Beetroot is a popular root vegetable that’s packed with nutrients and tastes great roasted or just chopped or grated raw into a salad.
It’s easy to grow and won’t make too many demands, although rich soil will certainly give you the best tasting beets. Sow a handful beetroot every couple of weeks to enjoy a season of these delicious vegetables.
For lovers of baby beets, the root can be harvested early, or enjoy the complete beet experience when they are tender and tennis ball sized, at the peak of their growth.
Read more on how to grow beetroot below.
If you choose beetroot that doesn’t bolt, you can sow at the very end of the winter, but you’ll need to keep it under cover. Beetroot sown in early summer can be harvested and kept throughout the winter. Choose different varieties to give you a choice all year round beets.
Take a couple of seeds and plant them around 3cm deep and at 10cm intervals. If you’re planting in rows, keep them about 30cm apart. When the shoots come though you can thin them out. These young beets can be eaten raw in salads.
Beetroot is one of the best veg for growing in large containers, like a VegTrug. Plant your seeds in combination with a high quality, well-drained soil. The roots aren’t happy when there are a lot of large stones.
Water your beets regularly and keep the area around them free of weeds, which will compete for light and nutrients.
If they need a perk, give your beets a boost with a nitrogen fuelled plant fertiliser.
When approaching how to grow beetroot properly, you’ll need to consider pests and problems too. Snails and slugs might take a shining to your beets, and fresh leaves can be attractive to birds. A VegTrug can help stop snails climbing, or if your beets are in the ground, try a layer of eggshells or sawdust. While the beets are fresh and young cover with nets to help keep birds at bay.
If your beets get too large they become woody and won’t have that tender taste you want, so choose to harvest early rather than late.
Make sure that you twist rather than cut the tops off, not too near to the roots themselves. Store them in sand in a cool place for use over the winter.
When cooking, wash the beet gently and keep the roots in place to retain the succulent flavours.
How to grow beetroot is part of the VegTrug Grower’s Guide.