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Growing Beetroot, also Beets

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P P P P         P P P P

(Best months for growing Beetroot in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 45°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 7-10 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Onions, Silverbeet (Swiss Chard), Lettuce, Cabbage, Dwarf Beans, Dill, Peas. Strawberries
  • Avoid growing close to: Asparagus, Carrots, Sweetcorn, Spinach
  • Seedlings before thinning
  • Young beetroot

Soak seeds in water 24 hours before planting so that you can separate the seeds. Thinning is nearly always required as seedlings emerge from a seedball of several seeds. If you don't thin them, you will get a number of rather pathetic plants which don't grow to an edible size. Harvest in 55 - 70 days but will keep in ground for longer.

Keep well-watered as dry beetroot develop a woody and inedible core. Tip from the Italian Gardener ' Make sure the top of the beet's bulb is covered with soil; this keeps the entire bulb the same color and prevents 'corkiness' at the top of the bulb." For tasty and tender beetroot, start harvesting at golfball-size.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beetroot

Apart from boiling whole for salads, beetroot roast well, cut in wedges.
They also make a tasty salad grated raw with carrot and a little fresh orange juice.

Your comments and tips

07 Mar 18, Tek Bir Rai (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How to sow beetroot seeds ?
13 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Get a Styrofoam box from a supermarket - cut the top half off - a lot less soil to put in and lighter to carry. Fill it up with some loose soil or potting mix or a mixture of both.
29 Dec 17, Mary (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Why is it advised not to grow beetroot next to spinach?
30 Dec 17, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
We advise that some plants should not be grown together (i e in the same bed) because their growth might be affected. Or because they attract similar pests.
18 Mar 17, Iona Jelf (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I can grow good beetroot ( sown on the appropriate moon into soil well replenished with good compost, mulching the young plants with seaweed, and foliar feeding seaweed and fish several times) but it always takes double the time stated on the packet for them to bulb up well. I'm experimenting with sowing times, does anyone have experience with sowing as late as mid March? I was thinking i could microfleece them over winter and maybe the'd get away again in spring and give me some early beetroot....
19 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I'm sub tropical Australia - Bundaberg Qld. I grown beetroot from March to Sept. Too hot to grow in summer - need a lot of watering. I plant March and May. Temps from May-Aug day 23 to 30 and night 3-6 to 11-15.
30 Dec 16, Michael (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there, we have had beetroot growing for about three years now and had very good crops. This year however, we applied compost very heavily & the bulb is not very big & in some cases not at all. What have we done wrong?
19 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If the compost wasn't completely broken down it would take N from the soil to break it down. Very little left for the beetroot. On the other hand heaps of good compost and soil could be too rich. What I try and do is when mixing in compost etc - do it 4 weeks before planting anything. Turn the soil over several times and wet it to mix it all up and help break it down. Don't have too rich a soil to start with - you can add fert as they grow depending on how they are doing. I use inorganic fert - 2-4 teaspoons to 9 L of water in a watering can.
19 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try to grow after a previous crop that has reduced the N. Also apply a bit of P.
13 Jan 17, Jean Beardsall (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I could hazard a guess that your compost contained too much nitrogen. Anything with bulbs or roots doesnt respons well to nitrogen. Maybe add a little lime to bring it to the correct PH. Google says: Beetroot prefer a soil pH of 5.8-7.0 but can tolerate a pH of up to 7.6. Acid soils are likely to create nutrient deficiency problems and should be avoided or limed to raise the pH.
Showing 1 - 10 of 22 comments

We advise that some plants should not be grown together (i e in the same bed) because their growth might be affected. Or because they attract similar pests.

- Liz

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