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Ease of Growing [Scale 1-5] - 1 (Easy)

How Time Consuming

Very low maintenance apart from watering every 1-2 weeks and keeping the weeds down..

Recommended Varieties:

  • ‘Bolthardy’ – Early variety, deep colour, bolt resistant.
  • Organic ‘Chioggia Pink’ – is the most beautiful of beetroots with circles of dark pink & white flesh (does fade to light pink when cooked though). Very sweet tasting variety and good for roasting with garlic, onions and balsamic vinegar. 
  • ‘Kestrel’ – High quality variety, can grow closer together for tender baby beets.

Home Grown Vs Supermarket :

Home grown taste is second to none and the edible leaves look good in your vegetable plot.

Best Sites and Soils:

Grow in a sunny open site in well drained fertile soil containing plenty of organic matter. If you can, two or three weeks before sowing, spread a general granular fertiliser across the site and rake into the soil.  Beetroot is aperfect crop to grow in a raised bed or a manger.

When to sow

Sow outdoors from early spring to summer.  Warm up ground for a couple of weeks with cloches or polythene on the ground. Sow rows every 14 days to provide a continuous crop.  Early spring or late winter sowings should be under cloches or horticultural fleece. If you grow varieties for winter storage, it is possible to have beetroot almost all year round.
Distance between rows - 30cms (12”)
Distance between plants - Thin to 10cm (4”) between seedlings.

When to harvest

Baby beets can be harvested as soon as they are the size of a golf ball, for mature beets leave until the size of a tennis ball.  Any larger and they will become woody.

Regular weeding between the crops is required.
A fast growing crop and can mature within 10 weeks of sowing – can use as a catch crop and grow between other longer maturing plants.

Meet the Author: Jo Blackwell
Jo  Blackwell

Jo Blackwell is new on the Harrod Horticultural block and has recently taken over her post as Horticultural Advisor and Kitchen Gardener in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. She caught the gardening bug when she bought her first home 18 years ago.  Her first greenhouse soon followed and she later gained an allotment, where she grows her own organic fruit and vegetables.


Further Information

Watering / Feeding - Ensure ground is moist, if soil dries out the beetroot may bolt.  Applying  5cm (2”) of mulch will help to conserve moisture.


Guide to sowing and planting - To ensure the beetroot seed germinates soak overnight before sowing.  Beetroot doesn’t germinate well below 7.5 deg C so warming the soil with the use of cloches is beneficial with early sowings.


Problems to look out for - Bolting: Plants flower and set seed, rather than producing edible roots. This is usually caused by stress often a cold spell or not enough water.  Sow bolt-resistant varieties and keep the soil moist.


How to harvest by type - Use a garden fork to lift the beets taking care not to damage the roots particularly if storing. Remove surplus soil and twist off foliage.  
Storing - Stores well and will keep through the winter. Place roots (not touching) in boxes of dry sand or coir.  Store in a cool shed or garage.

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