You Can Grow Beets In The Southwest Garden
Beets are one of the vegetables that grow well in the Southwest but must be planted when the weather is cooler, just as with many things timing is everything.
Did You Know?
Something you may not know about Beets, is that Beets love salty soils. When other plants cannot grow because of the high saline levels in soil, beets will still grow well.
When To Plant Beets
Sow Beet seeds from September 15th through March 15th… Expect Beets to grow best when temperatures average around 65 degrees, fall harvests need to be started 10 – 12 weeks before your expected first frost.
Where To Plant Beets
Beets do best in deep, damp, well-draining soils, add compost to heavy clay soils to help with drainage, and sandy soils to help retain moisture.
How To Plant Beets
Plant Beet seeds 1 to 2 inches apart and 12 inches between rows, cover loosely with soil and water lightly, seeds should germinate in 7-14 days. If your soil has a tendency to crust over preventing seeds from coming up, you can cover rows with burlap, or row cover to prevent crusting, being sure to remove cover when seeds begin to emerge.
Beets require an average amount of fertilizer but do not like to have excessive nitrogen. I like to dig in a bag or two of blended manure at the start of the growing season, and that seems to be enough for our desert soil.
Beets need about an inch of water per week, but actual amount depends on several factors, such as how fast they dry up, the type of soil it is growing in. Heavy clay soils will retain moisture longer than sandy soils. One way to judge is to stick your finger in the soil, if it is dry water.
Beets do well when planted with Kohlrabi, Cabbage, Lettuce, Onions, Garlic, Mint and Bush beans, but not pole beans.