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Beetroot  - Key Growing Information

Beetroot is a versatile and nutritious root vegetable that is easy to grow in a home garden. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, following the right methods can help you achieve a high yield of delicious and healthy beetroots. This guide will cover the best practices for growing beetroot, including planting methods, spacing, watering, and choosing the right varieties.

Scientific Name

Beta vulgaris

Crop Culture

Beetroots, known for their edible roots and leaves, prefer cool temperatures and can be grown in spring and fall. They thrive in full sun to light shade and require well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5. Before planting, enrich the soil with compost or a balanced organic fertilizer.

  • Planting Time: Beetroot seeds can be direct-sown in the garden as soon as the soil is workable in spring. For a continuous harvest, sow seeds every 2-3 weeks until mid-summer. In areas with mild winters, you can also plant beetroots in late summer for a fall harvest.


Proper spacing and planting are crucial for healthy beetroot growth.

  • Depth and Spacing: Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep, spacing them 1-2 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart. Beetroot seeds are actually clusters of 2-4 seeds, so thinning is necessary to give each plant enough space to grow. Thin the seedlings to 3-4 inches apart once they have a couple of true leaves.
  • Clump Sowing: Sowing beetroot in clumps (2-3 seeds per clump) can save space and result in a larger harvest. Thin out the weaker seedlings after they germinate, leaving the strongest plant in each clump.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during seed germination and early growth. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.

Soil and Watering

Beetroot prefers well-drained soil rich in organic matter.

  • Soil Preparation: Work compost or well-rotted manure into the soil before planting to improve fertility.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Watering regularly helps prevent bolting (premature flowering) and ensures even root development. Mulching can help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Recommended Varieties

Choosing the right variety can enhance your growing experience and yield. Here are some beetroot varieties that are good for solving common problems and avoiding bolting:

Variety Description Benefits
'Boltardy' Reliable and bolt-resistant with round, deep red roots Excellent for early sowing, avoids bolting
'Detroit 2' Sweet and tender, with smooth skin Consistent size, good for storage
'Chioggia' Striking pink and white rings inside Unique appearance, good flavor
'Cylindra' Long, cylindrical roots Easy to slice, uniform size
'Golden' Bright yellow flesh, mild flavor Attractive color, less earthy taste

Preventing Common Problems

Certain varieties and cultivation methods can help prevent or reduce common problems associated with growing beetroot.

  • Avoiding Bolting: Choose bolt-resistant varieties like 'Boltardy' and ensure consistent moisture levels. Avoid stress conditions such as irregular watering and extreme temperatures.
  • Pest Control: Keep an eye out for pests like aphids and beet leaf miners. Use organic insecticides or introduce beneficial insects to keep pest populations under control.
  • Disease Management: Practice crop rotation and ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases like powdery mildew and downy mildew.

Harvesting Beetroot

Knowing when and how to harvest beetroot is crucial for the best flavor and yield.

  • Harvest Time: Beetroot is typically ready to harvest 8-10 weeks after sowing. The roots should be about the size of a golf ball or larger, depending on the variety.
  • Signs of Readiness: Harvest beetroots when they are about 1.5-3 inches in diameter. The roots should be firm and the size specified for the variety you are growing. The leaves can also be harvested for greens.
  • Harvesting Method: Gently lift the roots from the soil using a fork or spade to avoid damaging them. Cut off the tops, leaving about 2 cm of stem to prevent bleeding.

Storage and Preservation

  • Short-Term Storage: Beetroots can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
  • Long-Term Storage: For long-term storage, keep them in a cool, humid place like a root cellar, where they can last for several months. Beetroots can also be pickled, canned, or frozen after blanching.

Additional Tips for a Successful Harvest

  • Temperature: Beetroot thrives in temperatures between 10-25°C. Protect young plants from late frosts and provide shade during extreme heat.
  • Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer at planting and again midway through the growing season to support healthy growth and root development.
  • Weed Control: Keep the bed weed-free to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Mulching helps with weed suppression.

Growing Beetroot in Containers

Beetroot can also be grown successfully in containers, making them perfect for small spaces such as balconies.

  • Container Size: Use a pot that is at least 20 cm deep.
  • Soil: Use a high-quality potting mix enriched with compost.
  • Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist and ensure the container has good drainage.

By following these guidelines and choosing the right varieties, you can enjoy a plentiful harvest of delicious beetroot. Whether you have a large garden or just a small balcony, beetroot is a rewarding and versatile crop to grow.