Growing Beets

Posted on 2023-09-05
On the Sustainability Signal thread, we have had discussions about growing three different kinds of beets: sugar beets, garden beets (regular beets), and mangel beets (usually used for animal fodder). Beets set seed during the second year; all three types will cross-pollinate with all of the other varieties, so saving seed can be a challenge. Following is a plan for how you can grow all three kinds of beets each year, without worrying about cross-pollination.
  • Year 1:  Plant seed for garden beets, sugar beets, and mangels. Save several garden beets for planting out for seed next year.
  • Year 2:  Plant seed for garden beets, sugar beets, and mangels, and the held-over garden beets from Year 1. Save tons of seed from Year 1’s held-over plants. Save several sugar beets for planting out for seed next year.
  • Year 3:  Plant seed for garden beets, sugar beets, and mangels, and the held-over sugar beets from Year 2; Save tons of seed from Year 2’s held-over plants. Save several mangels for planting out for seed next year.
  • Year 4:  Plant seed for garden beets, sugar beets, and mangel beets, and the held-over mangels from Year 3; Save tons of seed from Year 3’s held-over plants. Save several garden beets for planting out for seed next year.
  • Year 5:   Plant seed for garden beets, sugar beets, and mangel beets, and the held-over garden beets from Year 4; Save tons of seed from Year 4’s held-over plants. Save several sugar beets for planting out for seed next year.
  • Year 6:  Repeat Year 3.
  • Year 7:  Repeat Year 4.
  • Year 8:  Repeat Year 5.
And so on.

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