Commodity Highlight—Beets 

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Photo by Emma Jane Hobden

Information courtesy of Kansas Farm Bureau’s Education and Training division

Beets are gaining a reputation as a new super food. The colorful cool-season root vegetable is known for its highly nutritious root, with additional value from its leafy greens. Don’t miss out on planting beets! Here are some quick tips and facts:

  • Start your first round of beets in early spring, as soon as the soil is workable. Make successive plantings every 2 to 3 weeks until mid-summer.
  • To speed up germination, or when planting in areas with low moisture and rainfall, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting.
  • Plant beets in full sun. They should ideally receive at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  • Soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 is best and slightly alkaline (7.0+) soils can be tolerated. Beets do not tolerate acidic soils (pH below 6.0).
  • Each wrinkled beet “seed” is a cluster of two to four seeds, so you will need to thin the young plants to 3 to 4 inches apart once the greens get to be about 4 inches tall. This allows their roots to grow to their proper size.
  • When thinning, don’t pull up the plants, as you may accidentally disturb the roots of the beets you want to keep. Instead, just snip off the greens and eat them.

For more info visit the Farmer’s Almanac.

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