Interested in Growing Sugar Beets in New Brunswick
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Meagan Ferris
Posted: Before April 1998

I am interested in growing sugar beets in New Brunswick. I was wondering if you can tell me what kind of soil to use, temperature, how far apart to plant them, when they should be planted and when they should be harvested and anything else that you feel would be beneficial to me.

Sugar beets need a deep, well drained soil, rich in nitrogen. In the home garden, the soil needs to be turned over down to at least 30 cm (1 ft) and ample well-rotted manure should be worked in. Seeds are planted in rows 55 cm (22 inches) apart and are spaced 6-9 cm (3/4 to 1-1/4 inches) apart within the rows. The depth should be 2-3 cm (1/2 inch). For commercial production, the seeding rate is approximately 10-15 kg of seeds per hectare.

The seeds should be planted as soon as possible in spring, even at the risk of frost. The earlier seeds are in the ground, the larger will be the yield.

The roots are harvested after the fall frosts. Since cool temperatures promote elevated sugar content, it is important to wait until the frosts have arrived.

Free instructions for making sugar from sugar beets are included with Richters seeds. The process is somewhat involved, and requires some chemicals from the local pharmacy, but the effort is most worthwhile because the result is natural raw sugar and molasses rich in nutrients that are are stripped store-bought white sugar.

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