Growing Beetroot, also Beets

Beta vulgaris : Amaranthaceae / the amaranth family

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
  • Young beetroot
  • Seedlings before thinning

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

08 Dec 07, Tim (Unknown climate)
If growing by seed, always plant in two's. beetroot dont always sprout up.
12 Jan 08, Liz (Australia - tropical climate)
Keep well watered in dry spells or else they get "woody" ie hard.
16 Jul 08, Stephen (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Beetroot are a form of chard/silverbeet and the leaves are just as tasty. Lightly steam or stir fry. The stalks (if not woody) are great chopped up and used in casseroles.
29 Jul 08, Barbara in Lane Cove (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I've had success with "chitting" the beetroot seed - ie" soaking it on a shallow tray between two layers of kitchen paper. You need to keep the paper wet. Keep an eye on them, and you'll see which seeds are sprouting, and just plant those. Has increased my success rate. Also highlights when a batch of seeds is past it (despite what the packet says).
13 Nov 08, Peter (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, i'm just wondering if beetroot needs to be prepared in any way before eating?
28 Nov 08, john mcentee (Australia - temperate climate)
any body got good tips for cooking beetroot
28 Nov 08, john mcentee (Australia - temperate climate)
hi new gardner here how do you know when to pick beetroot
28 Nov 08, Cristy Adrian (Australia - temperate climate)
i've planted some seedlings that are about 3-4 inches tall, most are doing well but on a few the lower leaves are turning yellow or getting paler. should i remove these leaves or leave them on? new to growing vegetables, any tips?
01 Dec 08, Cath (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Beetroots are very versatile and eaten raw or cooked. Grate like carrots and add to salads, boil like a potato, bake in the oven like a potato (cooks faster), use in soups, make dips. Nice with cumin and coriander.
15 Dec 08, mark (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
re:john mcentee,cooking beetroot..boil till they slide off big fork when poked,drain,peel(skin comes off easy when hot),slice or leave whole,bottle in sterilised jars (with airtight lid,must be airtight) and cover with secret ingredient then seal.....(SECRET INGREDIENT-in 2 litre jug dissolve 1 cup of white sugar with 2 cups of boiling water then fill with combination of half brown vinegar,half cold water,pour this in bottles untill it covers beetroot,may have to shake bottle whilst filling..goodluck)
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