Kevin Parker is a senior horticulturist at The Greenery Garden and Home. He says, "Out of all the veggies, beetroot is probably one of the easier to grow apart from radish, and they are quick-growing veggies. They can be ready to harvest in about ten weeks."
"You can get results fairly quickly with the occasional water and feed."
How to plant beetroot
Before you plant your beetroot seeds, you must soak them overnight. They have a hard coating, so softening the seed will help germination.
Beetroot is best planted from seed, but can also be planted from seedlings. Here's how:
- Loosen the soil with a garden fork or shovel.
- Sow seeds 1.5 cm apart, 1 cm deep.
- Pat down and water.
- After germination, thin out the seedlings, so they are 15 cm apart.
- If you notice the roots popping out of the ground, you may need to hill up the soil.
How to care for beetroot
Beetroot grows well in full sun but will tolerate part shade, between 4 and 6 hours of sun per day.
Beetroot can be grown in most climates at any time of the year.
Zone 1: September to April
Zone 2: July to April
Zones 3 and 4: anytime
The soil needs to be well-draining. Kevin says, "They don't have many problems other than poorly drained soil and wet conditions."
Be careful not to overwater beetroot. Too much water can cause the roots to rot. Water more regularly in the first month, but after that, about once a week should be fine.
Kevin says the occasional fertiliser is all beetroot needs.
Keep an eye out for snails and slugs in the early days of growing your beetroot. Here's how to deal with snails in your yard.
How to grow beetroot in pots
Beetroots can easily be grown in pots if the conditions are right. Make sure your pot is at least 20cm wide, has adequate drainage, and is in a nice sunny spot.
Like planting in the garden, you want to soak your seeds the night before to help them germinate.
Sow your seeds a cm deep using a good quality potting mix around 7 cm apart and water in.
How do you know when beetroot is ready to harvest
Leaves can be harvested for salads from around six weeks. Pick the outer leaves first, making sure you leave 5-6 on the plant, so it continues growing.
Harvest beetroots when the roots are the size of a golf ball, and that's also when they are the sweetest.
"One of the easiest ways to know if the beetroot is ready is they push themselves out of the soil so you can see the crown with the leaves coming out of it," says Kevin.
"Although you can pick beetroot at any stage, most people like them when they are mini."
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