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Growing Beet Microgreens – Bull’s Blood Beets

Growing beet microgreens at home are easy and require no special conditions or grow lights.

The variety of beet microgreen shown in this article is Bull’s Blood Beet. As you can see in the cover photo, these beet microgreens have a dark green leaf and burgundy red stems that extend up into the lower part and outside edge of the leaf.

Bull’s Blood Beet is a very attractive microgreen that foodies and chefs love for its contrasting colors, distinctive earthy flavor, and crunchy yet juicy texture.

The microgreens taste like a sweet mix between root beets and spinach.

growing beet microgreens bull's blood beet

Also, like beetroots, the Bull’s Blood Beet microgreens can “bleed” some red color into your food. 

Eggs cooked with Bull’s Blood beet microgreens have spectacular contrasting colors of yellow from the eggs and a “bleeding” red color from the microgreens.

Bull’s Blood Beet Microgreens will add a splash of color to your salads, texture, and flavor.

Besides being tasty, beet microgreens are also nutritious containing vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc, as well as antioxidants.

All Articles About Beets

Beet Microgreens – Does Soaking the Seeds Improve Germination
Growing Beet Microgreens – Bull’s Blood Beets
Bull’s Blood Beet Microgreens – The Secret To Removing Seed Husks
How to Grow Beet Microgreens – Episode 20 of the Microgreens Podcast

home microgreens sells seeds

FREE Home Microgreens Grow course that teaches you the basics of growing microgreens in your home! There are 12 video lessons (over 120 minutes), downloads, and more written information and tips!

Growing Beet Microgreens

Before we get more into the nutritional value of beet microgreens, let me outline a few of the necessary steps for growing beet microgreens.

Also, if you want to grow beet microgreens, you can get a beet microgreen kit or Bull’s Blood Beet seeds by clicking the highlighted links to visit the Home Microgreen Store.

Bull's blood beet microgreens

How to Grow Beet Microgreens

Growing beet microgreens is very easy; they grow very upright, so they are easy to harvest in 12 to 15 days after sowing the seed.

Beet microgreens are an excellent variety for first-time growers to plant, raise, and harvest.

The seeds are easy to handle, in fact, beet microgreen seeds are large in size. The planting tray must be covered or blacked out for 5 or 6 days. Even though they germinate around the third day, it’s best to keep the seeds covered for a longer period. More on this later in the post.

The Microgreens Podcast Episode 020

Ten Easy Steps

Below is a list of the ten steps to growing beet microgreens. For a more detailed explanation of the process and to see a video of each step, look at Growing Microgreens for the First Time.

We’ll be growing beet microgreens using the Home Microgreen Kit. If you don’t have the kit, the photos will show you what supplies you need.

Note: Some images below are of the beta Home Microgreens Trays (opaque trays & red lids). The black trays and opaque lids are the new Home Microgreens Trays. Both are similar-sized, but the latter uses much less soil and is more economical.

Step 1: Add Potting Mix to Tray

Add a premium potting mix to the planting tray.

A planting tray needs small holes in the bottom to draw water up from below. Bottom watering is much better for the microgreens than watering from the top.

The soil should be firmly compacted and level just below the top of the tray. We prefer to use soil instead of a mat. Read this article on why I believe soil is a better growing medium

how to grow radish microgreens

Step 2: Wet Don’t Saturate the Potting Mix

Use a spray bottle to wet the soil surface with un-chlorinated water. Allow the water to soak into the soil, then respray the surface. If you see depressions or high spots on the soil, use your fingers to level the surface.

growing radish microgreens spraying the soil

Step 3: Calculate How Many Beet Seeds You Will Need

Many microgreen growers recommend soaking beet microgreen seeds between 8- and 24 hours. Home Microgreens tested this recommendation and published the results in Beet Microgreens – Does Soaking the Seeds Improve Germination?

We don’t believe soaking the seeds is worth the time or trouble. But you can read the article and decide what would work better for you.

There are between 1,750 to 1,850 Bull’s Blood beet seeds in an ounce. That’s around 60 to 65 seeds per gram. For beets, you want about 9 or 10 seeds per square inch.

So if your planting tray surface is 37.5 square inches, you’d need around 5.2 grams of beet seeds for an excellent planting density. Below is a photo of 5.2-grams Bull’s Blood beet microgreen seeds, or about one tablespoon.

If you’re growing microgreens in your tray, check out our handy Microgreen Seed Calculator!

Following our recommendation, add your beet seeds to a shaker bottle. A shaker bottle will allow you to spread the seeds more evenly.

However, if you soak your seeds, spread the same amount onto the planting tray surface and spread them out with your fingertips.

beet microgreen seeds

See how large and irregular beet seeds are? The seeds will still go through the shaker bottle holes, though. 

