Beets can be sown directly into the ground starting one month before the last frost and then successively throughout the spring, summer and fall. Seeds should be presoaked in water for 24 hours, sown ½” deep and thinned from 4-6” apart when they are 2-3” high.
Beets like a rich soil, neutral to alkaline, but the soil should not be too acidic. They should not be allowed to dry out. You can start pulling up the roots when they are 1½ to 2” in diameter or water until they are full size, depending on the variety. The individual leaves can be cut for salads or sautéing at any time, as long as only one or two are removed.
Beets are a member of the Goosefoot family along with Swiss chard, spinach and quinoa.