Quick Garden Tips
- Beet seeds will germinate (begin to grow) best if you directly seed them into your garden and then keep the soil moisture level the same—do not let it dry out and then rewet.
- Expect germination in 10 to 15 days and harvest within 50 to 60 days.
- Beets draw water from the top foot of soil, so once they have a few leaves, they need to be watered less often than other types of plants with shallow roots.
- Thin your beet seedings to give enough space for each plant to grow and the root to form. Harvest the thinnings and use in salads.
Season and Location
- Beets can grow in full or partial sun; they need at least 3 hours of sunlight per day.
- Try planting beets in a sunny site along a walkway; they are colorful and grow easily
- Root crops such as beets do well in areas with short growing seasons and cool nights. They also do well in high elevation gardens. Beets are good crops for fall and winter gardens.
- Choose containers more than 10 inches deep.
Key Pests and Diseases
- Leafminers: use floating row covers in the spring to keep adults from laying eggs on the underside of the beet leaves.
- Damping off: plant seeds at a shallow depth to promote rapid rise of the seedling through the soil.
When to Plant and Harvest Beets in Oregon
- Central and Eastern: Plant mid-April to mid-May to harvest in July. Plant again in July to harvest in October.
- Willamette Valley: Plant early March through mid-May to harvest June and July. Plant again mid-July through early August to harvest mid-September through October.
- Coast: Plant February through mid-April to harvest mid-March through May. Plant again in August to harvest in October.
Recommended Types to Grow
- Good for fall plantings: Albina, Verduna, Winterkeeper
- Good for Central and Eastern Oregon: Cylindra (carrot-like), Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Golden
- Good for Western Oregon: Chioggia, golden, Red Cloud, Scarlet Supreme Tall Top
When and How to Harvest
- Harvest beets when the “shoulder” (the top part of the beetroot) sticks out above the soil. They might be the size of a golf ball to the size of a tennis ball. If you wait longer, the beet will get larger. Large beets may be tough and stringy.
- Use a shovel or trowel to gently dig up your beets, which is easier when the soil is damp.
- Pick often to help the plant produce more beans. Look carefully to find beans that are hidden in the leaves.
Storage and Cooking
- Beets will store for a long period of time if the greens are cut off.
- Wash and dry the beets before storing.
- Beet greens (leaves) are tasty and high in nutrients. Add raw greens to salads or cook them as you would chard, collard greens or kale.
- Try this Food Hero recipe: Beet and Carrot Salad