

Taming

Like other seeds, beetroot seeds can be used to tame parrots.

Composting

Placing beetroot seeds into a composter will have a 30% chance of raising the compost level by 1.

Sounds

Data values

ID

Java Edition:

Block Namespaced ID Item form
Beetroots beetroots No
Beetroot Seeds beetroot_seeds Yes

Bedrock Edition:

Block Namespaced ID Numeric ID
Beetroots beetroot 244
Beetroot Seeds beetroot_seeds 458

Block data

See also: Data values

In Bedrock Edition, beetroots uses the following data values:

Icon Value
0
1
2
3

Block states

See also: Block states

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
age 0 0
1
2
3 Fully grown.

Bedrock Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
growth 0 0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7 Fully grown.

Advancements

Main article: Advancements

Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Namespaced ID
A Seedy Place Plant a seed and watch it grow Husbandry Plant one of these 5 seeds. Crops and plants without seeds are ignored for the advancement. husbandry/plant_seed

History

Java Edition
1.9 15w31a Added beetroot seeds.
Added beetroot crops.
Beetroot seeds can be found in end city chests.
15w38a The drop chances have now been greatly improved from the average 4⁄5 per beetroot crop harvested to 2.
15w44a Beetroots now generate in dungeon and mineshaft chests.
1.11 16w39a Beetroot seeds are now found in the new woodland mansion chests.
1.13 17w47a Prior to The Flattening, this item’s numeral ID was 458 and block’s numeral ID was 244.
1.14 18w43a The texture of beetroot seeds has now been changed.
The textures of beetroot crops have now been changed.
19w03a Placing beetroot seeds into the new composter has a 10% chance of raising the compost level by 1.
19w05a Beetroot seeds now have a 30% chance of increasing the compost level in a composter.
1.15 19w34a Bees can now pollinate beetroot crops.
Pocket Edition Alpha
November 14, 2013 Johan Bernhardsson previewed an image of beetroot seeds.
0.8.0 build 2 Added Beetroots seeds.
Added Beetroots crops.
build 3 Beetroots seeds now have a chance of dropping when tilling grass blocks.
0.11.0 ? “Beetroots seeds” have now been renamed to “Beetroot Seeds” and the capitalization has now also been fixed.
0.12.1 build 1 Beetroot seeds no longer have a chance of dropping when tilling grass blocks.
0.14.0 build 1 Beetroot seeds can now be found in minecart with chests inside of mineshafts.
0.16.2 Beetroot seeds can now be found in chests inside the large house in ice plains and cold taiga villages.
Pocket Edition
1.0.0 alpha 0.17.0.1 Beetroot seeds can now be found in the chests of dungeons and end cities.
1.1.0 alpha 1.1.0.0 Beetroot seeds can now be found in woodland mansion chests.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0 beta 1.2.0.2 Beetroot seeds can now be found inside bonus chests.
Beetroot seeds can now be used to tame parrots.
1.10.0 beta 1.10.0.3 The texture of beetroot seeds has now been changed.
The textures of beetroot crops have now been changed.
Beetroot seeds are now sold by the new wandering traders.
1.11.0 beta 1.11.0.1 Beetroot seeds can now be used to fill the composter.
Beetroot seeds can now be found in snowy tundra village house chests.
1.14.0 beta 1.14.0.1 Bees can now pollinate beetroot crops.
Legacy Console Edition
TU43 CU33 1.36 Patch 13 Added beetroot seeds.
Added beetroot crops.
1.90 The texture of beetroot seeds has now been changed.
The textures of beetroot crops have now been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0 Added beetroot seeds.
Added beetroot crops.

Issues

Issues relating to “Beetroot Seeds” are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.

Gallery

  • The first image released of beetroot seeds.

  • A beetroot garden.

  • Beetroots generated in a village.

References

Blocks

View at: Template:Blocks/content

Items

View at: Template:Items/content

Come on! Grow up!

This article is a Minecraft Wiki stub. You can help by expanding the page.

For other types of seeds, see Seeds (Disambiguation).

Beetroot Seeds are seeds used to grow Beetroot plants.

Source

Beetroot Seeds are obtained at a 1/16 chance by using a Hoe on Grass, or often by destroying a fully-grown Beetroot plant. As of The Combat Update, beetroot can be found in Villages and in End Cities.

Uses

Beetroot Seeds can be planted in Farmland, which is created when a player hoes a Dirt block with a hoe. To make the beetroot grow faster, a player can plant the seeds near water (within four blocks distance) to make hydrated farmland. Hydrated farmland can be identified with it being considerably darker than normal farmland, and it will make all seeds, not only beetroot seeds, grow faster.

When the Beetroot plant is fully mature, it can be harvested and used to make Beetroot Soup.

Other Types of Seeds

  • Seeds (Wheat)
  • Melon Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Nether Warts (grown exclusively in Soul Sand)

Trivia

  • The beetroot seeds texture shows the largest sized seeds than any of the other kinds of seeds’ textures.

