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Fruit and Vegetable Gardening A-Z: Beets

A Guide to Gardening, Growing and Harvesting Edibles
  -- By Jenny Sigler, SparkPeople Contributor
High in vitamin A and C, these plants have edible tops and roots. Put simply, beets can't be beat!

Hardiness Zones:
5-10 (Find your hardiness zone.)

When to Plant:
Directly sow beets every two weeks in a sunny location, starting as soon as the danger of frost passes and until August (for a continuous harvest).

Conditions:
Beets enjoy a slightly acidic soil (pH around 6.5). They also like an extra bit of nitrogen, so side dress yours with blood, bone meal or nitrogen-enriched compost.

Space Needed:
Thin the seeds to about 4 inches apart.
Maintenance:
Be sure to water well. Enjoy the beet greens you cut (or thin), which taste like mustard greens, in salads if you choose.

When to Harvest:
When the bulbous root reaches 2-3 inches in size, your beets are ready to be picked, although smaller beets are fine, too. Do not let them get bigger or they take on a woody taste.

Average Yield:
One packet of seeds will feed two people throughout the growing season. 

Continuous Yield:
No

Life Cycle:
Annual

Difficulty Rating (1-5): 1