Step one for beet planting (they get sowed directly) is to soak them. Soaking the seeds prior to planting them allows water to penetrate through the husk. The seed will do its work and absorb the water and since it is not competing with soil for the absorption, it gets a big ol’ dose that kick starts germination. A 24-hour soaking is about enough. (Soaking is not a good idea with all seed types.)
Here are the soaking pictures. Looks like grape nuts. Delicious.