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Mother Earth News, Sep/Oct 1987
The Easiest Seed-Saving Crops
By Nancy Bubel

The dusty-fine pollen of beets (like that of spinach) can be carried a mile away by the wind. Garden beets will also cross with sugar beets and with Swiss chard, so keep your seed beets isolated from other blooming relations (or grow Swiss chard and beets in alternate years). Plant your firmest, shapeliest cellar-saved roots about 18 inches apart in spring. Six to eight of these will produce plenty of seed for a family garden by summer.

The Arc Institute

Beets like alkaline soil, not acid. Each seed is really a seed pod containing several, so 3-5 plants emerge and should be thinned to the single strongest plant. Two crops per year can be planted, early spring and mid-summer. Plant 1/2” deep, 3” apart, rows 2’ apart.

Seed from Sugar beets would be the same as from regular beets. They are biennial so you won't see any the first season. Keep several of small to moderate size over winter and replant (bury) the following Spring. They should quickly go to seed. They will grow a tall, branched stalk loaded with tiny flowers. When they are matured, cut them to ground and hang upside down to dry. You can strip the seed from the stalks by hand and winnow out the chaff.

Offered by Roger.