Growing Beetroot: A Step-By-Step Guide
November 22, 2023
Beetroot is an increasingly popular vegetable that is known for its high nutritional value and distinctive earthy flavor. It is most commonly eaten cooked, but can be juiced or even pickled. Beetroot is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fibers, and has a range of potential health benefits. It can also be used to add a unique flavor and color to many dishes.
Follow us to keep learning!
Cheatsheet: Growing Beetroot
Choose non-GMO beet varieties for better flavor and nutrition.
Ensure well-drained, loamy soil with a pH level of 6.0-7.5.
- Direct sow seeds or transplant seedlings 2 inches apart.
- Sow 1/2 inch deep in rows spaced 12 inches apart.
Keep soil consistently moist; avoid overwatering for tastier beets.
Apply balanced organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.
Thin seedlings to maintain spacing of 4 inches between plants.
Protect against pests like aphids, beet leafhoppers, and flea beetles.
Harvest beets when they reach 1.5-3 inches in diameter.
Store beets in a cool, dark, and humid place to prolong freshness.
Beets are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential minerals.
Beets were used in ancient Greece as an aphrodisiac.
Beetroots (Beta vulgaris) are a popular root vegetable often grown as part of a backyard veggie patch. With their deep crimson hue and delicate sweet flavor, they make a colorful addition to salads and other dishes. Growing beetroot is easy and straightforward and can usually be done in a matter of weeks. Here, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide for how to get your own beetroot patch up and running.
Step 1: Selecting The Right Variety
Beetroots come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. It’s important to do some research and select a variety suitable to your climate. For example, 'Early Wonder' beetroot is generally a better choice for regions with cooler summers. In hotter, humid climates, 'Detroit Dark Red' is a better option. It's also advised to choose a seed variety that is disease-resistant for a more bountiful crop.
Step 2: Preparing The Soil
It’s essential to prepare the soil before sowing the seeds. Choose a spot in full sun and work with a trowel to loosen the soil. Beetroots prefer slightly acidic, nutrient-rich soil, so it’s a good idea to add some compost or aged manure into the mix. If you’re a beginner, and want to get a quick result, you can also buy a special potting mix specifically designed for beetroots.
Step 3: Planting The Seeds
Beetroots generally take 40 to 50 days to reach their full size. With this in mind, mark off a piece of soil measuring around two feet in length and then create rows that are approximately 1 inch deep. Sow seeds that are about 1 inch apart and firm them into the soil. Water thoroughly after planting.
Step 4: Growing And Harvesting
Beetroots need about an inch of water every week. Make sure to water your patch evenly and deeply. If the weather is especially hot and dry, increase watering to 1.5 inches per week. The beetroots are ready to be harvested when the root is about 2.5 inches in size. Use your hands to pull the beetroot from the soil. If the soil is hard, a garden fork may be easier.
Step 5: Curing The Roots
Curing is a storage technique that helps preserve the beetroots’ sweet flavor and deep red color. After harvesting, trim off the leaves and rinse the roots. Place the beetroots in a cardboard box in a single layer, cover with damp newspaper and store in a cool area. Leave for around 20 days and then move them to a cooler storage area.
Step 6: Cooking The Beetroots
After curing the beetroots, they are ready to be cooked. Beetroots can be boiled, steamed, roasted, pickled and even added to salads. Make sure to remove the skins before eating.
Tips And Tricks
Growing beetroot doesn’t have to be tricky. Here are some extra tips for a bumper harvest:
- Beetroot leaves also make a delicious salad. Harvest the leaves when they are young and tender.
- Mulch the soil with compost and straw to help retain moisture. A layer of around 2 inches should do the trick.
- Regular weeding is essential. Beetroots tend to be quite small and get easily crowded out by weeds.
- Beetroots are sensitive to frost, so if temperatures drop, cover them with a blanket or plastic sheet.
Following the steps above, anyone can start growing their own beetroots at home. With a bit of patience and some good soil, you can enjoy the rewards of your bounty. Happy gardening!
Frequently Asked Questions - Growing Beetroot
1. When is the best time to grow beetroot?
Beetroot is best grown in early spring or late summer.
2. Where should I plant my beetroot?
Choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil for your beetroot garden.
3. How deep should I plant the beetroot seeds?
Plant beetroot seeds 1 inch deep in the soil.
4. How often should I water my beetroot?
Keep the soil moist, watering your beetroot regularly to ensure proper growth.
5. How long does it take for beetroot to grow?
On average, expect beetroot to mature in 8 to 10 weeks.
6. Do beetroot plants require fertilization?
Yes, beetroot benefits from a balanced fertilizer application during planting.
7. What pests should I watch out for when growing beetroot?
Beware of aphids, slugs, and snails that can harm your beetroot plants.
8. How do I know when to harvest my beetroot?
Beetroot is ready to harvest when the roots are about 1-3 inches in diameter.
9. Can I store harvested beetroot?
Absolutely! Store your harvested beetroot in a cool and dark place for up to several months.
10. Can I eat the beetroot leaves?
Yes, beetroot leaves are edible and make a nutritious addition to salads and stir-fries.
Beetroot is a highly nutritious vegetable with a range of health benefits. It is an excellent source of folate and manganese, and is a good source of copper, dietary fiber, magnesium and phosphorus. Beetroot is also rich in antioxidants and helps with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Beetroot juice in particular has been found to improve athletic performance, making it popular among athletes. Beetroot is a versatile vegetable, easy to grow and great for adding flavor and nutrition to any meal.