Information

Growing Golden Beets: Tips On Caring For Golden Beet Plants

Growing Golden Beets: Tips On Caring For Golden Beet Plants


I love beets, but I don’t love prepping them to be cooked. Invariably, that lovely scarlet beet juice ends up on something or on someone, like me, that can’t be bleached. Also, I’m not fond of the way it imparts its color to other roasting veggies. There is another beet out there — the golden beet. So, what are golden beets? Read on to learn more about growing gold beets.

What are Golden Beets?

Golden beets are simply a beet variety lacking that vibrant red pigment. They are bred to be golden in color, which is a wonderful thing for this beet lover who doesn’t like the mess. Golden beets and white beets are said to be sweeter and milder than their red counterparts. Intriguing, yes? So how do you grow golden beets?

How to Grow Golden Beets

There’s really no difference when growing gold beets than red beets. Both cultivars are fairly frost tolerant and can be planted in the garden 30 days before the frost free date in your region, or you can start them indoors to get a jump start on their 55-day maturation period.

Choose a site for planting that is sunny with light, well-draining soil amended with organic matter. Beets like soil with a pH of between 6.5 and 7. Work a fertilizer containing both nitrogen and phosphorus prior to planting. Rake out any large rocks or clods since they affect the growth of the beet root.

Optimal soil temps for beet germination are between 50-86 F. (10-30 C.). Sow the seeds thinly, 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) apart at a depth of ½ inch (1.25 cm.) in rows a foot apart. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and sprinkle with water. Growing golden beets germinate less successfully than their red cousins, so plant extra seeds.

At this juncture, you may want to cover the area with a floating row cover. Keep the fabric moistened for five to 14 days until seedlings emerge. Thereafter, you can keep it loosely supported over the plants to discourage insect marauders.

Once the seedlings are about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) tall, thinning should commence. Remove the smallest, weakest looking plants by cutting, not pulling, which may disturb the roots of the neighboring seedlings. Thinning is important to allow the developing plant room to grow. Also, beet seeds are not actually a single seed. It is a cluster of seeds in a dried fruit, so it is very likely that multiple seedlings will come up from a single “seed.”

Caring for Golden Beet Plants

When caring for golden beet plants, keep the plants moist. Water deeply and don’t let the soil dry out. A 1 to 2 inch (2.5-5 cm.) layer of mulch around established plants will aid with this.

Keep the area weed free and spray the plants once or twice with a foliar, seaweed-based fertilizer. Fertilize mid growing season with a well-balanced organic fertilizer.

Harvesting Golden Beets

Harvest golden beets about 55 days after seed has been sown. Roots should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm.) across. When harvesting golden beets, pull alternate plants to allow remaining beets to grow a bit larger. Use a spade to gently lift out the roots.

Golden beets will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but the tender, delicious beet tops should be eaten shortly after harvest.


Growing Beets: A Complete Guide on How to Plant, Grow, & Harvest

Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.

Did you know that there is a vegetable that’s pretty easy to grow during the winter? If not, consider the beet your new best friend. As long as you live somewhere you can keep your soil temperature above 40°F, then you can be growing beets year-round.

I love super healthy vegetables and I love being able to grow something fresh even when it’s chilly outside.

That doesn’t mean you can’t grow beets in the spring, however. We’ll show you how to get it done no matter when the best growing season is for you.


Best Beets to Grow in Your Garden

Grow beets to harvest in cool but not cold weather. Detroit Red is a one of the best beets for the home garden.

Beet roots and greens can be eaten raw, steamed, braised, or stir-fried.

  • Sauté beets for five minutes then steam for five more minutes combine with onion, cabbage greens, carrots.
  • Pair beets with fruit: combine sliced steamed beets with chopped apples, toasted walnuts and fresh greens.
  • Add fresh cooked, pureed beets to chocolate cake batter for an extra-moist treat.

Grow beets to harvest in cool but not cold weather. Beets grow best when the days are warm (60° to 70°F) and nights are cool (50° to 60°F).

  • In cold winter regions, plant beets in the garden early spring or late summer for harvest when temperatures are in the 50°s and 60°
  • In mild-winter regions where temperatures do not drop below 50°F for extended periods, plant beets in the garden in fall for winter harvest.
  • Under cover in winter—where temperatures drop below 50°F during the day, grow beets under a plastic tunnel or in a cold frame.

