long-take-grow-beets

How Long Does it Take to Grow Beets?

Beets are a root vegetable that grow best in cool seasons. They don't take very long to mature in most cases. The choice of variety is the primary factor in how long it takes to grow beets. You can extend the harvest season by overwintering.

Growing Beets

Like almost any other vegetable, beets will do better in nutrient-rich soil. They prefer lower nitrogen but higher quantities of phosphorus. Growing organically makes it easy to achieve soft, fine soil with lots of humus. Don’t short them on moisture, as it will affect size and days to maturity. Remember, growing conditions, especially temperature, can affect maturity rates.

Short Season Beet Varieties

Some beet varieties can be ready to harvest in as little as 48 days. Here are some good choices:

  • Gladiator (48 days)
  • Chioggia (50 days)
  • Little Ball (50 days)
  • Pacemaker (50 days)
  • Early Wonder (52 days)
  • Red Ace (53 days)

Middle of the Road Beets

These beets are really very close in terms of maturity rates. There’s not much difference among them in that respect.

  • Little Mini Ball (54 days)
  • Big Red (55 days)
  • Golden (55 days)
  • Crosby’s Egyptian (56 days)
  • Sangria (56 days)
  • Warrior (57 days)
  • Avenger (57 days)
  • Detroit Dark Red (58 days)
  • Sweetheart (58 days)

Beets With Longer Maturity Rates

These beets may take as much as 20 days longer than their short-season cousins. The types are usually better for overwintering.

  • Cylindra (60 days)
  • Ruby Queen (60 days)
  • Green Top Bunching (65 days)
  • Lutz Green Leaf (70 days)

Baby Beets

You can always harvest beets before they’ve reached full maturity. These so-called “baby beets” are often more tender than they will be at a larger size. They may not be quite as flavorful, however, as it takes time to develop the plant sugars that make them sweet. Start checking about two weeks before the published maturity date.

Growing for Greens

Beets are a dual-purpose crop, so don’t forget you can start harvesting greens well before the roots. Some varieties, such as Avenger, Chioggia and Little Mini Ball, are good choices for greens. However, all beet greens are edible. Start harvesting a few leaves once they reach six inches in height.

Overwintering

Overwintered beets can simply remain in the ground and be harvested at your leisure. Plant in later summer or early fall so they will be close to or reach maturity before the ground freezes. In very cold climates, you should mulch with leaves or straw so you can get the beets out of the soil. Lutz (also called Winterkeeper) is a classic beet for overwintering.

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