Beets are one of the most versatile vegetables in the garden. You can eat them raw or cooked, and they make a great addition to salads or stir-fries. But can beets survive frost?
Beets can be damaged by frost, but they can survive it! Beets are not frost tolerant, so don’t plant them from seed until the soil temperature has reached 60 F. Beets are more likely to survive frost when they’re young than when they’re mature. That’s because their roots grow deep into the ground—too deep for the winter cold to kill them. Mature beets have shallow root systems and don’t withstand freezing temperatures well.
How Tolerant Are Beets To Cold Weather
Beets are a cool season vegetable that is hardy to about 20 degrees F. They are frost tolerant, meaning they can withstand light freezes without severe damage. However, if the temperature drops below 10 degrees F for an extended period of time, you may have losses due to cold temperatures and/or frost.
Beets will not tolerate extreme heat or drought conditions particularly well. Most beets sold commercially have been bred to tolerate colder weather than those grown in warmer climates like California and Florida; however, these varieties tend to be more stringy when eaten raw and less juicy when cooked than their European counterparts.
How To Protect Your Beets From Frost
There are several ways to protect your beets from frost.
- You can cover your plants with a blanket or row cover. This helps insulate them, but it also traps heat and moisture. Be careful not to let the plant’s leaves get covered by snow when you’re covering them, as this could damage them.
- Use a thick layer of mulch around the plant’s base during the winter months so that it doesn’t freeze up against the ground, which will kill it if you live in an area with harsh winters or high snowfall amounts.
- Use floating row covers, which are thin sheets that provide shelter from both wind and insects without trapping any moisture around your plants’ roots like traditional row covers do (they’re also called insect screens). Floating row covers have openings at both ends, so they allow for adequate ventilation all around each plant; however, some growers like to use these on smaller vegetable patches instead because they require less maintenance than traditional ones do: If you don’t want to remove snow from underneath them every time there’s a fresh fall (which isn’t always practical), then this type may be more convenient for you than using standard varieties would be!
Caring For Beets During The Winter
To keep beets in good condition during the winter, you have a few options:
- Plant them in the fall after the last frost. Beets are a cool-weather crop and should be planted after the last frost for best results. They can also be planted earlier but will take longer to mature because they are sensitive to heat.
- Use a cold frame or root cellar to overwinter them (in colder climates). A cold frame (or mini greenhouse) is an excellent way to protect your plants from frost and give them some light during the winter months when it’s dark outside. If you don’t have space for this type of structure, consider using an old refrigerator or ice chest that has been modified into an insulated storage space where you can place all your crops—vegetables as well as fruits like apples and pears—to keep them fresh longer than normal storage methods would allow!
What Temperatures Will Kill Beets?
Beets are relatively hardy plants, but they do have their limits. The temperature at which beets will die varies depending on the variety of beet and when it was planted.
Most American gardeners grow red beets, which are usually planted in spring; these will survive temperatures as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit, though they may become more fibrous and lose some of their colors if they’re exposed to freezing temperatures for too long.
Some varieties of white beets can withstand even colder temperatures, but planting them in a cold frame or indoors will protect them from frost.
The reason that beets tend to fare better in spring than fall is that there’s more daylight in which to grow—they can convert sunlight into energy faster than fall plants can. If you plant your seeds too late in the growing season, you might not get enough time for them to mature before frost begins to set in.
Can I overwinter Beets?
If you live in a climate with heavy frosts, it’s not recommended to plant beets in the spring. Instead, plant them in the fall after all danger of frost has passed for your area. At this time of year, you should be able to find many varieties that have been bred for cold weather tolerance.
If you’re planning on storing any leftovers from your harvest over winter and want to grow more next season, make sure that they can endure temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 degrees Celsius).
You’ll also need to know how deep they will grow underground before they sprout new leaves again (this is called “rooting depth”). Some varieties can go up to six feet down before coming back up again next summer—so if you want some fresh greens after winter ends (or if your yard gets flooded), be sure there’s enough room between the topsoil layer where these roots are buried!
As you can see, beets are able to survive frost. If you want to grow beets in the winter, you can do so with a few simple steps. The first thing is to make sure that the soil is nice and warm, which will help to prevent frost from forming on top of it. Next, cover your beets with mulch or straw so they’re protected from any cold air that might blow over them during the nighttime hours when temperatures are lowest (this also helps insulate them against extreme heat). Finally, keep the soil moist at all times and your beets will survive through the winter.