Beet varieties well-suited for backyard gardens include red beets, white beets, golden beets, and red-and-white striped beets Choose also from beets with tasty greens, baby beets, and beets the size of a baseball. Here recommended best beets for backyard growing:

  • Albina Vereduna: 50 to 60 days to harvest pure white Dutch heirloom has twice as much sugar as red beets.
  • Baby Ball: 50 days to harvest round, petite crimson root subtle sweet flavor, tasty greens harvest small.
  • Bull’s Blood: 50 to 60 days to harvest, pick greens in 35 days heirloom, dark maroon-red leaves flavorful roots very cold hardy.
  • Chioggia: 55-65 days to harvest Italian heirloom dates to 1880 natural red-and-white striped flesh sweet flavored roots flavorful leaves steam lightly to avoid bleeding.
  • Detroit Dark Red: 60 to 65 days to harvest heirloom dating from 1892 sweet roots and tasty greens use fresh or can.
  • Early Wonder Tall Top: 50 to 60 days to harvest maroon-tinged leaves, purplish red, flattop roots excellent for cooking.
  • Golden Beet: 50 to 60 days to harvest bright yellow flesh, sweet-potato like flavor not as productive as red varieties.
  • Kestrel: 50 to 55 days to harvest dark red baby beet harvest small bolt resistant.
  • Lutz Greenleaf (also called Winterkeeper): 70 days to harvest heirloom large tasty leaves, baseball size roots are sweet and tender stores well through winter.
  • Red Ace: 50 to 60 days to harvest rich flavored roots, tender greens stores well resists zoning (alternating red and white rings caused by excessive heat).

Harvest Tips: Young beets can be harvested when 1 inch in diameter (small beets can be cooked stem and all). Larger beets can stay in the ground until just after the first hard frost. Beet greens can be used as early as the first thinning of the planting bed. Beets for storage should be kept in the refrigerator or a cool basement or root cellar. Also see How to Harvest and Store Beets .

Growing Tips: Here are some quick tips for growing beets:

  • Beets grow best in loamy, compost-rich soil (pH 6.0 to 7.5).
  • Sow seed 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart if you sow closer use the thinnings in salads.
  • Feed beets with seaweed extract during the growing season beets grow best with a bit of extra potassium.
  • Mulch planting bed with aged compost, shredded leaves, or straw to make sure the soil stays evenly moist.
  • Grow beets in containers at least 12 inches deep do not let the soil go dry.
  • Protect beets from leafminers and other insect pests by covering the planting bed with a light row cover.


Touchstone Gold Beet

55 days. If you liked our high-maintenance Golden Beet heirloom, you will adore easy-to-grow Touchstone. It has better germination, higher yield and a succulent, sweet taste second to none. Touchstone's beautiful pale orange exterior encases golden-orange, juicy-crisp flesh coveted by gourmets. Its smooth-skinned, uniform 4" globes are topped with vigorously growing light green tops that are so good, you could almost grow Touchstone for its tops alone. (OP.)

One packet of about 175 seeds

Direct-sow Beet seeds as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring when the soil has warmed to about 50°F and through the summer for successive crops. Young, tender Beets make the best eating whether they are grated raw in salads, steamed and chilled, or roasted. Beet tops, or greens, are good too eaten together with Beets, they ensure a dinner rich in vitamins and minerals. Want to store long-keeping Beets like a pioneer? Select the best unblemished Beets. Do not clean them. Trim the greens, retain the taproots and allow surface moisture to dry. In a breathable container (wooden box), spread a layer of sterile sand, lay down a layer of Beets, continuing these layers to the top. Store in a cool (33°F to 39°F), humid spot like a root cellar or insulated garage. You can dig them out like treasure for up to four months or so. (Check them every once in a while to see how they are doing.) Roast whole Beets in the oven to retain their rich flavor for special, more hearty fare. (Don't forget to roast extra Beets and serve them sliced and chilled over baby greens with crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, finely diced scallions and a raspberry vinaigrette. Big yum.) Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 2 years.

