Beets are a great addition to the home garden, whether you enjoy harvesting beetroot for roasting or beet greens for sauteing. While it’s necessary to fertilize your root crop when you grow beets, you don’t need to use store-bought fertilizer to give them what they want. Homemade fertilizer for beets is easy to prepare and safer for the soil, plants, and environment.
Over time, a tomato plant, Brussels sprouts, and other vegetable plants remove minerals from the dirt. Growing beets in nutrient depleted soil may result in smaller beetroots or a low crop yield. Additionally, beets cannot tolerate acidic soil.
It can be tempting to head to your local hardware store or nursery and pick up a bag of synthetic fertilizer. However, too much chemical fertilizer contributes to soil acidification, reducing organic matter and beneficial species and stunting plant growth. It’s helpful to perform a soil test before planting beets to determine the soil type and make corrections using the right fertilizer.
Fertilizing Beets With Natural Fertilizers
Companion planting and organic fertilizers are great alternatives when growing beetroot and greens. Making organic fertilizer for your beet plant may seem intimidating, but there are many easy ways to give your plants what they want, whether you use compost, manure, or kitchen scraps.
Learn which fertilizers beets require and how to prepare a homemade fertilizer for healthy plant growth. Although best outdoors in the garden, beets can be grown indoors with the right soil and fertilizers.
What’s the Best Fertilizer for Beet Plants?
Understanding what beet plants want to grow roots and greens before you make or use an organic beet plant fertilizer is helpful. Learn about the soil type and nutrients beets need and easy methods to grow beets from seed and grow a bountiful crop.
Beet plants grow ideally in well-prepared, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. They prefer slightly alkaline dirt and do not tolerate a pH below 6.0. Test your soil beforehand to see if it lacks nutrition and determine its pH level.
Beets are root vegetables, and potassium and phosphate encourage robust root development. The best fertilizer for beet plants is one with more phosphate and potassium and less nitrogen. If you purchase a bag of granular fertilizer at the garden center, pick one with a ratio of 5-10-10.
Organic Beet Plant Fertilizer
Depending on your soil type, there are several ways to make an organic beet plant fertilizer. Here are some examples of organic fertilizers and how they benefit beetroots and leaves.
Boron deficiency, or black heart, is a common problem for beets, causing black corky spots on roots and scorched-looking leaves. Seaweed fertilizer is a natural beet fertilizer that treats this problem. Bone meal is excellent if your soil lacks phosphorus, and adding it to the dirt after planting beet seeds feeds the seedlings.
Compost and aged manure are great for enriching the soil if you apply them early enough. Avoid using worm castings since they increase nitrogen levels unless you are growing beets for the greens and not the roots.
Wood ash is an organic option if you have acidic soil. It contains potash, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, phosphorus pentoxide, and traces of boron and other minerals. Spread a five-gallon bucket of ashes per 1,000 feet before planting to increase its alkalinity.
Homemade Fertilizer For Beets
While many gardeners prefer to enrich the soil with composted material, you don’t need a compost pile or manure to create plant food for your veggies. Discover how to make a DIY fertilizer for beets with Epsom salt and kitchen scraps.
Magnesium increases the beet sweetness, and Epsom salt is an excellent mineral fertilizer for beet plants if your soil is magnesium deficient. Additionally, a banana peel increases potassium for root development. Combining the two creates a natural fertilizer perfect for beets.
Start by cutting banana peels and soaking them in a gallon of water for two to three days. Strain the liquid into another container, add a tablespoon of Epsom salt, and stir the solution to dissolve. Water your beet plants as usual with this liquid fertilizer to give them a magnesium and potassium boost.
How to Fertilize Beets
Some plants want liquid fertilizer for healthy leaves, while others grow better if you mix fertilizer into the soil. Explore how to fertilize beets with your fertilizer of choice.
Fertilizing beets is fairly straightforward. Broadcast three pounds of fertilizer when preparing the bed or work compost or aged manure into the soil. Be sure to only add manure if you prefer more greens than roots.
Side-dress the plants when they are four to five inches tall by adding fertilizer along the row, four inches away from the stems. Water the bed after fertilizing to help the minerals make their way through the soil.
When to Fertilize Beet Plants
When is the best time to feed beets? Learn when to fertilize beets to encourage plant development and discover the season to plant beets for the best growth. Once you know how to fertilize beets with a homemade fertilizer, it’s time to give your plants the nutritional boost they seek.
Spread beet plant food seven days before planting beet seed and side-dress them six weeks after that. The times you need to fertilize your beets depends on the rainfall you receive. To promote rapid growth, consider feeding your plants every three weeks until you harvest beets.
There’s nothing quite like eating cooked beets or beet leaves fresh from the garden, especially after growing them organically. Feeding beets with the proper, natural fertilizer ensures that you produce a healthy crop at the end of the growing season and is better for the environment.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to make a homemade fertilizer for beets, and we’d love it if you’d share our beet fertilization guide with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest.