Why Are My Beets Growing Above Ground?

Overcrowding, compacted soil, temperature fluctuations and various other factors can cause your beets to grow above the ground. These factors can influence their natural growth habits and lead to visible foliage above the soil’s surface.

Have you ever felt confused while looking at your vegetable garden and seeing your beets growing above the soil as if they’re not following the usual rules of nature? It’s a puzzling sight indeed, leaving you all confused. But worry not! Here you’ll see in detail why are my beets growing above ground.

Why Are Beets Growing Above Ground?

Growing beets might seem a bit difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it then you can easily grow the perfect beetroot to enjoy in your meals. When beets grow above the ground, it’s because of different reasons and here are in details why this happens – 

1. Overcrowding

Beet plants need room to stretch and grow properly. When they’re crammed together in tight spaces their roots can’t really spread out as they normally do. This can lead the beetroots to break through the soil and show up above ground. 

So, if you spot your beets emerging above the ground then it’s likely they’re hinting you that they need more space below. They’re stretching upwards to locate a spot where they can comfortably spread out and grow.

2. Compacted soil

The right soil works as a comfy bed for your beets. If the soil is tough, heavy or compacted can prevent your beets to grow properly. When the soil gets too packed, it’s hard for their roots to move and grow freely. When your beets unexpectedly show up above the ground, it’s likely they’re trying to escape that tight soil. 

So what to do now? Well, beets thrive in loose, well-drained soil where their roots can spread with ease. When the soil is tightly packed, it’s like a barrier for their roots, making it tough to delve deeper.

Moreover, when you plant the seeds too deep because of the toughness of the soil then, your beet plant might pop up through the ground as they grow. To prevent this aim to plant your beet seeds about 2 inches deep.

3. Temperature fluctuations

Beets are quite sensitive to changes in temperature. When beets go through temperature ups and downs, they might decide to sprout above ground. When the temperature gets warmer, the soil might loosen up and allow the beets to grow upward rather than downward. 

The preferred temperature for beets ranges from 60 to 65°F. When things get too hot, beetroots might pop up through the soil. 

If temperature keeps fluctuating they might stop growing properly or eventually die. This fluctuation in temperature can be triggered by sudden weather changes or a heating system.

Moreover, beetroots plants defy expectations by growing above the ground in the chilly winter. 

Their roots have a talent for keeping their temperature steady even when the air around them gets chilly. This special skill help to prevent them highest winter conditions.

4. Insufficient water

Water plays an important role in all plant growth and beets are no exception. When beets don’t get enough water through their roots they might stretch their leaves up above the soil to catch some moisture from the air. This often occurs when the soil becomes too dry due to a lack of rain like a drought. 

According to the University of Maryland Extension, beets need a consistent moisture supply for good growth. Make sure to water deeply and consistently, especially when the weather turns dry.

5. Lack of sunlight

Beets are sun-seekers plant and they enjoy soaking up sunlight. But if they don’t receive enough sunlight, their roots might end up twisted or they start sprouting above the ground in search of sunlight. You’ll notice their leaves might be smaller, slimmer, and a bit paler than usual. 

Naturally, beets like six hours of daily sunlight. If you spot a place where it receives sufficient sunlight then you can easily tackle this problem. Furthermore, if you’re growing your beets in a pot then think about moving them to a sunnier place. This change can make a big difference in how well they grow.

6. Ready To Harvest

When the moment is right, you’ll notice their leaves looking vibrant and their roots getting plump and juicy. It’s like they’re telling you that we are ready to harvest now! That’s when you can gently pull them out of the ground and start cooking up something tasty. 

According to the University of Maryland Extension, harvest your beetroots when they reach a size of 1 to 3 inches in diameter.

Beets are quite adaptable and thrive in a wide range of climates. If you live in a cooler region then it’s a good idea to sow beet seeds around a month before the last spring frost when the soil has warmed up to about 50°F. You can also plant your beets in the late summer, between June and September.

Also Read: How to Grow Beet Microgreens?

Growing Requirements for Beets

1. Finding the right place

Beets can settle into various climates without much fuss. Whether your area leans on the cooler side or enjoys a bit more warmth, beets have a knack for fitting right in.

2. Timing matter

In cooler regions, timing is everything. For a good spring harvest, aim to plant your beet seeds around one month before the final frost of the season. This magical moment arrives when the soil temperature reaches a cosy 50°F, giving your beets the ideal start. As already mentioned above, simply you can consider sowing another batch in the late summer in the middle of June and September.

3. Resilience

Beets are a hardy bunch – they can handle a bit of frost and even near-freezing temperatures. So, don’t fret too much if the weather takes a chilly turn; your beets are likely just fine.

4. Room to grow

When planting, give these veggies some room to stretch out their roots comfortably. It’s their way of ensuring they have enough elbow room to grow and mature.

5. Sunshine

Sunlight is like magic for your beets – they thrive on it. When choosing their spot, make sure they get plenty of sunshine. It’s their secret ingredient for vibrant growth and tasty flavour.

6. Keep your beets hydrated

Keep their soil consistently moist, especially during dry spells. It’s their way of staying refreshed and flourishing.

7. Picking perfect beets

The sweet reward of harvest time! When your beets have grown to a size of 1 to 3 inches in diameter, it’s time to gently pull them. Their leaves might stand tall, and their roots will be plump and juicy – a sign that they’re ready to harvest.

8. Fertilizing 

Supplementing extra fertilizer is usually unnecessary for beets. If you decide to fertilize, take it easy on nitrogen. Excess nitrogen can lead to an abundance of lush greens above the soil, but disappointingly tiny bulbs beneath it.

Also Read: Best Soil for Sweet Potatoes

How to Plant Beets?

Planting beets can be satisfying work. Whether you’re just starting out or you have a green thumb, with these steps, you can confidently grow your beets without any issues. Follow these steps to ensure your beets get the best possible start –

1. Begin by choosing a sunny spot in your garden. Beets love sunlight, so aim for an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter – a loamy soil texture works wonders.

2. Plant your seeds at a depth of half an inch, spacing them 1 to 2 inches apart within rows that are approximately 12 to 18 inches apart. Once planted, gently cover the seeds with a light layer of soil.

Once you’ve sown your beet seeds, water the area gently but thoroughly. Beets appreciate consistent moisture, so ensure the soil remains evenly moist throughout the germination period.

Using a fine mist or a soaker hose can help prevent disturbing the seeds. For a little boost in the germination process, consider soaking the seeds for 24 hours before planting them.

3. As your beet seedlings emerge, they’ll need adequate space to grow. When they reach about 2 inches in height, thin them out to a spacing of about 3 to 4 inches between plants. You can use the thinned seedlings in salads or other dishes.

4. Beets appreciate a boost of nutrients during their growth. Side-dress them with a balanced fertilizer a few weeks after thinning. Applying a layer of organic mulch around the plants helps retain moisture, control weeds, and maintain consistent soil temperatures.

5. Beets are usually ready for harvest when they reach a diameter of 1 to 3 inches. Gently loosen the soil around the base of the plants and lift them out.

Also Read: How Much Sunlight Does Asparagus Need

How Long does it Take for Beets to Grow?

After planting, you can usually expect to see the first signs of beet sprouts within 7 to 14 days. As they develop, the vibrant beet leaves will start to unfold, adding a touch of green to your garden.

For those eagerly anticipating the harvest of tender baby beets, the exciting moment usually arrives around 40 days after planting. These youthful beets are smaller and ideal for adding a delicate crunch to salads or side dishes. If you’re aiming for more substantial, full-size beets, allow an additional 2 to 3 weeks of growth. This extended period nurtures the beetroots into plump, satisfying flavour.


By understanding how things like weather, sunlight, timing, and care fit together, you can successfully overcome this problem in no time. All you have to do is make some changes and you’re ready to grow beet successfully.

So, as you keep working in your garden, remember these special above-ground beet tips. 

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