  • Beet Sowing Instructions
    Planting Depth
    : 1⁄4"-1⁄2"
    Row Spacing: 12"
    Seed Spacing: 1"
    Days to Germination: 6-12 days
    Germination Temperature: 45°-75°F

Beets grow from compound seeds, which may produce several seedlings. Enhance germination by soaking the Beet seeds for an hour in bathtubwarm water. Planting Beets too early may cause stunting and bolting (going to seed), so wait until the soil has warmed to at least 45°F and there is no chance of hard frost. Beets prefer evenly moist, moderately fertile soil. Keep the Beet bed wellweeded, carefully thinning to 3" between plants when seedlings are about 2" tall. Baby Beets make the most choice eating. Harvest them on the smaller side to enjoy their sweet taste and smooth texture. (Or, harvest a bit larger for winter storage.) Enjoy chilled, with goat cheese, black olives and dried cranberries over baby greens with a raspberry vinaigrette. Yum. Or roast them whole with other root vegetables for hearty winter dinners. Beet greens are delicious too when steamed and dressed with butter and lemon juice.

Baby Beets
If you’re planning to serve your tender baby Beets whole and unpeeled, try hilling the soil around their shoulders as they grow. This will keep the skin from hardening over and losing its smooth, red appearance.

Beet Geometry Saves Time
Beets do long service in the garden, from the first snippets of spring greens to rich, flavorful storage beets in winter. But their “seeds” are actually pods containing multiple seeds, so rows must be laboriously thinned. Turn that trait into a time-saver by planting multi-plant blocks. Using soil blocks or plug trays, sow two seeds in each block. This will produce four or five seedlings per block. Plant the blocks 10" apart in rows 12" apart. They will grow fine in clusters, and you’ll have plenty of space in between for cultivating in two directions

much easier than weeding a crowded row. The same trick works for Onion seedlings, which are also difficult to weed. Plant them in groups of four and they will push themselves apart a bit as they grow.

Late Great Beets
Storage Beets need to be planted early in the season to give them plenty of time to make full size. But did you know you could start a second crop of smaller beets just for fresh fall eating? Sow these six weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. You’ll be rewarded with tender, tasty Beets that you can harvest all the way up to the first hard freeze. They’re great steamed in a covered pan with butter or even sliced raw in salads. And the tender greens are delicious too. The cool weather keeps them mild and fresh tasting.

Direct-sow Beet seeds as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring when the soil has warmed to about 50°F and through the summer for successive crops. Young, tender Beets make the best eating whether they are grated raw in salads, steamed and chilled, or roasted. Beet tops, or greens, are good too eaten together with Beets, they ensure a dinner rich in vitamins and minerals. Want to store long-keeping Beets like a pioneer? Select the best unblemished Beets. Do not clean them. Trim the greens, retain the taproots and allow surface moisture to dry. In a breathable container (wooden box), spread a layer of sterile sand, lay down a layer of Beets, continuing these layers to the top. Store in a cool (33°F to 39°F), humid spot like a root cellar or insulated garage. You can dig them out like treasure for up to four months or so. (Check them every once in a while to see how they are doing.) Roast whole Beets in the oven to retain their rich flavor for special, more hearty fare. (Don't forget to roast extra Beets and serve them sliced and chilled over baby greens with crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, finely diced scallions and a raspberry vinaigrette. Big yum.) Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 2 years.

  • Beet Sowing Instructions
    Planting Depth
    : 1⁄4"-1⁄2"
    Row Spacing: 12"
    Seed Spacing: 1"
    Days to Germination: 6-12 days
    Germination Temperature: 45°-75°F

Beets grow from compound seeds, which may produce several seedlings. Enhance germination by soaking the Beet seeds for an hour in bathtubwarm water. Planting Beets too early may cause stunting and bolting (going to seed), so wait until the soil has warmed to at least 45°F and there is no chance of hard frost. Beets prefer evenly moist, moderately fertile soil. Keep the Beet bed wellweeded, carefully thinning to 3" between plants when seedlings are about 2" tall. Baby Beets make the most choice eating. Harvest them on the smaller side to enjoy their sweet taste and smooth texture. (Or, harvest a bit larger for winter storage.) Enjoy chilled, with goat cheese, black olives and dried cranberries over baby greens with a raspberry vinaigrette. Yum. Or roast them whole with other root vegetables for hearty winter dinners. Beet greens are delicious too when steamed and dressed with butter and lemon juice.

