Grow Guide Conditions:
Beets may be grown from early spring through fall and year-round in mild climates. They are tolerant of a broad range of growing conditions and soil types, but grow best on silt-loam or sandy-loam soils with a pH of 6.0 – 8.0. Maintain uniform soil moisture for best quality roots and leaves, but avoid waterlogging. They grow best during the 60-70°F days and cool nights of spring and fall. Summer plantings may produce rough, tough roots due to excessive heat.
Grow Guide Seed:
Beets are most commonly direct seeded, but may be transplanted. Direct seed beginning in early spring, 2-3 weeks before the last frost, and succession plant every two weeks throughout the growing season for a continuous supply. Plant seeds ½ to ¾ inch deep, 2-3 inches apart, allowing 12-18 inches between rows. Seeds germinate in 7-12 days. Thin to 3-5 inches apart for larger roots (you can eat the thinnings). Keep evenly watered until maturity for the best quality roots.
Grow Guide Pests:
Practice crop rotations to prevent Cercospora Leaf Spot and other soil borne diseases. Also avoid rotation with potatoes, as the same organism responsible for Scab on potatoes can affect beets as well. Shiraz Tall Top beets have been selected for, and demonstrated resistance to, Rhizoctonia Dry Rot, a fungal disease that causes black scarring on the root surface. Use row covers to exclude leaf-hoppers and prevent transmission of Beet Curly Top Virus.
Grow Guide Harvest:
Selectively harvest beet greens while they are small and tender for fresh use in salads. Harvest beet roots when they are between 2-5 inches in diameter. The leafy tops can be sautéed or steamed. Remove leaves from fall-harvested beets to store the roots through the winter.