Growing Beets in Containers Growing Beets in Containers
Although they are a root vegetable, it is possible to grow beets in containers. Beets will grow in soil rich with compost or manure, but you can also use a soilless potting mix. Try using 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 rich compost for your mix. It is very light and lets the roots move freely. Growing beets outside of the garden bed, you will need deep containers–at least 12 inches deep. They should be at least 8 inches in diameter as well. Follow this step-by-step guide to growing beets in containers. Some of the varieties you may choose to grow are Bull’s Blood, Red Cloud and Boro.
Step 1: Soak the Seeds
Start the process by soaking the beet seeds for 24 hours in water. This will aid in their germination.
Step 2: Prepare the Pots
Once you have the right size containers, fill them to the top with either a mixture of potting soil and compost or the soilless potting mix. Make sure the containers drain well as you do not want to saturate the beet seeds.
Step 3: Sow the Seeds
Once the seeds have soaked for a full day, sow them in the soil or soilless mix. The seeds should be placed ½ inch deep in the mix and no less than 1 inch apart. Planting them too closely will stunt the growth of the roots. Determine how many seeds you can put into each pot, and as you do so, apply a little fertilizer mixed in with the soil. If you use the soilless potting mix, forgo the fertilizer.
Step 4: Water
The first watering should be thorough, but you should not over saturate the pots. Beets need to be evenly watered, and they should be checked every day at first to make sure the soil or mix is not too dry. Use a mister when you water for an even application of water.
Step 5: Re-fertilize
After about 2 or 3 weeks, if you fertilized once, do so again. Lightly apply a small amount of fertilizer and gently mix it in.
Step 6: Cull
If you must, cull some of the beet starts. If the roots are too close together, the beets will never grow to the perfect size. You can take the leaves from any of the culled beets and add them to a fresh salad, for they are edible.
Step 6: Harvest
At about 60 days the beets should be ready for harvest. They should not be smaller than 2 inches in diameter, but the smaller they are, the more flavorful and tender they will be.
Beets can grow in the sun or shade and during the summer, fall or even winter. They are very hardy, and as long as they get proper sunlight during the off season, you can still manage to grow them if you take the right steps.