How To Grow Beet Microgreens in 6 Easy Steps

Beet microgreens are tasty toppings for salads, toast, and many other dishes. Gardening expert Rachel Garcia shares the right technique for growing these simple greens.

Growing beet microgreens in a tray under grow lights.

Contents

Beets are tasty from top to bottom, and the same is true of their microgreens. While there won’t be a bulbous and sweet root to eat, beet microgreens provide the same flavor as grown leaves, but in a form that’s easy to use to top off other dishes. They’re fantastic for salads, sandwiches, and so much more.

Most microgreens look alike, but that’s not the case with these beauties. The deep, red pigment of many beetroots turns the sprout stems hot pink. They remind me of tiny rhubarb plants. Even though it’s in a smaller amount, this color can still bleed and stain when the plant is cut.

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Not only do they have a vivid color and delicious taste, but these microgreens are also bursting with nutrients. Like most microgreens, they’re a good source of Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, iron, calcium, and protein. Beet microgreens also have a substantial supply of magnesium, potassium, and even copper.

Beet microgreens are fairly simple to grow. They take a little more time to mature than other microgreens, but the colorful harvest is worth it. In just two to three weeks, you can add these microgreens to every dish you can think of.

Gourmet Blend Beet

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Gourmet Blend Beet Seeds


Chioggia Beet

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Chioggia Beet Seeds

Touchstone Gold Beet

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Touchstone Gold Beet Seeds

What You’ll Need

Beyond a few essential supplies and seeds (of course), you don’t need much to grow beet microgreens.

Seeds

Hands holding beet microgreens seeds over soil ready for sowing.
There are many unique varieties of beets to choose from.

You can use any beet seeds to grow beet microgreens. If you have a few seeds left over from the previous season, sowing as microgreens is a great way to make use of them. But if you need to purchase new seeds, these are some of our favorite varieties:

  • Early Wonder Beet Microgreens Seeds: Selected for chefs to give that bright pink stem and a mild flavor.
  • Chioggia Beet Seeds: If left to grow fully, they have candy-striped flesh.
  • Touchstone Gold Beet Seeds: Milder than red beets and a golden yellow color.
  • Gourmet Blend Beet Seeds: A selection of heirloom red and gold beets for a rainbow of colors.
  • Bull’s Blood Beet Seeds: Deep red and packed with nutrition.
  • Detroit Dark Red Beet Seeds: The standard in beets since 1892 and still a popular choice.

Beet seeds have a thin enough hull that they don’t need to be soaked in water prior to germination. Some microgreen gardeners still opt to soak the seeds for about eight hours, but this is completely optional.

Containers

Beet microgreens growing in clear plastic container.
If you don’t have trays for microgreens, you can use any container with drainage holes.

Next, you’ll need a container for sowing. Any seed trays or pots will do, as long as they have adequate drainage holes.

Epic 6-Cell Seed Starting Trays and Germination Domes & Bottom Trays are good choices to protect the seeds as they grow and create the perfect environment for germination.

Growing Medium

Beet seedlings growing in seedling trays indoors next to a sunny window.
Microgreen soil mixes should have a fine texture for easy rooting.

Use a seed starter mix or germination mix to grow microgreens. Seed-starting soil is the best for beet microgreens because of its texture. Beets have delicate roots and prefer the ultra-fine grain of seed-starting soil.

They also have oddly shaped seeds that need a level area to take root. Some gardeners grow microgreens in coconut coir, but we strongly recommend using soil for beet microgreens.

Grow Lights

Anytime you grow microgreens, beet or otherwise, grow lights are far superior to natural sunlight. That’s because you can position the grow lights directly above the plants, ensuring even and compact growth. You’ll also be able to control the amount of time the microgreens get light each day.

If you don’t already have grow lights, we recommend the Epic Seed Starting Grow Lights for growing microgreens indoors. Alternatively, you can place the tray near a sunny windowsill and frequently rotate it to ensure even sunlight exposure. 

