How to Grow Beetroot
Beetroot, or beets as they are also known a great addition to the Vegetable garden. Their green/burgundy leaves also add an attractive angle to your vegetable garden patch. Beetroot is available in a wide range of amazing varieties, from white and orange to "bulls eye" that when cut looks like a target with red and white rings, right through to the traditional deep red/burgundy coloured varieties. They are a relatively hardy root crop that can be boiled and peeled (very easy) for pickling to add to salads, or mashed or roasted. The younger leaves can also be added to salad lettuce mixes to add that splash of colour too.
Beetroot is considered a root crop and can be palnted with other root vegetables. They like well drained, friable deep soil for the roots, with the main edible "bulb" developing mostly above soil level. Best grown in position from seed. The seeds are actually a cork like cluster of multiple seeds that should be soaked in a glass of water for several hours before planting to help germination. Ensure the seeds are well spaced as the clusters may sprout several seedlings.
Position: Full Sun to partial shade
Plant: Can be grown in pots or planted out as seedlings in mid spring when the soil temperature has warmed
Frost Tolerant: No. Heat tolerant: Yes - but protect from extreme summer heat to prevent sunburn.
Feeding: If planted in well composted soil, feeding is not necessary and will lead to excess leaf growth at the expense of the bulb developing.
Planting group: Treated as all other root vegetables can be planted in with onions and also share space with the cucurbits.
Pests: Main pests are birds/slugs/snails as young seedlings.
Harvesting: Pull the plants when plump bulbs have developed, usually about the sze of an apple. Larger roots tend to be tough. Do not cut off the leaf tops as the plant will "bleed". Remove all the leaves immediately after pulling by twisting or screwing off the leaves. Store in the refridgerator until cooking. Leaves can also be added to salads for a colorful mix.