Beets are a cool season crop which can tolerate frosts and light freezes. They are raised both for greens and roots. The best quality is obtained when beets are grown under conditions of good sunlight and cool temperatures (50°F to 65°F). The higher temperatures of summer result in zoning with alternating light and dark rings and lower sugar content. They grow best in deep, friable, well-drained, sandy loams to silt loams. High organic content in the soil is desirable and will help maintain an adequate moisture supply. Composted manure, cover crops or green manure crops help maintain organic content of soil. Organic matter should be well decomposed to avoid scab problems with beets.
For Current information on production methods (including varieties, spacing, seeding, and fertility), weed, disease, and insect management, please visit the New England Vegetable Management Guide website.