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Growing Beetroot, also Beets

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

(Best months for growing Beetroot in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 7°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 7-10 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Onions, Silverbeet (Swiss Chard), Lettuce, Cabbage, Dwarf Beans, Dill, Peas. Strawberries
  • Avoid growing close to: Asparagus, Carrots, Sweetcorn, Spinach
  • Seedlings before thinning
    Seedlings before thinning
  • Young beetroot
    Young beetroot

Soak seeds in water 24 hours before planting so that you can separate the seeds. Thinning is nearly always required as seedlings emerge from a seedball of several seeds. If you don't thin them, you will get a number of rather pathetic plants which don't grow to an edible size. Harvest in 55 - 70 days but will keep in ground for longer.

Keep well-watered as dry beetroot develop a woody and inedible core. Tip from the Italian Gardener ' Make sure the top of the beet's bulb is covered with soil; this keeps the entire bulb the same color and prevents 'corkiness' at the top of the bulb." For tasty and tender beetroot, start harvesting at golfball-size.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beetroot

Apart from boiling whole for salads, beetroot roast well, cut in wedges.
They also make a tasty salad grated raw with carrot and a little fresh orange juice.

Your comments and tips

23 Apr 17, Gary (Australia - temperate climate)
can beetroot grow in wicking beds? What other vegetables would be ok to grow? This is a new venture as we will not be home for one to two weeks at a time and would like to work in the garden when we get home.
22 May 17, Sabena Winston (Australia - temperate climate)
Grew enormous beetroot in our wicking bed. Good luck.
23 Apr 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
The principle behind a wicking bed is that the water is drawn up by 'wicking' (like a candle or kerosene lamp). Any vegetable should grow in this system except maybe long carrots or parsnips that need deeper soil or growing medium. The wicking is only effective up to a certain depth. Try it and let us know how you go.
19 Jun 17, gary (Australia - temperate climate)
have planted beet in wicking bed from seed and all seeds germinated. Very happy with results with plants looking healthy. Tried silver beet and have been cultivating leaves for a while now. Once again, very happy with outcome. Planted leeks and brown onion and all have taken off. Snow peas are growing well. Will comment on the beds when all plants are near cultivation.Have not tried deep rooted vegies, such as carrots but will give them a go. Have 300 mls of soil to play with. This experiment has surprised me so far.
20 Apr 17, Beverly (Australia - temperate climate)
When is the best time in Melbourne to transplant beetroot seedlings (which were bought recently from a nursery)? Can the plants be transplanted in autumn?
21 Apr 17, Ken (Australia - temperate climate)
You can plant beetroot seedlings now. try seeds next time as they are easy to sow and grow well without transplanting disturbance.
16 Apr 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I read people's comments about manures being rich in N. Manures only have about 1-4% N. You would have to apply a lot of manure to have a high % N. Rather expensive if buying the manure. I apply a fert with about 15% N. The secret is how much to apply. My beetroot plants are quite leafy and produce good sized beets - from 1" to 5". Maybe people need to look more at the right time of the year to plant. There is a good planting guide on this web site. When people say they had a failure with a crop they should state what time of the year they planted.
09 Apr 17, Stuart (Australia - temperate climate)
Beetroot and Turnip have plenty of green top but bottom all like string??
10 Apr 17, Ken (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Sounds a bit like too much nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen, from fresh manure, will give big tops and is ideal for lettuces and other leaf crops. Roots will be spindly as you mention. If this is the case you could use the small roots in a soup or salad and replant the spot with a leaf crop. plant turnips and beets after when some of the nitrogen has been used from the soil.
05 Jul 17, Chris P (Australia - temperate climate)
If you do get a beetroot crop with plenty of foliage, keep in mind that the green leaves and red stems are edible too! The stems have a texture a bit like celery, and the leaves are very flavourful. Both leaves and stems are crunchy when fresh and hold a bit of crunch even when cooked. They will stay green and fresh for a week or more after being harvested if you leave them attached to the root. You can use beet greens in any dish where you'd use spinach or silverbeet, fresh or cooked.
Showing 1 - 10 of 237 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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