Beets

Beets (Beta vulgaris) An Old World crop known to the Romans, but not cultivated for roots until much later. Beets aren't just red—be sure to try other types of beetroot as well! Make successive sowings of beetroot seeds for harvests all season, starting 2-4 weeks before last frost in spring, and continuing until a month before first frost in fall. (Sowings in intense mid-summer heat may not germinate satisfactorily.) Sow where the plants are to grow, 1/2 inch deep, 4-6 inches apart, in full sun on a neutral (non-acid) soil.

Beet "seeds" are really capsules containing multiple seeds, so thinning to single plants is necessary. If the young, growing beetroot plants are thinned gradually, the thinnings can be enjoyed as greens.

Keep soil evenly moist. When mature, lift and store in the refrigerator or root cellar.

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