Growing Beetroot, also Beets

Beta vulgaris : Amaranthaceae / the amaranth family

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

01 Jul 22, Susan Lauer (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Any tips for growing beets in the south? Also why does it say not to grow them near corn? I had thought the corn could provide some shade and lessen the heat. Thanks!
05 Jul 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 4a climate)
I don't know the reason but if planted beside the corn and it shades the beetroot then the beetroot won't receive enough sunlight and you will have weak thin plants. Corn needs sun and heat.
24 May 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 7a climate)
I'm in Zone 7a (Maryland). I regularly plant beet seeds September through November, then cover them with a plastic sheet (support the middle, weigh down the sides) after the hard frosts start. I uncover them again about March, and they are ready to harvest in April and May (done by the end of May).
16 May 22, Hazel (Australia - temperate climate)
I’ve just replanted some baby beetroot seeds after bush turkeys dug out my others…..then noticed that beets are no longer in the ‘to plant’ list! Do they stand any chance of survival? They are in a raised plastic planter…
17 May 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They should grow, hill up the soil around the base a bit.
08 Mar 22, Kelly (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Is it important to store all my seeds in the refridgerator? Can I simply store it in a plastic box out of the sunlight?
11 Mar 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Seeds generally only last a few years so best kept in the fridge. If you are going to use soon - this autumn/winter then in a box out of the sunlight would be ok.
01 Nov 21, Wendy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have had very varied success with growing beetroot. Some will grow quickly and taste so sweet, others in the same garden bed don't even go to seedlings. They are the same seed packet, same variety and same area of garden. Can anyone help. I have tested Ph and they get watered at night every second day if no rain. I am at a loss as to why some do & some don't.
04 Nov 21, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I grow beetroot from Mar to harvest late Oct. I grow seedlings and plant out and cover with a shade cloth cover for about 2 weeks. I then fertilise with a watering can to give a good uniform fertilising. If required another fertilising later. Space plants about 125mm apart. Rows about 400mm apart. When they have grown about 150-200mm high I even hill the soil around them a bit to support them. I grow DT BROWN Detroit Red Globe from the Reject shops. I find when I boil them to pickle they don't bleed too much. They flesh is still a deep colour. I water each two days in good free draining soil.
14 Aug 21, Jill (USA - Zone 9a climate)
what is the best type of beetroot to plant in zone 9a?
Showing 1 - 10 of 346 comments

What fertilizer do you recommend for beetroot seedlings. Can you grow peas at this time of the year.

- Anthony Peddie

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