Transplanting Beets

Beet seedlings are best transplanted when they have four leaves.

Transplanting beets is as easy as 1, 2, 3

When planting beets it is well to remember that the “seed” is really a fruit containing several seeds, hence the large, lumpy, bumpy structure. Each seed will germinate with several plants in a clump. It is very important to thin out the extra seedlings to allow for proper root development, but did you know that these little beets are easy to transplant?

It’s a rare garden indeed that doesn’t have some bare gaps in the row, and it’s there that I transplant any surplus plants. If that is not the case, I just expand the width of the row with more beets. And transplanting beets is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

It seems to work best if beets are transplanted when they have four leaves: two small inner leaves and two slightly larger outer leaves. The plants should be approximately 5 cm (2 in.) tall.

Lift a few plants at a time with a small trowel. Make a hole in the soil about 8 cm (3 in.) deep, using a round stick. Place one beet in each hole, taking care that the leaves are above ground level and that the root is aligned straight. The plants do not grow properly if the root is twisted or doubled back. Occasionally a beet may have a very long root – if so, just nip off the end and keep the length to 8 cm (3 in.). Now press the soil firmly inward around the root. Water well.

Help the plants get over transplant shock by giving them one feed of water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer diluted to half strength. Continue watering thoroughly every morning until the plants become established.

It’s best to transplant seedlings on a dull, overcast day; if the weather is sunny, protect the plants with sheets of newspaper for the first day.