The beet is well adapted to all parts of the country. It is
fairly tolerant of heat; it is also resistant to cold. However, it
will not withstand severe freezing. In the Northern States, where
winters are too severe, the beet is grown in spring, summer, and
Beets are sensitive to strongly acid soils, and it is wise to
apply lime if a test shows the need for it. Good beet quality
depends on quick growth; for this the land must be fertile, well
drained, and in good physical condition.
Midsummer heat and drought may interfere with seed germination.
By covering the seeds with sandy soil, leaf mold, or other
material that will not bake and by keeping the soil damp until the
plants are up, much of this trouble can be avoided. Make
successive sowings at intervals of about 3 weeks in order to have
a continuous supply of young, tender beets throughout the season.
Where cultivating is by hand, the rows may be about 16 inches
apart; where it is by tractor, they must be wider. Beet seed as
purchased consists of small balls, each containing several seeds.
On most soils, the seed should be covered to a depth of about an
inch. After the plants are well established, thin them to stand 2
to 3 inches apart in the rows.
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