no matter the amount of care and time one always seem to come up with a situation in which their beet (beta vulgaris) seed germinates much too close together. that was the case in the hoop house where we planted beets a couple of weeks ago.
while it might seem like failure, it’s just the way beets are. what we see as a seed is actually multiple seeds – a seed cluster. i’ve often heard it referred to as like a dried up berry – with multiple seeds in each one. even though you put one “seed” per spot, often you get 3 or 4 plants spouting up from the seed cluster.
much as you might not want to, you have to thin these, or else you will end up with no good beets. don’t think of it as a bad thing – in fact don’t even call it thinning, call it harvesting. i harvest once to get a bit more space between the beets; collecting the tiny beet seedlings and using them as micro greens in salad. a few weeks later when they are much bigger i harvest again to give them enough space to make full size roots. the thinnings i harvest used in salad mix, or stemmed briefly for the most tender beet greens. i get at least three harvests out of one seeding!
enjoy the beets!