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Grows Best In: Sun to Part Sun

Beets love cool weather and can tolerate part shade. Sow beet seeds around the last expected frost date for your area. Sow seeds in rows or broadcast on top of a raised bed amended with compost. Space seeds 1 inch apart. No matter how good you are at spacing the seeds, beets will get overcrowded. That's because a beet seed is actually a dried up fruit with multiple seeds in it. Often one beet "seed" will produce three to four beet seedlings. Cover the beet bed with a floating row cover to prevent animals from digging in the freshly sown bed and to keep the seeds moist.

Once beets germinate, thin the seedlings, leaving the healthiest seedlings and spacing the beet roots at least 3 to 4 inches apart. Use the thinnings in salads; baby beet greens are tender and tasty. Keep the bed well watered and weeded. Depending on your variety, harvest beets when they're golf ball sized. Don't let them grow too large or the roots may become woody. Harvest beets before the summer heat arrives, and sow seeds again in late summer for a fall harvest.


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