How to Grow Beetroot

beetroot

Beetroot is an annual which is quick and easy growing.

Position: Prefers open and sunny but tolerates shade. Fertile, free-draining soil.

Sowing season: Mid-spring to late Autumn.

Sowing method: Soak seeds overnight (even 2-3 hours will speed germination) and sow thinly.

Spacing: After 2-3 weeks thin out by pinching tops off plants to 5-10cm between plants, 30cm between rows.

Watering: Mulch and keep well-watered or the roots will go woody. Don’t over-water.

Fertilising: Occasional, with weak liquid seaweed or manure solution.

Growing period: 10-12 weeks.

Size: 15-20cm height.

Harvesting: Smaller roots have a sweeter taste. Twist leaves for salad off the plant instead of cutting them. Pick evenly to allow remaining plants to grow into the larger space.

Suitable for: Containers (use smaller beetroot varieties) or vegetable beds.

Good companion plants: Onions, Silverbeet, Lettuce, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Dwarf beans.

Bad companions: Climbing beans.

Hazards: Beetroot is quite hardy but protect during frost and water well in hot weather. Doesn’t like acidic soil.

Common pests: Relatively free of pests.

Common diseases: Relatively free of diseases.

Storage: Cool, dark, humid. Cut leaves off about 5cm above the root before storing.

Tips: As beetroot has a long growing season, you can sow each row 2-3 weeks apart so that you have a steady stream of beetroot rather than a glut.

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