Hydroponic Beets

Growing High Yield Quality Beets Hydroponically



                                                                                          



Hydroponic Supplies

Nutrient pH 6.0 to 6.5         EC 0.8-5         PPM - 1260-3500


Root crops such as beets can be successfully grown hydroponically.

A methodology that uses ample media to support the plants while the roots develop is necessary. Ebb and flow systems lend themselves well to root crops, but others, such as aeroponics work also.

Containers and Grow Media

A container has to be the correct size to accomodate your beets at their peak. Beet sizes vary somewhat dependent on variety, but they basically attain a size of about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The containers should be at least 4 inches in diameter by at least 6 inches deep in order to accommodate the beet roots and their capillaries. I sometimes use grow bags, but basically any container will suffice.

Grow Media

Fill your container with a growing media to support and stabilize the seedlings. Sand or sphagnum moss will work.

A blend of perlite, vermiculite will work even better. A little peat blended in is not a bad idea - but not absolutely necessary. Perlite-Vermiculite blend or expanded Clay pebbles both have proven advantages.

Be sure to leave some head space, at least an inch, more if possible, between the filler from your reservoir and the containers top.

Temperature and Lighting

Beets are a cool weather crop, they will survive chills but don't fare well in intense summer heat. Air Temperatures of 60-65 F during their active growing periods is best. See Hydroponic Temperature for info related to nutrient solution temperatures.

If you are growing them outdoors, a well lit location is best - partial shade will suffice, but not full shade. Indoors Grow Lights need to provide 6 - 8 hours of light daily.

Beets growing Hydroponically
Seed Starting

Plants can be started from seed, I've started some in oasis cubes and transferred to the setup. You can also start them conventionally - in soil and then transfer them into the hydroponic system.

For plants started in soil, rinse off the roots of your seedlings to remove any soil particles, which can interfere with your solution. Place the plants roots in a container of weak nutrient solution at about 1/4 strength, to soak for about half an hour. A stronger solution can shock the plants.

Nutrients

Beets are heavy feeders. They need fertilizer/ nutrients. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient during the season to grow properly. However , you can't simply dump a ton of nitrogen into the solution, or even use a very high nitrogen solution and expect the plant to synthesis it correctly. Unfortunately it's not that easy.

Beets are heavy feeders. They need fertilizer/ nutrients. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient during the season to grow properly. However , you can't simply dump a ton of nitrogen into the solution, or even use a very high nitrogen solution and expect the plant to synthesis it correctly. Unfortunately it's not that easy.

One method is to add slow release nitrogen such as Neptunes Harvest Crab Shellhydroponic fertilizer .

Another method is by supplying hydroponically grown beets with humic acid which has been shown to increase yields dramatically [3]. Humic Acid Humic acid facilitates nutrient uptake in plants and lends itself well to the hydroponic scenario.


Footnotes

1. Nitric Oxide Improves Internal Iron Availability in Plants


2. Nitric Oxide Functions as a Positive Regulator of Root Hair Development


3. Effects of Humic Acid on Protein Synthesis and Ion Uptake in Beet Discs