Not only is it possible to start beet seeds in containers — it can also lead to better results. In this video, I show you how I do it and explain why it’s the easier way.
Beets are one of those crops that you always hear must be direct-sown into the garden. That’s because beets are a root vegetable, and you never want to disturb the roots of a root crop. But a few years ago, I experimented with sowing beet seeds in containers and then transplanting them into the garden a few weeks later. Well, it was such a success that now it’s the only way I grow beets.
Beet seeds may be started indoors under grow lights for a jump on the growing season, or you can set out containers outdoors. The ideal germination temperature for beets is between 60 and 85 degrees, so keep that in mind if planning to start beet seeds outside. To learn the soil temperature range for optimal germination for common vegetable seeds, you can download my Optimal Soil Temperature Range chart, a free resource.
In each container, plant two to three beet seeds a half-inch deep in high-quality seed starting mix. After seedlings emerge in 5 to 8 days, thin them to one per container.
In a few more weeks, you’ll have one strong plant per container, and each can be planted out in the garden without disturbing the roots. This method also allows for even spacing and maximum efficiency — beets won’t be overcrowded and no space will be wasted either.
When transplanting, beets should be spaced 6 inches apart to give the plant the maximum chance to grow out and form the biggest beetroot possible. To quickly measure the distance I use a planting board, but if you don’t have one, a ruler does the job.
What’s your favorite way to start beet seeds? Let us know in the comments below.
Links & Resources
Some product links in this guide are affiliate links. See full disclosure below.
joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Three popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; and seed starting!
joegardener Online Gardening Academy Master Seed Starting: Everything you need to know to start your own plants from seed — indoors and out.
*Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, and Wild Alaskan Seafood Box. These companies are either Brand Partners of joegardener.com and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.