Baby Beets
If you’re planning to serve your tender baby Beets whole and unpeeled, try hilling the soil around their shoulders as they grow. This will keep the skin from hardening over and losing its smooth, red appearance.

Beet Geometry Saves Time
Beets do long service in the garden, from the first snippets of spring greens to rich, flavorful storage beets in winter. But their “seeds” are actually pods containing multiple seeds, so rows must be laboriously thinned. Turn that trait into a time-saver by planting multi-plant blocks. Using soil blocks or plug trays, sow two seeds in each block. This will produce four or five seedlings per block. Plant the blocks 10" apart in rows 12" apart. They will grow fine in clusters, and you’ll have plenty of space in between for cultivating in two directions

much easier than weeding a crowded row. The same trick works for Onion seedlings, which are also difficult to weed. Plant them in groups of four and they will push themselves apart a bit as they grow.

Late Great Beets
Storage Beets need to be planted early in the season to give them plenty of time to make full size. But did you know you could start a second crop of smaller beets just for fresh fall eating? Sow these six weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. You’ll be rewarded with tender, tasty Beets that you can harvest all the way up to the first hard freeze. They’re great steamed in a covered pan with butter or even sliced raw in salads. And the tender greens are delicious too. The cool weather keeps them mild and fresh tasting.


Product Information

Golden Beets are mild flavored and prized for its color that does not stain! Beets are best when grown in light soils. Compost can help improve your soil structure. If good, light soil is unavailable, grow in a container filled with light potting mix! Beet greens are just as tasty as the roots!

This heirloom variety is a knockout with its beautiful gold color and mild flavor. Globes reach 2″ across.

  • In mild areas of Zones 9 and 10, beets can be planted year-round. They enjoy cool weather and ample moisture. If planting during warmer months, provide ample moisture and use shade cloth or row cover to protect the crop.

  • Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last heavy frost. Beets respond well to cold exposure. Plant outdoors when the soil temperature is at least 60°F.

  • Beet seeds can be direct sown or transplanted out.
  • When starting your seeds in flats or starter pots, plant your seeds on top of thoroughly moistened high-quality potting soil. Cover seeds 1/2″ deep with finely sifted soil. Two weeks after seedlings have germinated, fertilize with an organic liquid fertilizer. Once seedlings are about 5-6 weeks old, you can transplant them into the garden making sure you space each plant 3″ apart.
  • If you choose to direct sow your seeds, plant them in well-worked, thoroughly moistened, debris-free soil. Plant them in a furrow, water with a light mist so as not to displace the seeds, and cover with 1/2″ of finely sifted soil.

  • Beets are not a fussy crop, however, they do enjoy regular moisture and light, fluffy soil. To ensure this, irrigate regularly in Zones 9 and 10. Adding compost to the soil aids the soil structure by holding more moisture and regulating soil temperatures.
  • Allow adequate space between the plants for the happiest crops. Thin to at least 3″ apart if needed.

Succession Planting Beets

  • We strongly suggest that you succession plant in two-week intervals ensuring a steady flow of fresh beets to harvest.

Growing Beets in Containers

  • Beets are an excellent container crop! If you are planting in containers, make sure your container is at least 10″ deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.

  • Beets may be harvested at any size for your enjoyment. However, do not let them get too large as the flavor will decline when they get larger than 4″ or so in diameter. To harvest, simply pull the roots out of the ground.

Southern California Pro-tips

  • In areas of Zones 9 and 10, beets are a very easy crop.
  • Mulch heavily around your beet plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.
  • During our hottest months of August, September, and October, plants can suffer from the heat. If your area gets extreme heat, we recommend that you take these months off from planting cool-season plants and resume in the cool weather. You can use shade cloth or row cover to help protect the plants from extreme heat.

Companion Flowers/Crops

  • Beets are a small crop that can be interplanted with other crops very easily. We plant beets almost year round and plant them around other crops where we can find space. In the cooler months, beets look beautiful popping up between nasturtiums, poppies, cosmos, and borage.

Additional Learning Resources

  • New to starting crops from seeds? Please watch our Seed Starting Presentation to learn the basics!
  • Learn about growing all our crops on our YouTube page!
  • Having pest issues? Check out in depth information for pests that can be an issue to beets at the UC Integrated Pest Management site.