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 beet roots 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.
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 2-3 weeks, you’ll can add these microgreens to every dish you can think of!
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Beet Microgreens Quick Info
|Flavor:||Sweet and earthy; like mature beet leaves|
|Ideal Harvest:||10-20 days|
Growing Beet Microgreens
Before we jump into growing microgreens, let’s take a look at our inventory. You’ll need the following materials to turn the humble beet seed into a magnificent microgreen.
- Seeds: we’re very partial to True Leaf Market’s microgreens seeds, listed below
- Containers: these 10×20 grow trays are perfect for microgreens (you need at least 2)
- Growing medium: Espoma seed starter mix is our favorite soil for growing microgreens, but coconut coir will also work well
- Grow light: we recommend the Agrobrite T5, but there are others in our grow light guide
- Bottom-watering dish: 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 water bottle: for misting!
We’re extremely fond of the microgreens seeds from True Leaf Market. Their seeds are high quality, have excellent germination rates, and are worth every penny. Here’s a selection of our personal beet favorites of theirs!
- Bull’s Blood beets
- Organic Bull’s Blood beets
- Organic Detroit beets
- Rainbow Blend beet microgreens mix
- Detroit Dark Red beets
- Organic Detroit Dark Red beets
- Basic beet microgreens
Beet plants don’t need much water to grow well, so it’s very important to use a grow tray with drainage holes. We also need soil that will hold some water without getting soggy. For beet microgreens, seed starting soil is the best 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.
Anytime you grow microgreens, beet or otherwise, grow lights are far superior to natural sunlight. The reasoning is that 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.
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 8 hours, but this is completely optional.
Let’s 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 nice and even across the surface (this is essential for planting microgreens). They should be closely spaced – about 10 seeds per square inch.
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 4-6 days. Beets need the darkness for germination, which should take 3 days to 5 days. The additional day or two gives the seeds additional time to sprout.
Around day 6 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, we’re going to ditch the spray bottle and start bottom watering. This method is the best precaution against bacteria growth and the dreaded damping off disease.
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.
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.
When we grow microgreens, we usually 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.
If you need to store them, hold off on washing the beet microgreens. They store best when completely dry, so you may even 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do beet microgreens taste like?
A: Beet microgreens have a sweet, earthy flavor, much like how grown beet leaves taste.
Q: What are the benefits of eating microgreens?
A: What aren’t the benefits!? Microgreens may be small in size, but they generally have two or three times the nutrients of grown plants. Beet microgreens, for instance, have abundant amounts of iron, calcium, fiber, and a variety of vitamins (significantly more than grown beets).