Step 4: Sow the Beet Seeds

Now that the soil surface is prepared, it’s time to sow the seeds.

Following our recommendation, use the shaker bottle and start sprinkling seeds onto the soil, working in concentric circles around the planting tray. It can be helpful to hold your spare hand around the tray so seeds don’t bounce out of the tray.

Spread the seeds as evenly as possible across the surface. You may need to unscrew the top off the sprinkler bottle to get the last few seeds out of the bottle.

Once all the seeds are out of the bottle, use your finger to spread clumps of seeds to areas with fewer seeds. This is easy with beet seeds. The large size makes them easy to move around.

Or, if you soak your seeds, spread the same amount onto the planting tray surface and spread them out with your fingertips.

Don’t worry if the seeds aren’t perfectly spaced. The seeds will grow, and the plants will spread out to fill the voids.

growing beet microgreens planting the seed

Step 5: Weighted Blackout Period

Now it’s time to prepare the beet seeds to germinate. Use the spray bottle again and wet the seeds. Go easy so the seeds don’t fly off the tray. The water will also help settle the seeds into the soil.

Place the planting tray inside the watering tray.

The watering tray does not have holes and will hold water. Use a similar-size tray, like in the Home Microgreen Kit, or a larger one.

Place a cover on the seeds (don’t seal the tray tight); if the cover is transparent or opaque, use a tea towel or cut a piece of cardboard to fit the cover to keep light off the seeds.

Most microgreens can be left on the soil surface, but they need to be covered to keep light off them while they germinate (we tested this, read why it’s important to blackout and weigh down seed by clicking this link).

Place a weight on top. This keeps the cover on and encourages the plants to root into the soil media. Below we’ve used a fossil, now, we use 2.5-pound weights! Don’t worry. The growing plants are vigorous and will lift the cover and the weight as they grow.

growing radish microgreens covered

Step 6: Do Nothing for 48- to 72 Hours

Don’t do anything for 2- to 3 days. Just let the seeds germinate and grow. The cover will retain enough moisture for the seeds to grow.

Step 7: Out of the Blackout and Bottom Water

On day 2 or 3, you can look at the seeds and check the surface moisture of the tray. If it seems dry, use the spray bottle to wet the surface.

For beets, regardless of how well they germinate and grow, wait until day 5 or 6 before removing the cover.

growing beet microgreens step by step

Beet microgreens out from under the blackout on Day 5.

At this point, you have a decision to make. If the germination rate looks good and the seedlings are similar to the ones in the image above, you can remove the lid and allow the young plants to receive light.

If the plants are smaller or the germination rate is low, check the soil surface to see if it is dry. If so, use the spray bottle, wet the surface again, and place the cover back over the tray. Let the seeds germinate for another day before checking on them again.

Step 8: Place the Tray of Beet Microgreens Under Lights

Now that the beet microgreens have germinated and started to root and grow, it’s time to get them in some light. There’s a lot of discussion about what light is best for microgreens. We think it’s best to give them as much light as possible.

After all, light is where the plants get their energy to grow. Give them as much as you can, whether it be sunlight, cheap LED lighting, or a special grow light. Don’t fret over it; do your best with what you have.

Read this series of posts on using LED grow lights or LED shop lights.

Don’t worry if the plants look squashed and crooked. Once they receive light, they will straighten up and gain better color. If the soil surface looks very dry, use the spray bottle to wet the surface. But this will be the last time you use the spray bottle.

Don’t spray the plants with water if the surface is even the slightest bit moist. Go to step 9.

Step 9: Care for the Beet Microgreens – Water & Light

Now we just let the beet microgreens grow and give them water from the bottom. Here’s where the watering tray comes into play.

Memorize how the weight of the dry tray feels. You’ll know when to water again by judging the weight this way.

Add water to the watering tray, a quarter of an inch works at first. Set the planting tray in the water and allow it to absorb the water from below.

Watering from the bottom keeps the leaves and stems dry, eliminating the possibility of damping-off disease and stopping soil from splashing up on the plants.

The first time you water, you may have to add more water because the majority of the soil in the tray is dry. Afterward, you won’t need to add as much water.

Every other day check the weight of the tray to see if it needs water. The need will depend on the humidity and amount of air moving across the tray.

growing radish microgreens watering

Below are some photos of how the beet microgreens look as they grow. You can click on the image to expand the size.

growing beet microgreen seeds

Bull’s Blood Beet Microgreens on Day 7

growing beet microgreen seeds

Bull’s Blood Beet Microgreens on Day 9.

growing beet microgreen seeds

Bull’s Blood Beet Microgreens on day 12.

Step 10: Harvest the Beet Microgreens

Time to harvest!

