- Choose a sunny spot with well-drained, fertile soil or fresh compost - make sure soil is well dug over and not too clumpy.
- Raised beds are perfect, but they can be grown in containers and grow bags too.
- Plant 10cm apart
- You may notice that there are multiple seedlings per plug. If this is the case you can either plant them as is, in which case you will grow a clump of smaller beets, or you can thin them out to grow one or two larger individual beets (just pinch off the weaker seedlings)
- They need water, but not too much. During dry spells, water well, once a week. Other than that, leave them to their own devices and they should be fine.
- Take care not to damage roots when weeding.
Problems & Pests:
- Brown spots on leaves – chocolate spot – this is a fungal disease common in damp weather. Pick off affected leaves. They won’t damage the roots, so it’s not a huge problem.
- Crack/splits in roots – this is a common problem if plant has had very dry then very wet conditions. Try to water more consistently so that the soil does not dry out.
- Roots eaten – voles, mice and rodents can tunnel underground to nibble on the roots. Keep rodents under control!
- Roots not growing – could be not enough water or not enough space/light/warmth. Or the plants simply didn’t put a decent root system down.
- Harvest in late summer to early autumn when you can see the beetroot crowns are the right size (they usually pop above the surface so it is easy to tell)
- Harvest before frosts
- Leaves are edible too – use them as you would chard or spinach
- They will store for a week or so in a cool dry place or in the fridge.