Items

Raw Materials

Blaze Rod • Bone • Clay • Coal ( Charcoal) • Diamond • Ender Pearl • Feather • Flint • Ghast Tear • Glowstone Dust • Gold Ingot ( Nugget) • Gunpowder • Iron Ingot • ( Nugget) • Leather • Nether Wart • Nether Star • Prismarine Shard • Prismarine Crystal • Redstone Dust • Slimeball • String • Emerald • Firework Star • Rabbit Hide • Rabbit’s Foot • Shulker Shell • Nautilus Shell • Phantom Membrane • Heart of the Sea • Scute • Honeycomb •

Manufactured

Blaze Powder • Book • Bowl • Brick ( Nether) • Eye of Ender • Fermented Spider Eye • Glass Bottle ( Water Bottle) • Glistering Melon • Magma Cream • Paper • Popped Chorus Fruit • Potions ( Splash • Lingering) • Stick • Sugar

Food

Beetroot • ( Beetroot Soup) • Bread • Cake • Carrot ( Golden Carrot) • Chorus Fruit • Cookie • Egg • Melon Slice • Milk • Mushroom Stew • Potato ( Baked • Poisonous) • Sweet Berries • Pumpkin Pie • Raw Beef ( Steak) • Raw Chicken ( Cooked) • Raw Cod ( Cooked) • Raw Porkchop ( Cooked) • Apple ( Golden • Notch) • Rotten Flesh • Spider Eye • Raw Rabbit ( Cooked) • Raw Mutton ( Cooked) • Rabbit Stew • Tropical Fish • Raw Salmon ( Cooked Salmon) • Pufferfish • Dried Kelp • Suspicious Stew • Honey Bottle • Honey

Plants

Seeds ( Beetroot • Wheat • Pumpkin • Melon) • Sugar Cane • Wheat • Kelp • Bamboo • Pink Dye • Orange Dye • Yellow Dye • Green Dye • Lime Dye • Light Blue Dye • Cyan Dye • Lapis Lazuli • Magenta Dye • Purple Dye • Gray Dye • Light Gray Dye • White Dye • Black Dye • Brown Dye • Blue Dye

Tools

Axe • Bucket ( Water • Lava) • Fishing Rod • Flint and Steel • Hoe • Pickaxe • Shears • Shovel • Book and Quill • Lead • Shield • Carrot on a Stick

Informative

Clock • Compass • Map • Exploration Map

Weapons

Bow ( Arrow) • Fire Charge • Snowball • Sword • Trident • Crossbow

Armor

Boots • Chestplate • Helmet • Leggings • Horse Armor • Turtle Shell

Vehicles

Boat • Minecart ( with Furnace • with Chest • with TNT • With Hopper • with Command Block)

Utility

Saddle • Totem of Undying • Name Tag

Decoration

Music Discs

Creative only

Spawn Egg • Debug Stick

Unimplemented

Quiver • Ruby • Skis • Crystallized Honey

Vegetable Seed Production: Beet

You are here: Seed Production: Chenopodiaceae: Beet

Common Name: Beet
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris (Crassa group)
Family: Chenopodiaceae

In addition to reading the information in this section, please view this narrated video on Beet seed production
(The video will open in a new window.)

Botany

Most plants in the Chenopodiaceae family have small single flowers and plants are bisexual or unisexual, sometimes dioecious. In some cases two or more flowers grow together in a dense cluster and form a multiple fruit called a utricle that contains multiple embryos. With beets, the calyx continues to grow after flowering, becomes corky and completely covers the seeds. The utricle is the propagule planted to grow beets and chard.

Soil Nutrition

Beets are only slightly tolerant of acid soils and grow best at pH 6.0-6.8. Beets need high levels of most trace elements in the soil to grow and develop normally. Beets are sensitive to boron deficiencies which leads to cavity spot (black necrotic lesions on the roots). Beets have a moderate requirement for N-P-K. Beet are tolerant of saline soil conditions and are considered to be a halophyte.

Isolation

It is generally accepted that pollen of Beta vulgaris is wind-borne over relatively long distances and sufficient isolation should therefore be ensured. Most authorities stipulate isolation distances of at least 500 m between cultivars of the same type (e.g. red globe) and at least 1000 m between different types of cultivar (e.g. between red globe and cylindrical types).
Beetroot is cross-compatible with the other subspecies of Beta vulgaris (i.e. sugar beet, mangolds, spinach beet and Swiss chard) and adequate isolation of different seed crops has to be ensured. This is usually accomplished by a zoning scheme. In the UK scheme, the stipulated minimum isolation distance between the different types of Beta vulgaris is 1 km, although the recommended distance in some states of the USA is at least three times this.
When seed of high genetical quality is required or pollen contamination is suspected, the discard strip technique can be used. Although this technique was developed for sugar beet seed production, the same principles apply with other wind—pollinated Beta vulgaris types.

Planting

Beets are direct seeded 1/2 inch deep in rows 15 to 20 inches apart with a final in-row spacing of 3 inches. Direct-seeded plots are generally thinned if monogerm cultivars are not used. Beets germinate at soil temperatures above 40 degrees F but optimum germination occurs at 85 degrees F.

