Care.Beets need frequent watering in dry weather to keep the roots tender and plump.
Light applications of a complete fertilizer every three to four weeks will help the roots form quickly and remain tender.
Pests. Beets interest few pests except a kind of grub called a root maggot and slugs that can burrow into roots or spoil the tops of small plants. Root maggots can be discouraged by digging in heavy applications of compost and by not planting root crops in the same location each year. Look for slugs and hand pick them when you find them.
Harvesting. Begin pulling beets to eat as soon as they reach 1 inch in diameter; this will make room for the remaining roots to grow to their mature size of 2 to 3 inches in diameter. When beets are tiny, both tops and roots can be cooked together. Don’t let beets grow to jumbo sizes; they can develop streaks of woody tissue.
In containers. Beets will thrive in planter boxes deep enough for their roots (about 12 inches). Give them 3 inches between plants.