Please Share With Your Friends

Growing beets in a container is a convenient and space-saving way to make sure you always have fresh, organic, purple balls of goodness available.

Whether you have limited garden space, a small balcony, or simply prefer the flexibility of container gardening, you can easily grow your very own beets in pots or containers.

From salads to roasted dishes, growing beets in a container opens up a world of possibilities for incorporating this delicious veggie into your meals.

Fresh beetroot on a table with stalks and leaves intact

Beets are quite the versatile veggie with a fresh, earthy flavour.

Nutritional Powerhouse:
Beets are highly nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and beneficial compounds like betalains.

Natural Food Coloring:
Beets have been used for centuries as a natural food coloring, thanks to their vibrant red pigment called betacyanin.

Culinary Versatility:
Beets offer a range of culinary possibilities. Their roots can be roasted, boiled, or grated raw, while the tender greens can be sautéed or used in soups and stews.

Before you get started, beetroot grow well in containers so are a good choice. Sow new seeds every 14 days or so, to try and maintain a fresh harvest.
  • Ideal planting season: Late summer into early fall; beetroot is a cool weather crop
  • Container: 2 gallons / 15 liters
  • Sun: Full sun (6 – 8 hours a day)
  • Temperature: 42-75°F (6-24°C)
  • pH level: 6.0 – 7.5
  • Germination time: 7 – 14 days
  • Time until harvesting: 2 – 3 months, depending on the variety and the size you want to harvest
Beet seeds each contain 2 - 5 seeds

Sowing Beetroot Seeds

You have the option to sow beetroot seeds directly into the container or start them in seed trays before transplanting. Both methods can be successful, but each has its advantages.


Direct sowing

  • Sowing beetroot seeds directly into the container saves time and eliminates the need for transplanting.
  • It can be particularly beneficial if you have limited space or if the container is large enough to accommodate the beets from the beginning.
  • Sow the seeds at the recommended spacing (usually around 2 inches apart) and thin them as they grow, leaving adequate space between plants.


Starting in seed trays

  • Starting beetroot seeds in seed trays allows for better control over germination conditions and provides an opportunity to select and nurture the healthiest seedlings.
  • You can start the seeds in seed trays filled with seed-starting mix or compost.
  • Once the seedlings have grown to around 2-3 inches tall and have developed a few true leaves, you can transplant them into the container, spacing them according to the recommended guidelines.
Image of the growth of beetroot from seeds to vegetables

Preparing the Soil for Planting your Beet Plants

Container selection: Choose a container that is at least 8-12 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate multiple beets with space between them. Make sure that there are drainage holes.

Soil mix: Use a well-draining potting mix or a mix of garden soil, compost, and sand. Ensure the soil is loose and rich in organic matter to promote healthy root development. Beets grow under the ground so if the soil is too compact, they’re not going to grow well.

Soil pH: Test the soil pH and aim for a slightly acidic to neutral range, between 6.0 and 7.5. Adjust the pH if needed by adding organic matter. Don’t stress if you can’t test it, just add the correct organic fertilizers at the correct times.

Soil preparation: Fill the container with the soil mix, leaving a few inches of space from the top. Remove any rocks, debris, or clumps from the soil so the beets have space to grow. Level the surface and lightly firm it but avoid compacting it excessively.

Watering: Before sowing or transplanting, thoroughly moisten the soil in the container. It should be evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Fertilization: If your soil mix lacks nutrients, you can incorporate a slow-release fertilizer or add compost to provide essential nutrients for the beets. Vermicompost is another great option.

How and When to Feed Beetroot Plants

Before planting:

Before planting or sowing beetroot seeds, incorporate well-rotted organic matter, such as compost, vermicompost, or aged manure, into the soil. Do this around 7 days before planting. In addition, mix in an organic balanced fertilizer which you can make up yourself, or buy some from the garden center but get yourself the N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10.

During Growth:

Side dress your beet plants one to three times during their growing period starting from when they are 4 – 6 inches (10 – 15 cm) tall. Use 3 ounces (85 g) of the same 10-10-10 formula each time.

Potassium and Phosphorus::

Beets are heavy feeders, so ensure they receive adequate potassium and phosphorus. These nutrients contribute to root development and overall plant health.

Best Companion Plants for Beetroot

Companion planting is an excellent way to maximize the health and productivity of your beetroot plants while promoting a balanced ecosystem in your garden. Here are some companion plants that work well with beetroot:

1. Lettuce: Lettuce is a great companion for beetroot because it provides shade and helps keep the soil cool, which is beneficial for the beetroot roots. Additionally, lettuce and beetroot have similar watering needs, making them compatible companions.

2. Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic can help deter pests that commonly affect beetroot, such as aphids and flea beetles. Their strong aroma can repel these pests and protect your beetroot plants. Plus, onions and garlic are known to improve the flavor of beets when grown together. Just remember they all grow underground, so don’t overcrowd.

3. Swiss Chard: Swiss chard belongs to the same family as beetroot (Amaranthaceae), and it makes an excellent companion plant. They have similar cultural requirements and can be planted together, adding a colorful and nutritious variety to your garden.

4. Cabbage Family: Members of the cabbage family, such as kale, cabbage can be good companions. They help deter pests like cabbage worms and can also provide shade to beetroot plants.

5. Broccoli: Broccoli needs calcium from the soil, and beetroot doesn’t need as much so they won’t be competing for this. nutrient. In addition, the roots from the broccoli plant dig deep and bring up nutrients that the beets can’t reach.

6. Marigolds: Marigolds are well-known for their ability to repel pests like aphids and nematodes. Planting marigolds around your beetroot can help protect them from these unwanted visitors.

7. Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are not only beautiful but also serve as natural pest repellents. They can deter aphids, beetles, and caterpillars, helping to keep your beetroot plants pest-free.

The right companion plants will create a harmonious garden ecosystem that promotes the health and productivity of your beetroot plants.


Banner - download our easy to use companion planting guide

When to Harvest Your Home-Grown Organic Beetroot

Size and maturity

Beetroot can be harvested at different stages, depending on your preference.

For young and tender baby beets, you can start harvesting when they reach about 1-2 inches (3 – 5 cm) in diameter, typically around 6-8 weeks after sowing the seeds.

If you prefer larger beets, you can allow them to grow to their full size, which is usually around 2-3 inches (5 – 12 cm) in diameter for most varieties.

Check the tops

The tops of the beetroot plants can provide clues about their readiness for harvest. When the greens (beet tops) grow to be 3-4 inches tall, it’s a good indicator that the beets have developed beneath the soil. The greens should be healthy and vibrant, showing no signs of wilting or yellowing.

Lift gently

To harvest beetroot, gently loosen the soil around the base of the plant using a garden fork or trowel. Lift the beets out of the ground, taking care not to pull out others that aren’t quite ready.

Trim the tops

Once the beets are harvested, trim the tops, leaving about an inch of stem attached to the beet. Leaving some stem helps prevent bleeding of color and keeps the beets fresher for longer.


Remove any excess soil from the beets (don’t wash them and they will lasts longer in storage, just brush the soil off), and store them in a cool, dark, and dry place. You can store beetroot in a cool, dark area for several weeks to a few months, depending on the variety and storage conditions. 

Remember that beetroot can be harvested gradually, allowing you to enjoy a continuous harvest by picking the beets at different stages of maturity. Harvesting at the right time ensures the best flavor and quality for your homegrown organic beetroot.

Pests and Problems

As with all plants, there are some pests and problems you need to look out for, but doing regular checks on your plants so enable you to pick up anything quickly.

One way to organically protect your plants is to grow some companion plants that are suitable, with your beetroot plants.

Beetroot plants can be susceptible to various pests, but the specific pests that may affect your beetroot crop can depend on your location and environmental conditions. Some of the most common pests that can damage beetroot plants include:

1. Aphids: Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can distort the leaves and transmit plant diseases.

2. Flea Beetles: These tiny, jumping beetles can cause small holes in beetroot leaves, making them look like they’ve been shot with tiny pellets. This can stunt the plant’s growth.

3. Slugs and Snails: These mollusks can chew holes in beetroot leaves and damage the root as well. They are often active at night.

4. Root Maggots: Beetroot root maggots are the larvae of certain flies. They tunnel into the beetroot roots, causing damage and making the roots unappetizing.

5. Cutworms: Cutworms are caterpillars that cut through the stems of young beetroot plants at or near ground level, causing the plants to topple over.

6. Wireworms: Wireworms are the larvae of click beetles. They feed on the roots of beetroot plants, causing reduced growth and root damage.

7. Whiteflies: Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that can weaken beetroot plants and will destroy your plants if you don’t get rid of them.

8. Cabbage Root Fly: These flies lay their eggs at the base of beetroot plants, and their larvae tunnel into the roots, causing significant damage.

To protect your beetroot plants from these pests, you can use various preventive measures, such as companion planting, physical barriers like row covers, and organic insecticides if necessary. It’s also important to practice good garden hygiene, such as removing plant debris and weeds, to reduce pest habitats and infestations.

Again, the best thing is to ‘walk’ your garden every day, twice if possible. Once in the morning and again in the late afternoon. Check your plants and physically pick off and remove any pests that shouldn’t be there.

Banner telling you that you can eat beet leaves

Which Pets Will Eat Beet Leaves and Stems?

Several domesticated pets and farm animals can eat beetroot leaves and stems as part of their diet.

Here are some animals that love a treat of delicious beetroot foliage:

Rabbits: Rabbits enjoy munching on beetroot leaves and stems. The leafy greens provide them with essential nutrients and fiber.

Guinea pigs: Similar to rabbits, guinea pigs can eat beetroot leaves and stems. Including these greens in their diet helps keep them healthy and provides variety.

Chickens: Chickens can consume beetroot leaves and stems. They enjoy pecking at the greens and can benefit from the vitamins and minerals they contain.

Goats: Goats are known to eat a wide range of vegetation, including beetroot leaves and stems. However, it’s essential to ensure they have access to a balanced diet and not solely rely on beetroot foliage.

Sheep: Sheep can also graze on beetroot leaves and stems. However, they should have access to a diverse diet that meets their nutritional requirements.

Cows: Beetroot leaves and stems can be fed to cattle as part of their forage. However, it’s important to consider their overall diet and consult with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist to ensure a balanced feeding regimen.

By growing beets yourself, you will know that the plants have not been treated with any pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals that may be harmful to the animals.

Additionally, introduce any new food gradually and in appropriate quantities to avoid digestive issues. Always consult with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist for specific guidance on feeding beetroot foliage to your pets or farm animals.

And that’s it!

So, are you ready to dive into the wonderful world of beetroot?

Learning how to grow beets in a container is definitely rewarding! Picture yourself savoring the vibrant shades of ruby red, golden, and candy-striped beets harvested straight from your own garden. Not only will you enjoy the sweet and earthy flavors that make beets so irresistible, but you’ll also revel in the satisfaction of nurturing these rooty wonders from seed to plate.

Get your hands dirty and embrace the beet fever!

Delicious Brussel sprout recipes
Sweet potato with slips growing from it
How to care for your lemon tree