The President and First Lady excluded beets from the White House garden in 2009. A beet campaign soon fallowed along with the YouTube video "Give Beets a Chance, Mr President".
Beets are cold tolerant and can survive a lite freeze. They do well when temperatures are between 60-65F but can germinate with temperatures ranging from 40 to 90F. ( Ideal range is 50-85F) Plant in early spring 4 weeks before the last spring frost and in late summer 10 weeks to 1 month before the killing frost. Soak the seeds in warm water for several hours or overnight prior to planting. This will soften the outer shell and speed up germination. Sow seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Several seedlings will emerge from one cluster seed. Thin to 2-3 inches apart when seedlings are 2-3 inches tall (seedlings are eatable).
Beets are related to Swiss chard and spinach.
Use floating row covers to protect from bugs.