In 12 to 15 days, the beet microgreens will be ready to harvest. Once they are around 3 inches tall, you can harvest them.

We have harvested Bull’s Blood Beet microgreens both during the cotyledon stage and after the first true leaves form and haven’t noticed too much of a difference in taste or texture.

If anything, there might be less moisture in the stems after the true leafs form, as the stems toughen a bit to help support the weight of the plant.

The point is, you don’t have to be in a hurry to harvest beet microgreens; if you don’t need them, let them grow, but once the first true leaves form, it’s a good idea to harvest them and store them in the refrigerator.

beet microgreens 16-days after planting

Bull’s Blood Beet microgreens 16 days after planting. These microgreens are ready to be harvested. They have an earthy beet taste with spectacular color that will liven up any dish.

Harvest Tip

To harvest, tip the tray about 45 degrees over a cutting board or a large plate using stainless steel scissors or a very sharp knife cut the beet microgreens just above the soil surface.

Try not to disturb the soil. If some soil does spill, it’s okay. Use your hands to fluff the cut microgreens; the soil particles will fall to the board or plate, where you can wipe them off. It’s always recommended to wash microgreens before you use them (I don’t if they are dry and clean) to be sure no bacteria is on the microgreens.

Cut only what you’re going to use that day. Replace the growing tray under the light and let them grow so more.

If you can’t use all of your beet microgreens before they grow too tall and leggy, cut them and place them in a zip-lock bag with several small slits cut in the bag.

Don’t wash the microgreens at this point.

You’ll want them dry, as they will stay fresher longer. Squeeze the air from the bag and store the microgreens in the refrigerator crisper.

beet microgreens harvested

A Note About Eating Beet Microgreens

It’s very common for some of the seed husks to remain on the ends of the microgreen plants. 

For most microgreens, this isn’t an issue. 

However, due to the size of the beet seeds and the thickness of the husk, don’t even think of eating the leftover seed husks on beet microgreens.

growing beet microgreen seeds

A nasty seed hull or husk.

Beet seed husks or hulls aren’t good eats.

One downfall of beet microgreens is cleaning the husks. We haven’t found a good way to remove them other than picking them off by hand.

We’ve tried to wash them off after harvest, but it isn’t foolproof, and the microgreens don’t hold up well to the water.

Experiments in Action!

Currently, we are working on growing methods to reduce the number of husks that remain on the microgreens as they grow. 

Below are the published beet articles.

All Articles About Beets

Beet Microgreens – Does Soaking the Seeds Improve Germination
Growing Beet Microgreens – Bull’s Blood Beets
Bull’s Blood Beet Microgreens – The Secret To Removing Seed Husks
How to Grow Beet Microgreens – Episode 20 of the Microgreens Podcast

Simple Right?

That’s all there is to growing beet microgreens. If you have any questions feel free to use the comment section below the article to ask. I’ll get right back to you.

Home Microgreens Store

Beet Microgreen Nutrition & Flavor

Beet microgreens have high levels of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Folate, and the minerals copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

They also contain thiamine, riboflavin, zinc as well and beta-carotenes.

Beets and beet microgreens have many more benefits than those listed, according to this article on beet nutrition.

You can download a chart presenting the vitamins and minerals for the most commonly grown microgreens by clicking the button below.

Beet Microgreen Flavor and How to Use Them

The flavor of beet microgreens is most commonly referred to as earthy. The flavor is also very similar to young beets if you can believe it.

It’s best to add beet microgreens to salads after you’ve dressed the salad. They look better that way, as oil-based dressings mat them down, and they aren’t as attractive.

The texture is crisp but juicy, especially before the first true leaves form.

They have the flavor to stand up to other ingredients like garlic, onions, and chives. 

Bull’s Blood Beet microgreens are most commonly used raw in salads, on sandwiches, or as garnishes. 

Another use we tried the other day was to chop them up quite finely and use them similar to a spread on sharp cheddar cheese and summer sausage on crackers. It was really good!

Interested in Growing Beet Microgreens?

If you’d like to try growing beet microgreens at home, use the buttons below to look at a Bull’s Blood Beet microgreen kit. Or, if you have the supplies, we carry Bull’s Blood Beet microgreen seeds.

Have a Question?

If you have any questions about growing beet microgreens or any other microgreen, please leave a comment below or reach out to me using the Ask a Question page

Author

  • Todd

    Todd is the founder of Home Microgreens & the Home Microgreens store. He also writes for several other websites, including MyViewFromTheWoods.com. Todd worked at a large farm market, garden & nursery center for 20 years. Somehow he snuck off to become a geologist and professor before coming back to his senses to write & lecture about microgreens and gardening. When not at the computer, he can be found in the garden, trout stream, or mountain trail with his new Springer Spaniel Caden.

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