So, you love beets but don’t have enough backyard space for a garden. Did you know that just about any vegetable is easy to grow in a raised bed or pot? Learn how to grow beets in a container by starting seeds indoors and transplanting them into an outdoor pot.
Fresh beets straight from the garden are healthier and tastier than the canned beets from the grocery store. There are many beet varieties to choose from, including golden, red, and striped, and they are great for everything from pickling to roasting.
Growing your own means you also get to enjoy harvesting beet greens for sauteing as a side dish or adding to soups.
As much as we’d all love to have a large vegetable garden, this isn’t always possible. However, thinking that you need a large garden space to produce food is a misconception.
Various fruits and veggies grow easily even if you live in a city with only a small patio. A container garden is simple to create, and beets are the perfect candidate for growing in pots.
Container Gardening with Beets
If growing beets in containers is something you want to try, you’ve come to the right place. Like radishes, potatoes, and other root vegetables, beets are simple to grow, and all that’s required is a large container or bucket, good soil, water, and sunshine to produce a healthy beet crop.
While planting beets is reasonably straightforward, they are a cool-season root crop and require the right conditions to produce.
Find out how to grow beets in containers indoors from beginning to end and tips for caring for your plants as they grow. Explore when and how to harvest beetroots and leafy greens and ways to use them in a recipe.
Though what to plant with beets is not as much of a concern when container growing, explore companion planting options when growing beets in the garden.
Things to Know before Growing Beets in Containers
Growing beets in containers, like growing cauliflower in containers, is a great way to produce a crop when your outdoor space is limited. But, there are things to be aware of before you get started.
Similar to when you grow radishes in pots and containers, discover what conditions these root veggies need to grow healthy and ensure you get the most out of your beet crop.
The first thing to know about beets (Beta vulgaris) is that there are four main types – red beets, golden beets, Chioggia beets, and baby beets. Red beets like Detroit Dark Red and Early Wonder are the most common you find at the grocery store.
Golden varieties of beet plants like the Burpee Golden beet are less sweet than the red types, and Chioggia beets have unique striped flesh. Baby beets are any beet type pulled from the ground early.
All beet types grow well in sandy, loamy soil during the spring and heavier dirt during the fall. Like when planting spinach in containers, beets do not tolerate growing in clay soil, and the ground temperature should be above 40°F before planting your beets outdoors.
These plants love full sun and want about six hours of direct sunlight each day. Food is necessary for healthy growth, so add fertilizer with an NPK of 5-10-10 to the dirt before transplanting the seedlings in a container.
This type has more potassium and phosphate to encourage better root development. Add diluted Borax to the dirt to prevent the beets from suffering from boron deficiency.
Their root system grows best with consistent watering, and the soil dries out faster in a container versus a garden bed, so make sure to water your plants daily or as needed.
How to Grow Beets in Containers Indoors
Beets are easy to grow in spring and fall, but the best way to ensure you get a start on the early spring growing season is to sow your vegetable seeds before the last frost.
Since temperatures outside are still too cold for germination, learn how to grow beets in containers by starting them from seeds indoors.
Fill peat pots with potting mix and sow the beet seeds three-quarters of an inch deep in each container. Lightly press the dirt over the seeds and spray them with water to dampen the dirt.
Keep them in a warm area with moist but not soggy soil as they germinate in five to eight days. Thin them once they reach four to five inches tall if you sow more than one seed per pot.
How to Grow Beets in a Container Outside
Planting beets in containers is easy, especially if you start them from seeds indoors first. Once the temperatures outside are warm enough and your seedlings emerge, it’s time to transplant them in an outdoor pot.
Harden the young red and white beets and other varieties after they germinate and move them to their new home. Follow our plant care tips for healthy growth.
The first step is to harden off your seedlings since the outside temperature and sunshine are quite different from your indoor conditions. Take them outside a couple of hours daily for about a week to acclimate the plants.
Begin by setting them in a shady area and eventually move them to a full sun spot by the end of the week.
After hardening your beet plants, prepare the container. Choose a pot as wide or long as you like but make sure that it has drainage holes and it’s at least ten inches deep to give the roots room to grow. Fill it with soil and mix in a complete fertilizer.
Position the holes with three-inch spacing and make them slightly wider than the seedling’s base. Carefully remove the young plant from the peat pot and situate it in the hole.
Push dirt around the base, press it down lightly, and water it immediately to settle the roots in the soil.
Spread some mulch around the plants in the container to retain moisture and prevent weeds. If you encounter weeds while the beets grow, pull them carefully so that you don’t disturb the beetroot.
Keep an eye out for leaf miners while growing beets. These pests love chard, spinach, and beets, and they lay eggs on the leaves, which the larvae eat as they grow. The best way to eliminate them is to remove the eggs by hand and apply Neem oil or a DIY pepper spray.
Another common beet problem is Cercospora leaf spot which damages the leafy greens, and the beetroots fail to mature to a healthy size.
It lives in the soil, so crop rotation and air circulation help prevent it from spreading. It also develops through splashing water, so use care when watering to prevent the dirt from getting on the foliage.
When and How to Harvest Container Beets
After growing beets in a container through the season, it’s finally time to reap your reward. Find out how long beet greens and roots take to grow and how to harvest them for the dinner table. Learn the varying ways to store your crop short and long-term.
Most beet types are ready for harvesting in about seven to eight weeks, and the greens are ready to harvest whenever they reach the desired size. Use a hand shovel to dig gently around the plant and pull the beetroot out with your hand.
To store the green tops, cut them off the root, place them in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for one to two days. To keep the roots fresh, store them in the crisper drawer in a storage container for a week or two.
If you plan on storing them long-term, remove the leafy tops and place the roots in a bucket of damp sand or sawdust. Set the lid on the top without securing it and store it in the root cellar or basement.
Make a Delicious Salad with Garden Beets
While a good crop of beets is nothing to complain about, you now have a new dilemma. What are you going to do with all of those beetroots?
While there are many ways to prepare beets, one of our favorites is incorporating them with other veggies. This roasted beet salad has an earthy, tangy-sweet flavor that is irresistible, and it only takes 20-minutes to prepare.
Begin by preparing the beets for roasting and preheating your oven to 400°F. Wash the roots, slice off the green tops, and wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil.
Place them on a cooking pan and roast for about an hour, depending on the size. Unwrap them, set them aside to cool slightly, and use a sharp knife to peel them. Slice each beet into small wedges and put the pieces in a bowl.
Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl, drizzle half the mixture over the roasted beets, and toss until coated.
Place the spinach leaves in the remaining vinaigrette and spread them on a platter. Top the spinach with the beets, almonds, and goat cheese and serve immediately.
There is nothing better than picking fresh veggies at the end of the growing season. Fortunately, a large backyard area is not necessary to plant beets.
Germinate the seeds, provide your plants a container with the right soil condition, give them some TLC, and you’ll be harvesting beets before you know it.
We hope that learning how to grow beets in a container keeps your kitchen well-stocked with tasty greens and delicious beetroots, and we’d love it if you’d share our beet container growing guide and tips with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook.