Growing Beetroot, also Beets

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

(Best months for growing Beetroot in USA - Zone 5a 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 45°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches 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
  • 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

21 Jul 20, Andrew (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Subtropical QLD - I germinated beetroot seeds in June and planted out in July. One seedling has flowers on it already. We have had cold weather and I also thought beetroot were biennial. Is this normal for flowers to get on plants so quickly?
22 Jul 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is a biennial but is treated as an annual. I have grown beetroot for 40 years and have never had any flower. I'm sub- tropical and have beetroot about 10 weeks old in the garden now. I pickle mine. I would say it is just some weird seed. A plant will go to seed early when the soil nutrient is running out and lack of water. I currently have ice berg lettuce and red cabbage where 7 plants each look fine with a nice head and one other plant is a big leafy plant with no head, 2-3 times the size of the others.
24 Jul 20, Andrew (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I found out why my beetroot got flowers: because they aren't beetroot, they are Hon Tsai Tai. Whoops!
27 Jul 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have grown Hon Tsai Tai for the last 3 years. I have 3 plants that are just about finished flowering. Lots of seed pods on them. Love watching the bees in the morning on the flowers.
26 Jun 20, Sue (USA - Zone 8b climate)
My beets have been in the ground for sometime now. I have tried to thin. The plant is now at least 12 inches tall. As I thin some of the smaller plants there is very little to no 'beet'? It is just a very small root the size and shape of a pencil about an inch long. Any suggestions? Thanks
06 Aug 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Read how long it takes for beetroot to grow. No use worrying if they are only 5 weeks old if it takes 10 weeks to produce good size beets. Also don't over feed with too much nitrogen.
19 Jun 20, Anthony Peddie (New Zealand - temperate climate)
What fertilizer do you recommend for beetroot seedlings. Can you grow peas at this time of the year.
20 Jun 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Any general garden fertiliser - just not too high in Nitrogen - you want the beet to grow not a huge amount of leaf. Peas check the planting time here for them.
05 Apr 20, ange (Australia - arid climate)
container gardening in foam and fruit boxes.....how much depth will beetroot require....also carrots....meaning the space to really grow
06 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
250-300mm of soil.
Showing 1 - 10 of 328 comments

My beets have been in the ground for sometime now. I have tried to thin. The plant is now at least 12 inches tall. As I thin some of the smaller plants there is very little to no 'beet'? It is just a very small root the size and shape of a pencil about an inch long. Any suggestions? Thanks

- Sue

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