Planting Instructions for More Wildlife Sugar Beets

Planting Tips and Maintenance

1. Before starting, read all planting instructions, planting tips, and maintenance.

2. Select flat areas with well-drained soils that hold some moisture. Avoid sandy soils, soils that are too moist, and hillsides that drain quickly. An ideal soil bed is well prepared, fertile, firm, and moist. Sugar Beets work best in light to heavy soil types.

3. Test and adjust soil pH to 6.2-6.5
i. If no soil test is available, add 2 tons of lime/acre for new food plots, or 1 ton/acre for established food plots that have been limed previously. Note* To speed things up skip to step #4 before applying lime while you are waiting for soil test to come back.

4. Check rules for your state and weed-kill if allowable and kill all weeds before planting this seed. Use herbicide weed control or tillage. Follow the directions for the weed-kill product you have purchased. Do not move to step 5 until you have waited at least 7 days after weed-kill has been applied.

5.Disc harrow or till thoroughly and then repeat after 5 days if needed. Do not over-till; doing so will result in loss of moisture. Then drag an old box spring mattress, chain link fence, or ATV harrow-drag to smooth out plot & fluff up top ½” for planting. Never plant seed deeper than ½”.

6. Add 200 #’s/acre of 15-15-15 or 19-19-19 or equivalent fertilizer. However, 19-19-19 is a better fertilizer for Sugar Beets. Fertilizer and seed should be done consecutive.

7. Before broadcasting seed, make sure light rain is in the near forecast. Sugar Beets require lots of rain to germinate.
a. For Sugar Beets, broadcast 10 lbs./acre
i. After broadcasting seed, lightly drag an old box spring mattress, chain link fence, or ATV harrow drag. Sugar Beets like to be planted deeper than most other seeds. Then roll with either a heavy-roller, cultipacker, or drive ATV over seed to ensure better seed-to-soil contact for better germination. Rolling is preferred.

8. 3-4 weeks after planting, or when plot reaches 2 inches tall, fertilize with Urea (46-0-0) at the rate of 20-30 #’s/acre or equivalent fertilizer. Apply fertilizer when plants are dry and rain is predicted within 24 hours otherwise fertilizer will dissipate. 6-8 weeks later apply (Urea) 46-0-0 at the rate of 50 #’s/acre. 6-8 weeks again apply (Urea) 46-0-0 at the rate of 50 #’s /acre. Only do third application if there is adequate rainfall throughout the summer.

1. Lime requires time to change pH, add lime as early as possible.
2. Avoid hot weather; plant when rain is in the near forecast.
3. Plant Sugar Beets early in the spring when garden planting in your area begins, usually by

early June, (Northern Planting Zone 4). Check your planting zone at
4. Do Not Mow. Replant annually

5. Never plant Sugar Beets in the same spot more than 2 years in a row.