Chioggia Beets Guide

Beets are biennial plants that produce roots and leaves in the first year and seeds in the second year. Both the root and the leaves are edible and are great sources of folate, vitamin A, K, manganese, copper and potassium. With its high fiber beet juice is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Chioggia beets are known for their pretty bullseye pattern and are also a sweet, heirloom beet hailing from the town of Chioggia, Italy from the 1800’s.

TO SOW

Beets grow best in cooler weather between 50°F-70°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends direct seeding.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 3-4 weeks before the last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 10-12 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 50°F-70°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the beet seeds indoors in trays or pods 6 weeks before the last frost date. Germination is best and fastest between 70°F-85°F. It can be transplanted outside 3 weeks later.

Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 2-4 inches apart with rows spaced 24 inches apart. Germination will take 6-10 days. Thin seedlings to 6 inches apart when they start competing for space.

TO GROW

Beets like loose soil free of big rocks and debris. They also like full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Water slowly and thoroughly to get the roots. Watering consistently and regularly will ensure good flavor and water retention. Check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it. Do not let it sit completely dry overnight.
Use fertilizer such as 5-10-10 a month after sowing. Add a layer of mulch to reduce weeds and retain moisture.

TO REAP

Days to maturity take 55-60 days. Loosen the earth around the beet and gently pull out - at this point, they would be around golf ball sized. Th greens of the beets are also edible and can be snipped off any time after they have hardened off as seedlings. Leave 2-3 leaves on the beet for continued development.

PESTS/DISEASES

Flea beetles, leaf spot, mosaic virus–keep free of weeds and debris, remove diseased or dead foliage, neem oil

*Companion plant beets with bush beans, lettuce, onions, kohlrabi, cabbage, mint and carrots. Avoid planting with pole beans and mustard.*