Sugar Beet (100 days)
These large gangly roots produce a natural source of sugar. Sugar Beet roots are very sweet and can be used fresh to add sweetness to dishes. With some research in processing and recipes, they can be made into sugar, syrup, molasses, and wine. The Sugar Beet is fun to grow and you will be pleasantly surprised when you try a bite of one.
Germination: 5-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 50-85ºF. Soaking seed overnight aids in germination.
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/2” deep
Starting Indoors: 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Sow 1-2 seeds per cell/pot. Thin to 1 seedling per cell/pot. Transplant outdoors when the first true leaves appear, 3” apart.
Sowing Outdoors: Early spring with soil temperatures at least 50ºF. Sow 1-2” apart, thin when plants are 2-4” tall, 3-4” apart. Germination is slower at lower soil temperatures.
How much does a packet plant: 15-20 foot single row
Harvest: Begin picking at 1” for baby beets and up to 3” across for the most tender and best tasting. For best storage cut off the greens 2” above the top of the beet.
Tips: Sugar Beet “seeds” are actually fruits that contain multiple seeds inside with several seedlings emerging from one seed. Use the thinned seedlings for beet greens or plant a heavily seeded row for baby beet greens. Beets need to grow rapidly and evenly by providing soil rich in organic matter and adequate moisture. Sow every 2 weeks for a continuous harvest.