Beetroot is a nutritious easy to grow vegetable. It doesn’t need much space for growing. So, it’s ideal for those who are beginners in vegetable gardening.
If you really want to crop this vegetable continuously, harvest the tender and young roots. Moreover, you can also enjoy the delicious taste throughout the year. But for that purpose, you have to grow varieties that are suitable for winter storage.
Here’re some tips that will help you in sowing beetroot:
- Sow three seeds at a distance of 4 inches in rows which are around 1 foot apart.
- Sow the seeds in at least 1-inch depth
- Choose varieties that are resistant to bolting if you want to sow earlier.
- Sow under the fleece or cloches for earlier sowing in late February or early March. However, if you’re going to sow from late March, there is no need for any protection.
- Succession sow from March or April to July. Ensure sowing in small batches with an interval of two weeks. In this way, you can regularly get tasty and tender roots.
- Sow the winter varieties in June if you want to store beetroot for winter use.
The best condition for beetroot growth is well-drained and fertile soil.
Follow these simple tips if you really want to harvest well-grown beets.
- Apply a bucketful of mulch (organic matter or well-rotted garden compost) in the soil before sowing.
- Then, add a handful of general fertilizers per square metre/yard. (If using bonemeal, apply using gloves, and you should wear a mask. See our article on bonemeal.
- Sit back and wait for the beetroot to grow. Only kidding – there are tons of gardening jobs that need your undivided attention!
- When the seedlings are about 1 inch in size, thin them out to give them enough space to grow. Make sure there is one seedling at every 4 inches.
- Water the plants regularly. An interval f 10-14 days is enough during dry spells.
- Apply high nitrogen fertilizer in case of poor plant growth. Spread at least 30g of fertilizer in 1oz per square m/yd. When it comes to the best high nitrogen fertilizer, you can consider sulphate of ammonia.
So, after the sowing and growing period, it’s time to see the fruits of your hard work. So, we’ll now discuss when to and how to harvest this vegetable.
You can harvest from early summer to mid-autumn. You might be thinking – which is the right time to harvest beetroot throughout this period? Well, it depends on two things.
- The time when you had sown the beetroot seed
- The variety of beetroot that you had sown
When it comes to harvesting the beetroot, it’s a very simple method.
- Notice the size of the root. If these are about the size of a golf ball, pull them out. However, make sure you have pulled alternate plants. This allows space for the remaining ones to continue to grow.
- Allow the roots which have not reached the appropriate size to grow further. You can also harvest these roots once they are of golf ball size.
Bolting, as it is called, is the production of the premature flowering stem before the time of harvesting. It is also known as a natural process to produce seeds and reproduce. It usually happens in warmer, drier weather.
- Choose to sow varieties that are resistant to bolting. (The one that comes to mind is Beetroot Boltardy. I grow these a lot).
- Never miss the right time of sowing.
- Water the soil at the appropriate time and keep the compost moist.
Beetroot is the kind of vegetable that some love, some hate (a bit like Marmite). But the benefits of eating beetroot raw in smoothies, for example, are numerous. Give them a try – you too may actually grow to like it!
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I can think of around 20 varieties of beetroot. Here are a few of the popular ones:
Check out 7 Ways to Cook Beetroot with Hello Fresh