This tasty root crop is easy to grow and can be sown directly in the ground. Beetroot is trouble-free in the main and you can harvest regularly and store plenty for the winter. There are different varieties including round types and cylinder-shaped ones as well as red/purple and blues. You can also get white beetroot.
You can sow thinly in humus-rich soil, about an inch deep in a row. You can thin seedlings out once they appear. Sow from March onwards, through until July for harvesting crops from June until October.
Once the seedlings do appear, thin them out so you can allow room for the beetroot to grow to its potential with space in between each one. You may have to do this again when they are bigger but by then you may have a small sized beetroot you can still use. Do use the small beets, whilst you allow the others to mature.
Water them plentifully during dry spells and keep them weed-free; being careful not to damage their roots.
So, as the beetroot grows, harvest to make room if necessary. Your crop will likely be golf ball to cricket ball sized.
Beetroot sown late - during June can remain in the ground until they are required.
Beetroot is easy to store albeit a bit messy! You can boil them for half an hour and plunge them into ice cold water. Once they have cooled enough to handle, you can easily peel away the skins with your fingers, which will turn purple!
Chop each end off. You can freeze whole or sliced. Beetroot can be picked too. The leaves are edible raw or cooked and are full of nutrients.
You may also be interested in our Borscht Soup recipe.