A beetroot ready for harvesting
I must admit I'm not really a beetroot eater. As a kid I'd always throw
away the beetroot from homemade and fete hamburgers. But Paula has always
enjoyed the stuff so we grow it.
While most beetroots have a red bulbous root there is a lot of choices
available to the gardener with different colours and shapes. We're currently
growing Italian Chioggria beetroot which has concentric pink and white
circles when its globe shaped root is cut open.
Beetroot grows in almost all climatic conditions, but degenerate
in quality when very hot or very cold.
It can be grown in either full sun or partial shade.
The soil should have a little lime added and preferably been manured
the previous season.
In a 4 bed rotation system beetroot
is grown with carrots, onions, garlic, parsnips and other root crops.
Always directly sow your beetroot seeds where they'll grow.
The beetroot "seed" is actually a shell with a cluster
of seeds inside. This means it's very important to thin out all but
the strongest seedlings leaving an inch between them. As the seedlings
develop further you'll need to halve your crop again (2 inches between
beets). It breaks your heart at the time but it's worth it in the
Keep the water up to them otherwise your beetroot could taste a bit
Beetroot is usually ready in around 3 or 4 months. Lift it
from the ground, being careful not to damage the root, and twist
off the leaves. If you don't do this the leaves will draw water
out of the root which will dry it out.
Some people eat beetroot leaves. But remember they contain
oxalic acid, which some people can have a nasty reaction to,
so think first before adding beetroot leaves to salads.
17 November, 2008
Using this site is conditional on you reading and agreeing with
our Disclaimer and Copyright
statements © 1998-2008.