Growing Beets in Containers is easy. This quick-growing vegetable doesn’t require much care and perfect for beginner container gardeners.
Choosing a pot
Use any type of container you find best with SUFFICIENT drainage holes. However, clay pots are an excellent choice.
- Growing beets is possible in small pots but ensure they are a minimum of 8 inches deep.
- 10 to 12 inches deep pots are IDEAL as they will encourage roots to develop!
- You can choose as wide a container as you want. The wider it would be, the more beet plants you can grow together.
- Window boxes or large rectangular containers with the minimum recommended depth are great options.
Best Time to Plant Beets in Containers
As a best practice, you can start planting beets in the spring, three-two weeks before the last (average) frost date in your area. You can continue to sow seeds every 3 to 4 weeks until the temperature starts to reach above 80 F (27 C).
Again, you can begin planting in the late summer and early fall (autumn) when the temperature starts to come under the range of 85 F (29 C).
Planting Time in a Hot climate
As beets are a cool-weather crop, those who live in warm, arid, subtropical, or tropical areas (USDA Zones 9b-12) should grow them in late fall, winter, and early spring.
How to Grow Beets in Pots
First thing first–Beets don’t like to be transplanted, so no role of seed trays! Pick desired pots and sow seeds 1/4 inch deep. Once they germinate and reach a significant height, select the healthiest seedlings and thin others apart to maintain the recommended 3 inches distance spacing.
To speed up the germination, you can also soak the seeds overnight in non-chlorinated water before planting. However, if seeds are treated with fungicide, avoid this.
When will They Appear?
The seedlings will emerge anytime between 5 to 15 days, depending on the growing conditions. Until then, keep the pots in a spot that is warm and receives mild sun.
Maintain the moisture in the soil. Once germinated, place the baby plants in the desired position, and later when seedlings grow up to 3 inches tall, thin them. To maintain the spacing recommendation mentioned below.
Best Beet Varieties for Containers
If you know how to grow beets in containers, you can try any variety. We’ve listed a few of them here: the Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Sangria, and Sweetheart.
Requirements for Growing Beets in Containers
Beets can be grown in full sun to part shade, but for optimum growth, pick a spot that receives full sun, or in simple words–at least 6 hours of sunlight is necessary. Also, make sure the spot you place your containers has good air circulation.
Soil that is loamy, penetrable, and promotes the development of large roots is best for growing beetroot in a pot. Make sure your soil is rich in nutrients, you can add compost and other organic matter to improve it. Also, avoid adding gravels or stones in the bottom layer when growing this root vegetable.
If you’re not using a commercial soil mix for growing beets, prepare your own by adding 1 part garden soil, 1 part compost or well-rotted manure, and 1 part perlite.
If you want to make a soilless mix, add 1 part peat moss or coco peat, 1 part compost or well-rotted manure, and 1 part perlite, vermiculite, or sand. You can also add slow-release fertilizer that is low in nitrogen at the time of mixing the soil.
If you don’t want hard and sinewy beetroots, water regularly and evenly. To keep the soil slightly moist all the time. Ensure you do not let the soil dry out completely between the growing process and also avoid OVERWATERING.
Maintain the 3 inches of distance between each plant from all directions for growing beets in pots successfully. You can grow each plant 2 inches apart if you’re growing it for tasty beet greens, but this will hamper the growth of beetroots. For your reference, a 12 inches wide rectangular pot can support around 4-5 plants.
Keep in mind, the optimum temperature for growing beets in containers require a temperature around 50 F – 85 F (10 C – 29 C), but it can be grown in temperature as low as 40 F (4.5 C) and as high as 90 F (32 C) with some difficulty.
Beet Care in Containers
It’s a good idea to use either time-based (slow-release) fertilizer or compost. As beets are a root vegetable and you may like to increase their root development, use a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen but high in phosphorous and potassium—for example, a formula of NPK 5-10-10.
Once the beetroot plants growing in pots in 3-4 weeks old and doing well, switch to a water-soluble fertilizer. If you’re not adding slow-release fertilizer, you can apply liquid fertilizer as early as 2 weeks, with the same 5-10-10 formula. And if you see Nitrogen deficiency in the soil, use the complete fertilizer like 20-20-20.
Suppose you want to grow beets organically, side-dress plants with compost or manure, and feed the plants with compost tea every other week. As beets usually suffer from boron deficiency, you can add seaweed (an excellent source of boron) fertilizer in compost tea for optimum growth.
Pests and Diseases
When growing beets in pots, you don’t have to worry much about pests and diseases. You can avoid most of the problems by not overwatering and avoiding overhead watering. The common culprits are root rot and scab. Leaf miners and common pests like aphids can affect foliage growth, but you can easily control them by early measures.
Beets, on average, require anywhere from 6-9 weeks to get ready for harvest after germination. You can also harvest beet greens to use in salads; the tender leaves taste so delicious. You can start harvesting greens when leaves are a few inches long by cutting the outer leaves only and leaving the small inner foliage to grow, which you can harvest later.