Extras

Finally, grab these items from your home before you get started:

  • Tray: A tray or container the same size as or larger than the microgreen growing tray (without drainage holes).
  • Scissors: We recommend you use kitchen shears.
  • Misting bottle: For misting and to stop the seeds from clumping.

How To Grow Beet Microgreens

Gather all the items needed and begin by following these instructions:

Step 1: Plant

Close up of germinating beet seeds with pink stems and green leaves.
The seed hulls can be brushed off with your hands after germination.

Begin by filling the growing tray just below the brim with soil. Use your misting bottle to moisten the soil surface and then smooth it out. Now, spread the beet seeds evenly across the surface (this is essential for planting microgreens). They should be closely spaced – about 1 seeds per half inch.

Step 2: Cover

Close up of beet microgreens with pink stems and green leaves.
The seeds need an initial period of darkness for germination.

Give the beet seeds and growing medium a final spritz of water and cover them with a second tray. This is the beginning of the blackout period, when the seeds complete germination and sprout. To keep the cover tray secure, put a small weight on top. The seeds will push it up as they grow.

Leave the cover on the seeds for at least four to six days. Beets need the darkness for germination, which should take three to five days. The additional day or two gives the seeds additional time to sprout.

Step 3: Add Light

Beet microgreens growing indoors in plastic container leaning toward the sunlight.
Beet seedlings will lean toward the nearest light source if not rotated regularly.

Around day six of the blackout phase, take a peek under the cover. If you see that the seeds are all sprouted and growing, remove the cover tray and flip on the grow light. The sprouts may be discolored or squished to one side at first, but they’ll quickly recover under the light.

Provide your beet microgreens with at least 12 hours of light each day. To water them, ditch the spray bottle and start bottom watering. This method is the best precaution against bacterial growth and the dreaded damping off disease.

Step 4: Water Regularly

Beet seedlings with water droplets from misting bottle.
Watering from the bottom limits potential microgreen problems.

Grab your bottom-watering dish and add in a few inches of water. Then, set the growing tray inside. The soil will absorb its fill of water without getting the beet microgreens wet. After the soil is adequately moist, remove the watering dish. Repeat this process whenever the soil begins to dry out (you’ll be able to tell by the weight of the grow tray).

As they grow, you may see that the beet microgreens have stray seed hulls clinging to the cotyledons. You can remove these by hand or lightly brush your palm across the microgreen plants.

Step 5: Harvest

Pink beet microgreens in large seedling tray.
To harvest, trim the microgreens evenly just above the soil surface.

Anywhere from 10-20 days after planting, your beet microgreens may be ready to harvest. They’ll grow to be a few inches tall with bright red stems and opened green cotyledons.

Aim to harvest before the first true leaves grow in. Once they do, the beet microgreens will grow tougher, since they’re preparing to support a lot more weight. The taste is said to be the same, but this change in texture is why we prefer a true-leafless microgreen.

You can choose to harvest your beet microgreens all at once or as needed. If you take them as needed, ensure that they’re all harvested by the time the second set of true leaves grow in.

Once you’ve determined it’s time to harvest your beet microgreens, grab your kitchen shears and the growing tray. Cut the microgreens in clumps just above the soil surface. The bright pigment in the microgreen plants may stain, so don’t wear your favorite clothes!

The beet microgreens are ready to use right away. Wash them first, and then add them raw to salads, sandwiches, or anything that needs a nutritional crunch.

Step 6: Storage

Bowl full of freshly harvested beet microgreens.
Beet microgreens last about a week in the refrigerator.

If you need to store them, hold off on washing the beet microgreens. They store best when completely dry, so you may want to press them in a paper towel.

Seal the beet microgreens in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. When you use this method, beet microgreens should store well for about a week.

Final Thoughts

Beet microgreens have a sweet, earthy flavor, much like how grown beet leaves taste. They may be small in size, but they generally have two or three times the nutrients of grown plants.

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