The first step to growing healthy beets is selecting a variety that is best suited for your area. Choose from the many types available such as Detroit Red, Lutz Green Leaf, and Cylindra. Once you have selected a variety, prepare the soil by adding organic matter such as compost and peat moss to increase its drainage capabilities.
Next, plant your seeds outdoors in late spring when temperatures begin to rise. Be sure to space them evenly apart (1-2 inches) in rows 12-15 inches wide. Beets should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day and benefit from frequent watering so water the plants whenever necessary throughout the growing season.
Beet plants can quickly become overcrowded so thinning out their numbers by removing every third or fourth seedling will help prevent overcrowding. Beets do well in well-drained soils but can still become susceptible to pests or disease if conditions are too wet. To help keep pests away, spray weekly with a mixture of dish soap and water which will help deter pesky critters from nibbling on your beets before they’re ready to harvest!
Finally, after 2-3 months you should begin harvesting your beets once their roots reach 1-2 inches across or 2-4 inches long. It's important not to leave them too long otherwise they can become woody and tough. Enjoy fresh or cooked – beets are delicious any way you choose to prepare them!