How to Grow Beets In Paperpots (Paper Chain Pots)

Growing Beets in Paperpots

Better germination!

No hand transplanting!

Less transplant shock!

Growing beets in paper chain pots will increase your chances of having a successful crop.

Beets are a tricky crop for most market farmers. 

When direct seeding them it is very difficult to get good germination.  Given that, most growers transplant their beets.

But transplanting beets (the traditional way) brings its own set of problems.   The seedlings are tiny and delicate and transplanting takes a long time.

The Paperpot Transplanter solves this problem.

It allows you to germinate beet seeds in a controlled environment then quickly and easily transplant them into the field 14-28 days later.

All without bending over and less transplant shock!

Paperpot Beets

The Specifications for Paperpot Beets

ROWS PER 100’ X 30” BED4
TRAYS PER 100’ X 30” BED 3
KWIK KLIK™ TOP PLATE Plate: Paperpot (264 holes) / Thickness: 3mm / Hole Diameter: 5mm
SEED PER 100’ X 30’ BED760 seeds (+/-) *Always round up when placing seed orders to ensure having enough
RECOMMENDED CULTIVARSBoro, Chioggia, Avalanche, Red Ace
GERMINATION 48 hours at 86°F
DAYS TO TRANSPLANT 28 days (+/-) *time from seeding to transplanting in the field
DAYS TO MATURITY 50 days (+/-) *time from seeding to being ready for harvest
HARVEST WINDOW20 days (+/-) *time crop is at ideal stage for harvest after reaching maturity
TOTAL DAYS IN FIELD 42 days (+/-) *DTM + harvest window - days to transplant
HARVEST UNIT Bunch (3-4 beets per bunch, 2.5-3.5" diameter bottoms)
TARGET CROP YIELD 217 bunches (+/-)
PRICE PER UNIT $3 *depending on local market pricing
REVENUE PER BED $650 *depending on local market pricing
SEEDINGKwik Klik™ Drop Seeder, Paperpot Germination Trays, Paper Chain Pots
TRANSPLANTINGPaperpot Transplanter
TILTHINGPower Harrow or Precision Depth Roller (With no tractor: Tither)
AERATIONMeadow Creature Broadfork
SHAPINGBed Preparation Rake
CULTIVATIONWheel Hoe w/Bio-Disc Cultivator, or Flex Tine Weeder

Suggested Tools for Paperpot Beets

Bed Preparation for Paperpot Transplanting

  • Broadfork the bed to aerate and loosen the soil.
  • Smooth and shape the bed with a bed preparation rake, removing any debris.
  • Beets will do well in beds freshly amended with fertilizer.
  • Here are two options:
    • 1) Layer on 1” of compost, enough to mostly cover the native soil.
    • 2) Sprinkle on a combination of alfalfa meal and pelleted chicken manure.
  • If layering compost, do not tilth in hopes of smothering any surface weed seed.
  • If adding amendments, tilth the top 1-2” of soil to mix in amendments.
  • Calcium and Boron are also important amendments for beets. Without sufficient boron, beet growth suffers and the roots develop internal black spots.
  • Irrigate for 10-14 days*, allowing any weed seed in top layer of soil to germinate.
  • Flame weed the bed when the cotyledons of the weed seeds have emerged.

Growing Beets in Paperpots

Seeding Beets in Paperpots

Prepare trays with 6” paper chain pots, and fill with potting mix. 

Install Paperpot bottom plate and specified top plate into Kwik Klik™ (KK) Drop Seeder. Pour seed onto the top plate and rotate until one seed fills each hole. 

Position the KK Drop Seeder over the tray, ensuring the holes are lined up with the cells, and click to drop the seeds. 

Water the trays, then place in germination chamber for 48 hours at 86°. 

Transfer the trays to greenhouse tables after germination. 

Depending on location conditions the time in the nursery can range from 14-28 days.

Thoroughly water trays before heading to the field for transplanting.

Using the Paperpot Transplanter, plant the four rows of beets.

Four rows on a 30″ bed: 7.5” between rows, 3.75” from the outer rows to the edge of the bed. 

Reference for instructional videos if needed.

Transplanting Beets with the Paperpot Transplanter


Water the beds thoroughly with overhead irrigation, or four rows of drip.  

Not enough water during the warm season causes the plants to bolt and the beet roots to crack and become tough. 

Frequent shallow waterings will help maintain flavor and support rapid growth. 

10-14 days after transplanting, cultivate using a Terrateck Wheel Hoe with the bio-disc cultivator attachment. This tool will cultivate both on the row and in between rows in a single pass. Repeat  7-10 days later. 

A weekly pass with the flex tine weeder is also an effective tool for preventing weeds.  

Cultivation (Weeding)

Harvesting Beets

Baby beets are ready for harvest when the bottoms are 2.5-3.5”. 

Harvest in the kneeling position, bunching 3-4 beets together.  

Remove yellows leaves and discard any misshapen/damaged beets in the field while bunching. 

Using a sprayer over a root wash table, spray each bunch while rotating until all soil is thoroughly cleaned off. 

Transfer the washed bunches to totes, and store at 35° until taken to market.

Washing and Packing Beets

Overall Paper Chain Pots make beets a much more farmer-friendly crop.

Time savings, ease of transplanting, and high germination rates are some of the reasons why beets are a popular crops grown in paperpots.

Get started growing beets on your farm using a Paperpot Transplanter and download the Growers Notes below.


If you have any questions, please reach out or 877.850.1555.