Growing a vegetable garden in colder regions is challenging, especially since most vegetables thrive in warmer temperatures. However, some vegetables, such as beets, can survive cooler temperatures. But, just how cold can beet seedlings tolerate?
Beet seedlings can tolerate freezing temperatures of as low as 28 °F (-2.2 °C), although they grow better in slightly warmer temperatures. Beet plants usually grow all year round in warmer and moderate climates and prefer cooler weather.
This article will look at the temperature range that beet seedlings can tolerate and whether you can leave beetroots in the soil during winter. I’ll also discuss the ideal time for growing beetroots and give you tips on how to take care of your beet plants.
What Temperatures Can Beet Seedlings Tolerate?
Beet seeds usually germinate in the soil above freezing temperature. However, the seeds will usually germinate faster in warmer soils, and most gardeners will plant beet seedlings. Fortunately, beet seedlings are cold tolerant and can be planted in autumn, even if you live in a colder region.
Beet seedlings are hardy and can tolerate temperatures of between 28-32 °F (-2.2 – 0 °C). Your beet seedlings will likely survive most early winter frosts and won’t die even if the temperature drops a little below freezing.
However, repeated frosts will damage the plants, and even beet seedlings can’t survive the snow. The optimal temperature for growing beet is around 50 °F (10 °C). While beets can grow in much colder temperatures, they will grow much slower, and you may not be able to harvest them before the winter.
Can Beet Seedlings Survive Frosts?
If you’re looking to grow beet seedlings in autumn, they’ll likely be affected by early winter frosts. Fortunately, most root crops such as potatoes, carrots, and beets can survive cold temperatures. But can beet seedlings survive the frost?
Beet seedlings can survive late autumn and early winter frosts since they can handle temperatures near or below freezing. As long as the ground remains moist, the beet seedlings will continue to grow.
However, the beet seedlings may die if the plant is exposed to repeated frosts or the temperature drops to several degrees below freezing. If you live in a colder area, you should avoid planting beet seedlings in autumn unless you’re sure you can harvest them before the winter snow.
What Is the Optimal Temperature for Growing Beets?
While beets grow much faster in the summer, they also thrive in colder weather. Beets can tolerate cooler weather but will die faster than other vegetable plants in the summer. You can plant beet seedlings all year round if you live in a moderate or warm climate. However, even beets can’t survive extreme cold and snowfall.
The optimal temperature for growing beets is between 40 – 60 °F (4.4 – 15.6 °C) with partial sunlight. Beets will grow much faster in a moderate and humid climate. The best time to plant beet seedlings is in the early spring and early autumn if you want to have two harvests in a year.
Avoid planting the seedlings in the middle of summer as the heat may cause them to shrivel. Also, avoid planting beets in late autumn if you live in a colder climate with early winter snow. If you live in a hot climate like Florida’s, you can even plant beet seedlings in the middle of winter!
So, unlike other vegetables that require warmer climates to grow, beets can be grown at least twice a year, even if you live in a colder climate.
Can You Grow Beets in the Winter?
You can grow beets in the winter if you live in a temperate region with mild winter conditions. You can leave the beets in the ground during the winter and harvest them throughout the cold season. Leaving beets in the ground during winter may improve the flavor in some cases.
If you plant beets in the autumn, they should mature during the winter. While the beets will stop growing in the winter, leaving them in the ground may improve the taste and help you preserve them for longer.
However, you shouldn’t leave beets in the ground during the winter if you live in a climate where the winter is too cold as it can damage your plant.
How Do You Grow Beet Seedlings?
Now that I’ve established that beets can grow in cooler climates, let’s look at how to properly take care of beet plants for the best harvest. I’ll cover everything you need to know about growing beets, from planting to fertilizing and harvesting.
To grow beet seedlings, plant them at the correct time, keep the soil moist, apply enough fertilizer, and protect the beets from diseases and pests. Avoid planting beet seedlings in weather that’s too hot or cold for optimal growth.
Here are some things to keep in mind when growing beets:
When To Plant Beets
When you should plant beets depends on how you grow them. If you’re growing beets from seeds, you’ll need to plant them in late winter so the seeds can germinate in spring. If you’re planting beet seedlings, plant them in early spring when the weather is warm enough for them to grow.
You’ll be able to harvest beets in the summer if you plant them in the early spring. This will give you enough time to grow a second crop if you plant the beets in late summer. While some people in colder areas hesitate to plant vegetables in winter due to autumn frosts, you won’t have to worry about this with beets.
When To Fertilize
The best time to fertilize the soil when growing beets is before you plant the seeds or seedlings. You can also use soil rich in organic matter or compost because beets are root plants and need fertilized soil in the early stages of their development. Applying fertilizer after planting the seedlings won’t give the same results.
How To Water Beet Plants
Like all root plants, beets grow best in moist soil. Water the beets every week or as the plant requires water. Beets are water-tolerant and will grow best in wetter soil. However, avoid overwatering the plants as it may affect their growth.
If you live in a hot area or you’re growing beets in the summer, water beets more regularly. While beets do grow well in full sun, plant them in a partially shady area in the summer.
When To Harvest
Most varieties of beets can be harvested after two months of planting. If you plant seeds, you may have to wait more than 60 days for the beets to reach full size. However, if you plant beet seedlings, you can harvest them in around 40 – 50 days.
Beetroots are ready for harvesting when they are the size of a golf ball or slightly larger. Avoid leaving the beets in the soil for too long after they mature, as they may become hard and woody.
How Do You Protect Beets From Insects and Disease?
Beets are most susceptible to leaf miners, leafhoppers, and wireworms, although other pests may also attack them. They may also be affected by different plant viruses and fungi. Beets are more susceptible to pests in the summer and to diseases in the autumn.
To protect beet plants from diseases, avoid overwatering them, use natural pest control, or destroy infected plants to prevent the diseases from spreading. If you’re struggling with a pest infestation, you can use pesticides to control it.
The best way to protect beet plants from pests is to plant them at the right time. Most insects will only affect the beet plants in summer or late spring, but your beets should be ready for harvesting by then. If you plant beets in the late summer, you won’t have to worry about pests since the weather will be cooler when the second crop is ready for harvest.
Beets are one of the best vegetables to plant in cold climates since they can handle temperatures as low as 28 °F (-2.2 °C). You can plant beets in the fall and won’t have to worry that your plants will get damaged by frosts.
However, even beets can’t handle snow and extreme cold, so avoid planting them too late if you live in a cold region. If you plant them at the right time, you’ll be able to grow two crops in a year and more if you live in a warm climate.