Irrigation

Beets have a shallow root system so they must receive a consistent supply of water to keep the roots from becoming woody. On mineral soils, overhead irrigation is used. The requirement of one inch per week applies.

Roguing

The roguing of plants for beetroot seed production is considerably more thorough when the root to seed system is used. The seed to seed system does not allow the mature root characters to be observed.
Seed to seed
The main roguing is done at lifting and re-planting, although plants which bolt prematurely can be removed before lifting.
1. Lifting
Discard plants showing any of the following: incorrect leaf shape and color, premature bolting, incorrect root shape, seed—borne pathogens.
2. Re-planting
Characters as described above.

Root to seed
1. Before cutting tops for lifting
Remove plants showing any of the following: incorrect leaf color and morphology, early bolters and seed-borne pathogens.
2. Lifted roots
Discard roots which are not true to type. Shape, size, crown and surface corkiness should be taken into consideration.
3. Re-planting
If roguing has been done in accordance with stage 2 described above, no further roguing is required, although roots showing storage diseases should be discarded.
4. Bolting plants (before ‘topping’)
Remove plants showing incorrect leaf shape, leaf color, vigor and seed-borne pathogens.

Diseases

Insect Pests

  • Leaf spot (Cercospora beticola) is troublesome.
  • Black spot or cavity spot is caused by boron deficiency.
  • Leaf miner is an important insect pest.
  • Beet armyworm
  • Flea beetles
  • Aphids
  • Garden Webworms

Seed Harvest

The harvesting of beet seed commences when the ‘fruits’ at the bases of inflorescent side shoots mature. By this stage the fruits have turned from green to brown. An additional check is to cut transversely a sample of ripe fruits. Unripe fruits are milky when cut and ripe fruits are mealy. Seeds ripen successively from the bases of the side shoots to the terminal point. Care is needed to determine the optimum time for cutting because the immature seeds shrivel if cut too early, and if cut too late seeds are lost as a result of shattering.
Ripening beetroot stems tend to be prostrate rather than vertical. The method of cutting depends on the scale of operation. Large-scale producers in the USA use a swather, but for small-scale production, basic seed or larger scale production with relatively low hand labor costs, the crop is cut with knives or hooks.
The cut stalks are left in windrows to dry and carefully turned once or twice. In areas where autumn rain is a problem the cut stalks are tied in bundles and dried on ‘four poles’ placed in shocks (stooks) or alternatively open sheds. Large heaps of cut material are placed on tarpaulins, or polythene sheets, to avoid loss of seed from shattering. The cut material can take from three to fourteen days to dry according to the air temperature and rainfall.

Cleaning

After drying, the material is threshed by a stationary thresher or a combine. The dry straw of beetroot seed is extremely brittle, and it is therefore important to use a relatively low cylinder speed and air blast. Concave openings must be wide in order to avoid producing too many small pieces of straw as it is difficult to separate these off afterwards. There is relatively little chaff from beetroot material.
The final separation of beetroot ‘seeds’ from the small pieces of plant debris is done on a gravity separator.

Seed Yield

A satisfactory yield of beetroot seed in most areas of the world is approximately 1000 kg/ha (892 pounds per acre), although up to twice this amount is achieved in the USA.

Seed Identification:

Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris (Crassa group)
Common Name: Beet
Family: Chenopodiaceae
Weight:

Note: 1 row in above image = 1 mm
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Beets

Beets tolerate frost and do best in the cooler areas of the country, but they will go to seed without making roots if the plants get too cold when young. Plant them as a winter crop in the southern parts of the country. In a hot climate, pay special attention to watering and mulching to give seedlings a chance to establish themselves. The roots become woody in very hot weather. Plant beets two to three weeks before the average date of last frost.


Plant beets in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches apart.

Beets thrive in well-worked, loose soil that is high in organic matter. They do not do well in a very acid soil, and they need a good supply of potassium. Beets are grown from seed clusters that are slightly smaller than a pea and contain several seeds in each. Plant the clusters an inch deep, directly in the garden, an inch apart in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. The seedlings may emerge over a period of time, giving you a group of seedlings of different sizes. Since several seedlings will emerge from each seed cluster, they must be thinned to 2 to 3 inches apart when the seedlings develop true leaves.

Harvesting Beets
Both the leaves and the root can be eaten. Eat thinned seedlings like spinach; they do not transplant well. It takes about 60 days for a beet to reach 11/2 inches in diameter, a popular size for cooking or pickling. They will quickly grow larger if they have plenty of water. Pull the beets up when they reach your desired size.
Types of Beets
Beet lovers have several colorful beet types to choose from. We’ve listed the different varieties of beets below.

  • Detroit Dark Red, harvest at 60 days, is a deep red, finely-grained sweet standard beet.
  • Golden, harvest at 55 days, has gold-colored skin and flesh.
  • Lutz Green Leaf, harvest at 80 days, is often grown as a fall crop; its red flesh has lighter zones.
  • Egyptian Flat, harvest at 50 days, is squat and early.

There are many ways to enjoy beets. Learn how to select and prepare beets in the next section.
Want more information about beets? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature beets.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

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