Whether you have a small balcony or a sunny corner indoors, learn how to cultivate beets in pots.
Growing beets in containers offers plenty of benefits, like saving you from endless weeding and pesky pests.
1. Pick a suitable beet variety for the pot
To ensure successful beet cultivation in your pot, handpick a suitable variety that meets your preferences and growing conditions.
For small containers, you can choose smaller varieties like ‘Detroit Dark Red’ or ‘Bull’s Blood’. For larger containers, consider ‘Golden’, ‘Chioggia’, or ‘Cylindra’.
2. Choose the best time to grow beets
Beets thrive in cool weather, so it’s important to plan your planting accordingly. The ideal temperature range for growing beets is between 50°F to 85°F (10°C to 29°C).
Beets can be planted in the spring, about 2-3 weeks before the last frost date. Sow the seeds directly in containers, avoiding transplanting.
If you’re in a warm climate area, it’s best to grow beets in late fall, winter, and early spring when the temperature is below 85°F (29°C). Adapt the planting time based on your local climate and temperature conditions.
|Best Time to Grow Beets
|Late Fall, Winter, Early Spring
3. Find out how long it will take to grow beets
On average, beets take around 50 to 70 days from planting to harvest, depending on the variety.
Some faster-growing varieties can be harvested in as little as 45 days.
Factors such as temperature, sunlight, and soil conditions can affect the growth rate of beets.
It’s important to keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and the actual time it takes for your beets to grow may vary.
4. Pick the right pot to grow beets
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a pot for your beet plants:
|Choose a pot that is at least 10 inches deep to allow for proper root development. A wider pot will accommodate more beet plants.
|I recommend clay pots for growing beets as they provide good drainage and allow for airflow to the roots. Avoid plastic pots as they can trap moisture and lead to root rot.
|Ensure that the pot has sufficient drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. You can also use fabric or smart pots that promote better drainage.
5. Prepare the pot for planting
Here are three key steps to get your pot ready for planting:
- Choose the right container: Select a pot that’s at least 10 to 12 inches deep to allow for proper root development. I recommend clay pots as they provide good drainage and insulation.
- Ensure proper drainage: Make sure the pot has sufficient drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. You can also add a layer of gravel or small stones at the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.
- Use quality potting soil: Fill the pot with a light, well-draining potting mix that’s rich in organic matter. Avoid adding gravels or stones in the bottom layer of the container as they can hinder drainage.
6. Plant the beet seeds in the pot
Fill the pot with a light and well-draining potting mix, specifically formulated for vegetables. Moisten the soil before planting the seeds to provide a conducive environment for germination.
Sow the beet seeds directly into the pot, spacing them about 2 to 3 inches apart. Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep in the soil. Gently cover the seeds with soil and lightly pat it down.
Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering. Place the pot in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
7. Provide the required sunlight
Beets require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily to grow and develop properly. Choose a sunny spot on your deck, balcony, or porch where your containers can receive maximum sunlight.
If you don’t have access to direct sunlight, you can use artificial grow lights to provide the necessary light intensity. Ensure that we position the light source at the appropriate distance from the plants to avoid burning or stunting their growth.
8. Provide the required water to the plant
Here are some tips to help you provide the required water to your plants:
- Monitor soil moisture: Regularly check the moisture level of the soil by inserting your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.
- Water deeply: When watering, make sure to thoroughly saturate the soil to reach the roots. This helps promote strong root development.
- Avoid overwatering: Beets prefer slightly moist soil, so avoid overwatering to prevent root rot. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering sessions.
9. Thin the beet seedlings
Thinning is the process of removing excess seedlings to provide enough space for the remaining plants to thrive.
When the beet seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall, thin them to maintain a recommended spacing of 3 inches between each plant. Start by gently pulling out the weaker and overcrowded seedlings, leaving behind the healthiest and strongest ones.
Thinning helps prevent competition for nutrients, sunlight, and water, allowing the remaining seedlings to develop larger and healthier roots. It also helps reduce the risk of fungal diseases by improving air circulation around the plants.
10. Provide nutrients to the beets
Here are some expert tips to help you provide the nutrients your beets need:
- Use a balanced vegetable fertilizer: Choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for vegetables and apply it according to the instructions on the package. This will ensure that your beets receive the right balance of essential nutrients.
- Amend the soil: Before planting your beets, amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will enrich the soil with nutrients and improve its overall fertility.
- Monitor nutrient levels: Regularly check the nutrient levels in the soil to ensure that your beets are receiving adequate amounts. Adjust fertilization as needed to maintain optimal nutrient levels for healthy growth.
11. Harvest and store the beets
Beets are ready to harvest when they’ve reached the desired size, usually around 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Gently grasp the leaves at the base of the plant and pull upwards, taking care not to damage the beet itself. If the beets don’t detach easily, use a small garden fork or trowel to loosen the soil around the base before pulling.
Once harvested, remove any excess soil from the beets and trim off the leaves, leaving about an inch of stem. Store the beets in a cool, dark place with high humidity, such as a root cellar or refrigerator. They can last for several weeks when stored properly.